Action Bronson has had a solid 12 months. Between his album Dr. Lecter and the critically acclaimed Well Done, which paired him with consistently on-par beatsmith Statik Selektah, Bronson has ascended into talks of one of the top-tier wordsmiths to pop up recently. 2012 looks to bring an even more packed schedule for Peter Luger, Jr., with projects on the horizon with Alchemist and others. Prior to the release of that, though, and just in time for March Madness, he treats heads to his first release of the year with his Blue Chips mixtape.

Blue Chips, borrowing its name to the Nick Nolte and Shaq film from 1994, is a tour de force for Bronsolinio, covering a plethora of subjects over beats provided by Party Supplies. Throughout the tape, it becomes apparent that the one goal of the release is to have fun. Through deft lyricism, and a laidback flow consistently drawing comparisons to Ghostface (albeit unsought), Bronson uses Chip to show an artist not afraid to let his personality shine through the tracks. Whether it with food references from the former chef, or professional wrestling soundbites on “Ron Simmons,” he stays true to self.

Production wise, there is a good deal of different, semi-recognizable samples throughout Blue Chips that work in unison. One strong example is the use of “Jackie Blue” by the Ozark Mountain Daredevils on the brief track “Dreamer.” Through a variety of different tempos, musical styles, and track arrangements, Party Supplies creates an entertaining and thought-out mix, allowing ample opportunity for the lyricism and song structure to vary.

Refreshingly, the guest list is kept in check and just a few aptly placed friends drop by to lend some support (Roc Marciano on “Pouches Of Tuna,” Mayhem Lauren on “Expensive Pens,” and Kool A.D. on “Arts & Leisure”). In turn, listeners get more Bronson for their buck—or free download.

With another strong release, Action Bronson picks up in the new year where he left off in 2011, as he's on his way to stacking more than just blue chips. —Matt Wright