“Action Bronson is Mr. Rogers in an XXXL Carhartt T-shirt and Adidas shower slides, blunt dangling from his lips” – The New York Times
“(Bronson’s) music is not only a blast, but undeniably distinctive.” – Pitchfork
“Action has emerged as an absolute force in hip-hop, a man whose presence extends far beyond the mic.” – DJ Booth
“Action Bronson makes me laugh. And feel good, both about the world in general and about myself specifically. Sometimes that’s all I really want from music.” – The Ringer
With charm to burn, bars for days and appetites as varied and wide as his neon orange beard – Action Bronson eclipses everyone in the game. There’s no one who can freestyle a verse while perfectly grilling a filet mignon, picking the perfect wine to pair it with and regaling you with a hilarious anecdote.Read more
Born Ariyan Arslani, Bronson grew up in Flushing, Queens, the son of an Albanian immigrant father and a Jewish mother from Brooklyn. An only child, Bronson was rarely on his own, as his apartment was often filled to the rim with family escaping ethnic strife in Kosovo.
It was in his family’s restaurant that Bronson developed his enduring fascination with quality cuisine. After studying in the Art Institute of New York’s culinary program, he took jobs ranging from busboy to sous chef, making it no accident that over the years he’s offered tracks that sound delicious from the titles to your ear pods including “Roasted Bone Marrow,” “Pouches of Tuna,” “Jerk Chicken” and “Ceviche.”
While Bronson grew up a ravenous musical connoisseur, admiring artists like Cool G. Rap, Cam’ron and Mobb Deep, he never contemplated rapping himself. But after toying with songcraft, penning a satirical song over a Southern beat CD, his talent began to show. And after a broken leg forced him out of the kitchen, Bronson began writing seriously. In 2007, joined with frequent collaborator Mayhem Lauren and Jay Steele to release the mixtape “Last of a Dyin’ Breed: Volume 1” under the collective name “The Outdoorsmen.”
Other mixes quickly followed including “Bon Appetit…Bitch!” “Dr. Lecter” and “Well Done” as well as collaborations with artists like Earl Sweatshirt and Riff Raff culminating in “Blue Chips,” Bronson’s critically acclaimed street album, produced by Party Supplies. The mixtape caught the eye of the influential Pitchfork.com who scored it an 8.1 calling Bronson “one of the most hilarious and creative writers in rap,” who savagely captured the essence of New York’s seedy soul, adding “it is what a Weegee photograph would look like now.”
“Blue Chips” landed Bronson his first recording contract with Warner Bros (and later Atlantic) via VICE’s record label and in mid-2013, he released his first EP Saab Stories, produced entirely by Harry Fraud, with premium guests like Raekwon and Wiz Khalifa.
After extensive national and international touring in 2014, Bronson released his debut studio album Mr. Wonderful in March 2015. The work received critical acclaim from Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, and more, debuting at #7 on the Billboard 200 with the four album singles racking up a cool 45m plays on Soundcloud alone. Mr. Wonderful boasts an all-star cast, from features by Chance The Rapper to production by greats like Mark Ronson, 40, Statik Selektah, and The Alchemist. Living up to the hype, SPIN wrote, “It’s the rare rap album that actually rewards its mixtape following.”
In between shows and studio work constructing “Mr. Wonderful, Bronson began expanding his brand, returning to his culinary roots and launching his inimitably titled cooking show — “F*ck, That’s Delicious” — on VICE.com’s Munchies channel. The program not only placed a larger spotlight on Action’s certified kitchen skills and tastes that ran from haute cuisine to street meat, but it powerfully showcased his infectious personality as well. With each episode playing like culinary adventure documenting Bronson’s globetrotting lifestyle, exquisite palette and his natural wit, charisma and authenticity, the series became a fan favorite, generating tens of millions of YouTube views.
When it came time for VICE to launch its stand alone cable channel VICELAND in 2016 – there was no question that Bronson…and F*ck That’s Delicious wouldn’t be front and center. The show has aired two seasons with Bronson and his pals traveling the globe and a third is currently in production with a distinctive local focus to showcase Bronson’s favorite hometown heroes.
Now a full-fledged TV personality, Bronson has expanded his reach as a VICELAND staple, starring in the unique, bizarre and unforgettable series “Travelling the Stars: Ancient Aliens with Action Bronson.” With a respectful nod to the classic “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” the show married two of Bronson’s favorite things: watching the cult favorite TV show ‘Ancient Aliens’ and smoking weed with friends and special guests (including Tyler, The Creator, Schoolboy Q, Too Short, Earl Sweatshirt, and Eric Andre), producing insightful and often ridiculous commentary on the already out-there show. Writing in The Boston Globe, critic Michael Andor Brodeau described the show as simply “the greatest” before launching into a critical love letter dubbing the show “a stunningly elastic achievement in meta-television, [that] deserves a special Emmy that also functions as a bong.”
2017 was the year of Maximum Bronson. His second studio LP, Blue Chips 7000 dropped to much acclaim. He hosted VICE’s first-ever original program for the Snapchat platform – a dating show – “Hungry Hearts with Action Bronson” where the Renaissance Man added matchmaker to his resume as well as the debut of “The Untitled Action Bronson Show,” his wild and experimental entry into late night TV which was hailed by The New York Times’ Jon Caramanica as “Most Joyously Disorienting Show on Late Night.”
As if that wasn’t enough, Bronson released his own cookbook, entitled – what else – F*ck, That’s Delicious: An Annotated Guide to Eating Well on Abrams Publishing. The book was a runaway bestseller debuting in the Top Ten of the New York Times Best Seller List and resting at #1 on Amazon’s cookbook charts for weeks and continuing to put up numbers. A sequel is in the works.
Finally Bronson began 2018 with yet another frontier conquered – cinema – and in typical Bronsoliño fashion, he did it big. Action Bronson’s film debut will be opposite none other than Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci in Martin Scorsese’s eagerly awaited feature “The Irishman.” In addition, he’ll also star alongside the Workaholics in their feature debut for Netflix, “Game Over, Man!”
While the name Action Bronson might be still be new to some, he continues to make his mark, shaking up the worlds of food, music and media the very definitions of New York City institutions. Whether grilling octopus and scoring laughs with Seth Meyers, blowing the roof off musical venues worldwide or sharing culinary secrets with legends like Jacques Pepin and Lidia Bastianich and other culinary friends — every new horizon for Action Bronson feels like just the beginning because his appetite for the culture is insatiable and his momentum is unstoppable. – VICE
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