Remember the raw, unrefined, wild and zany flow laced with that patented bravado?
If you're looking to restore that long lost feeling found on those early Wu-Tang Clan albums then I implore you to check out Action Bronson, a Queens rapper whose dialect, pronunciations and cadences are eerily reminiscent of Ghostface Killah circa 1992-1998.
No, this is not an accusation of Hiphop's most serious (and, as of late, often ignored) sin -- biting.
Rather, Bronson takes us back to those good old days where it was all about having fun and not about popping bottles in the club or flossing in Maybachs.
And the fact that his rhyming style channels his inner Ghostface only enhances the effectiveness of this project, which at once is refreshing and invigorating -- two crucial components missing from most modern rap music.
With 35 tracks, this mixtape plays like a double CD, seamlessly moving from song to song with clever and playful high-powered lyrics and rhymes.
Adding to the listening pleasure is the fact that most of the previously unheard beats used on the mixtape are surprisingly dope, employing classic breakbeats and familiar samples used in unfamiliar fashions.
And as most new artists should do, Bronson has already filmed high quality videos for several songs from the mixtape, further showcasing his easy-going spirit and penchant for having fun.
Unfortunately the mixtape is filled with so many J-Love drops that some of the lyrics are distorted, but that only heightens the anticipation for a full length, uninterrupted studio album that can hopefully materialize sooner rather than late.
Bronson, like many rap fans, is so starved for the feeling of the early 90s that he even go so far as to name one of his songs "Re-Elect Dinkins," in honor of former New York City mayor David Dinkins who ran the city before Rudy Giuliani imposed a police state on the city's residents.
Tango & Cash -- his duet with fellow Lo-Lifes (named for both the street gang and because of the affinity for Polo clothing) member Meyhem Lauren -- uses a 90s Hiphop instrumental standard to get his point across:
My mind above the clouds
Plus I love the way the thunder sounds
Stevie Wonder mixed with Rambo on the underground
Queens sculpted, stay chisel like a Greek god
I'm on the bars, I got the lyrical physique, pa.
My style attacks like a German Shepherd
Plus I never need a gun 'cause I'm the perfect weapon.
Even with an inflated number of tracks on the mixtape Bronson stays delivering crazy couplets ("You never know what kind of pickle you in till you wake up in a cell and nuts'll tickle ya chin") with the greatest of ease while covering topics from his favorite pasttime ("I got that pure smoke, gorgeous like a sushi plate, five sticks of marijuana, I hallucinate") to describing his perfect girl ("pussy tight, ass like a leather shoe, chillin on the stoop with a Special Brew, Mickey D’s, she never seen a vegetable, but she know how to hum on the testicle").Bronson is almost perfect on Roasted Bone Marrow, which borrows the beat from Wu-Tang's Hollow Bones from the Clan's third album. Of course Ghost went off on that beat, so it's only right that Bronson does, too ("Bronson's smoking sticky quarters, and know today we running routes just like I'm Ricky Watters, light the sky, civil war, 160 mortars; prone position, focus on the target; breathing like I'm pregnant, mental straight from Harvard").
It's uncanny how consistent he is with his Ghostface and Wu-Tang posturing, but it's even more amazing how this project doesn't come off as some two-bit fake wanna be Wu-Tang rapper trying to get put on.
The following is a sample of the visuals from the mixtape. Cop it now!
BONUS: Below is a banger of a song featuring Action Bronson but not on the mixtape. Check it out.
Money is Reality
Statik Selektah & Termanology Feat. Action Bronson