|2022||Crocodrillo Turbo||Action Bronson||★★★★||77||Hip-Hop|
Action Bronson’s a pretty interesting character, and he’s had an interesting career too. He started underground, making mixtapes and singles with pretty esteemed producers, and was featured on tracks with Odd Future, Vince Staples, A$AP Rocky and others before making his major label debut in 2015.
From that point, across albums like Mr. Wonderful, White Bronco and Only For Dolphins, he’s continued to grow and do interesting things, while being himself, staying New York at heart, and not really seeking too much of the spotlight in the music industry. Because of this, his songs have always been intriguing, fun and carefree, but for some reason usually aren’t particularly memorable, and never really become part of the greater hip hop conversation, despite some pretty good acclaim.
However, he’s always had an aura about him, which is probably why he’s gotten opportunities to host his own TV programs like like Fuck, That’s Delicious, and has made cameos on scetches and movies like The Irishman. He’s never had that star power a big hip-hop artist can have, but he can kind of hold your attention still.
That aura, his talents and his personality I think shine through on Cocodrillo Turbo more than ever before. While there still isn’t a hit single on it, there are so many subtle intricacies to his lyrics, the references, the instrumentals and overall product that it’s easy to keep going back to.
Despite The Alchemist and Daringer producing most of the tracks, Bronson clearly has a hand in it all. There are lion and crocodile growls, dogs barking and cars screeching, shattering glass and distorted shouting over a loudspeaker, raindrops falling in the background. There are jazzy drum lines behind The Doors-styled keyboards (“Subzero”) , surf’s up guitar riffs (“Tongpo”), elegant piano pieces “Estaciones”, soul samples (“Jaguar,” “Ninety One”) and gnarly underground clangs, dial-tone beeps and kickdrums (“Turkish”).
But there’s nothing too showy going on. It all feels DIY, like he took the sounds of New York City and stitched them together with a drunk afternoon at the Bronx Zoo to create these snippets of dreams or consciousness. Or maybe they’re just a hazy bunch of memories, ideas and hallucinations. It still lacks a little top-level star power, but almost every track is cool enough to work, and there’s a lot to digest during the brisk 30 minute trip.