Action Bronson on Art, His Record Deal & The Making of Rare Chandeliers


Our favorite gourmet chef/Queens rapper, Action Bronson, has got a new project coming out Thursday (November 15). Produced exclusively by The Alchemist, Rare Chandeliers also sees guest appearances from ScHoolboy Q, Roc Marciano and Styles P, to name a few. The release will serve as Action’s first since signing a deal with Vice/Warner Bros. Records and joining Paul Rosenberg’s Goliath Artists roster. We caught up with Bronsolino to get the scoop on the making of the project, it’s mesmerizing cover art, and the Tarantino-inspired video for the project’s first single, “The Symbol”. Very rare. —Neil Martinez-Belkin (@Neil_MB)

XXL: Alchemist and you have been cool for a while now. How did this project come to fruition?
AB:
Well, he hit me maybe a year and half ago on Twitter and we’ve really just been working and chilling since then. We recorded a song in Queens a while back that didn’t actually make the album. Then I went out to L.A. maybe four or five times to record. It’s better to work with somebody hand in hand. I don’t like doing that computer thing. The music doesn’t get the same feeling.

You’ve done most of your projects exclusively with one producer. What’s working with Al like compared to hitting the studio with Tommy Mas, Statik Selektah, Party Supplies etc?
It’s the whole experience of going out there. You never know who’s gonna come out to Al’s crib. There’s always rappers around, and his house is like rap camp. When I’m there, everybody comes through and we chill. Motherfuckers want me to barbecue obviously. They all hear about the legendary things that I make. It just becomes a whole spectacle and now I’ve got this whole extended fam out there. Odd Future, Earl and Dom are always coming through.

When you start putting together your Vice/WB debut album will you work with more than one producer?
I’ll have songs from everyone. Everyone I’ve worked with will be on that album. From Alchemist to Party Supplies to Statik to Harry Fraud. I’m just trying to keep the love in the family and keep my own sound. As far as features, I never worry about that kind of thing. It comes when people like you and appreciate the music.

Looking at this tracklist… “Sylvester Lundgren”, “Dennis Haskins” “Mike Vick”. When it comes to choosing song titles, what’s in a name?
It seems like when I started naming songs after people it kind of caught on. I’m not gonna be like ‘ Oh I started it’ or what have you, but I definitely feel like I started naming songs after weird people and then I just saw an influx of people doing the same. So with something like “Sylvester Lundgren”, I just figured, ‘Aight, I’mma take two people and put ‘em together. That’s like the next level action hero.

Speaking of action heroes, we should probably talk about “The Symbol” video and this cover art. Are you the mastermind behind the art direction here?
Listen man, I don’t like to toot my own horn, but I definitely was the mastermind. You want me to tell you exactly how it went down? We got a on a call. Me, my homie Chris from Vice, and the artist. I said ‘Yo, I want to be on the cover in a tuxedo with a wolf on my head. I want there to be some sort of Chinese dudes with BMWs involved. I want an alligator with a gun for sure. And I need a bitch with a fat ass with a knife for a hand. Just thinking about like Grindhouse and Tarantino films, I needed something like that. I like seeing artwork like that. I’m an artist first, so I appreciate that shit. As far as “The Symbol” video, basically I was like ‘I need to be doing a split in a tuxedo and have funny looking bitches around.” It’s gotta be made into some sort of short film or something. No matter what. I’ll make it my personal investment if no one wants to do it with me.

How have things changed for you since inking a major label deal and this management deal with Goliath?
Dog, I’m driving around now with my right hand man. We’re in Queens right by my house. Literally just driving around chillin’. I’m not out there in golden bath tubs. I mean, I could live that life, but I choose to live like I used to. I’m a Queens boy, man. I’m just comfortable where I’m at. As far as the music, I’m not gonna jump out the window and start doing down South club hits. I could do that. I’m versatile enough. I’ve rhymed over Little Mermaid type of beats, old Greek men songs, I’ve rhymed over any kind of beat that could be rhymed over. I just feel like more people are paying attention now so there’s more expectations. But I don’t feel pressure to jump out the window. I just feel pressure to be me, and there’s really no pressure on that at all. I don’t boast, I don’t do all that other shit. I just want people to enjoy what me and Alchemist have done.