Welcome to Blue Chips 2. The previous Blue Chips stands alone as my favorite mixtape, narrowly beating 1999. I have been waiting so long for this tape to drop, and I just thought I’d bring you with me on my first time listening to the tape. I have high expectations firstly, because the first one was so good, but even more simply, the combination of Party Supplies and Action Bronson just equates to gold. Let’s take a trip.
1.) “Silverado” – What a way to start off the tape, following the explosions comes an classic 80’s piano sounding beat that bounces right along with slow roasted rhymes spit calmly out at us. Bronson lets us know he’s not messing around with any lame bars, just raw Queens encapsulated.
2.) “Intro” (ft. Big Body Bes) – Another appearance from the mysterious Big Body Bes just making me feel that not only am I not working hard enough, but I should get cooler.
3.) “Pepe Lopez” – Here we have Bronson formally introduce us to Blue Chips 2, and I don’t know how you’ll feel but this song just made me so happy. Simple ingenuity on the beat from Party Supplies with the sample from the classic oldies hit “Tequila”. Not a single hook to be seen so far, Bronson is just shredding everything. Also, not a track so far longer than 2 minutes.
4.) “The Don’s Cheek” – What is this? I don’t know but I love it. This unconventional beat sounds like a medieval Japanese musician was influenced by some banjo players from the Old West (forget chronology, its overrated). These bars are just incredible “I got the face like a grown lion/my people hold the iron/predict the weather from the wind like an old Mayan/hold my son up, show him to the kingdom/while all his blood brothers became drug runners in England”…damn yo.
5.) “It Concerns Me” – This sounds like some Russian mobster from the 70’s type of good good. Party Supplies is going strong as hell. Bronson’s bars? Obviously they’re awesome — but then you hear his beatless rhymes for a minute or so that just begs for goosebumps.
6.) “Practice” – Allen Iverson sample, at the beginning is so awesome. Damn, all of these beats are classy as hell, and I can never ever rap these things. This sounds like one of the more mellow tracks off of Saaab Stories.
7.) “Jackson & Travolta” (ft. Mayhem Lauren) – This is sounding a little more serious, a little less whimsical. No doubt to pay tribute to the legendary Pulp Fiction duo. Here is the first musical feature with Mayhem Lauren, and he’s got some bars of his own “This ain’t boom bap, homie its doom rap”. Wow, this beat has so much layering, feels like a sonic parfait.
8.) “Through the Eyes of a G” (ft. Ab-Soul) – Ooooh, I hear that Quincy Jones sample that was used also in Pharcyde‘s “Passin’ Me By”, some tasty snacks for the old school hip-hop heads. I think you can understand the vibe already to this track, “multi-color money, seven different kinds of cheeses/my silhouette resemble Jesus, in all seasons”. Still no hooks. The second feature, Ab-Soul, just lays down another reason that skills on the mic have nothing to do with being able to babble rap.
9.) “Contemporary Man” – One of the three tracks that had been released previously. I couldn’t stop bumping this, and still won’t. This song is like a mash-up straight out of the 80s, and Bronson switches up his flow and delivery with every beat change, 5 of them to be exact. A++ for both Supplies and Bronson. *Bronson singing?!*
10.) “Twin Peugeots” (ft. Big Body Bes & Mac Miller) – Another of the pre-released triad, Action and Big Body do them. Mac Miller now joins the list of features, and I still just can’t believe how much better he’s gotten in the last year or so. Drumless beats ftw.
11.) “Man In The Mirror” – This is, in my opinion, the interlude of the mixtape. It sounds more like an advertisement than a song, but not an ad in the conventional way. You’ll know what I mean. It sounds like some MF Doom supervillain interlude hot noise.
12.) “Midget Cough” – He sounds like he’s smoked out on this track, and he probably was when he made this one. This beat is so damn smooth, THAT BASS LINE. Here is the smoke music, and it’s so so so nice. This is that Sunday morning type of track.
13.) “It’s Me” – The third of the previously released tracks. I loved this song from the first time I heard it, and still just flicks on a light in my head every time. Some tropical sounding steel drum beat. Then all of a sudden…an ad for Enbrel?
14.) “Flip Ya” (ft. Retchy P) – This sounds like there’s a live band behind the articulation of Bronson as a man. Those horns doe. Then here comes Retchy P, who I’ve never heard before right now, but he does not let Bronson down as a feature on what is shaping up to be a quality album.
15.) “9-24-13” (feat. Big Body Bes) – OK WE’RE HERE. The long-awaited sequel to one of my favorite Bronson songs, “9-24-11”
has long been steeped in mysticism and ambiguity, but here I see the light. This song deserves it’s own write-up, but seeing as how this post is long enough, I’ll keep it short. It has clear reminiscence of it’s 2 year-older brother with it’s wailing sample of a (beautiful) woman, but less in your face and more of a make you sit down and listen vibe. Add another monologue from Body, and you can see why it’s the sequel to that song. Listen to this one first,
16.) “Rolling Thunder” – So this song was supposed to feature Cam’ron, but I guess it fell through. Justin Nealis of Party Supplies takes the classic 50s slow dance song from high school and flips it into a surprisingly appropriate beat for these bars that Bronson is spitting. This mixtape is something unlike anything I have heard. SO MANY RANDOMLY SAMPLED COMMERCIALS, THIS ONE WAS IN SPANISH.
17.) “Amadu Diablo” – This reminds me of “Pouches of Tuna” off of Blue Chips because of its lack of drums and plethora of rhymes. The back half of this mixtape is so smooth, slow, and funky.
18.) “In The City” (ft. Jeff Woods) – I’ve never heard a Bronson song like this before. If you know who Mayer Hawthorne is, then you can pretty much grasp the idea of what this one sounds like. Makes me want to hear that collab. Also, Bronson’s vivid descriptions just hit me on this one, even though it’s not his best lyrical song on the tape.
19.) “I Adore You” – Here we are at the end, it’s been a ride but the end track is important and should really make the album/mixtape or whatever come full circle. This song sounds like Bronson is rapping over the end credits of a movie, the perfect way to go out.
Overall: Bronson rips through this mixtape at times, paying homage to the first Blue Chips, and at others, we see a sensitive man who really is just like any other dude around – only everyone else pales next to his magnificent creativity and persona. This tape is way classier, way more G than its predecessor, and I couldn’t have asked for anything else. This just might be Bronson’s best work yet.
Favorite Tracks: “9-24-13”, “Rolling Thunder”, “Pepe Lopez”, “The Don’s Cheek”
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