Action Bronson – Saaab Stories
Release Date: June 11, 2013
Record Label: Vice/Atlantic
My love for Harry Fraud's production has been welldocumented, and last year when it was announced that he and Action Bronson were teaming up for a project, expectations were through the roof. Bronson showed us last year why he is one of the most exciting names in hip-hop right now with Blue Chips, one of the best releases of last year, and Rare Chandeliers. Saaab Stories would have been a nice way to top off the year and solidify him as not only one of the best but one of the hardest working rappers out there right now, but delay after delay pushed the album back to a June 2013 release date. The final product is finally here, and while it's a bit shorter than most of us would have hoped, it's another strong release from two of the best names in the genre right now.
It should be noted that Saaab Stories is Action Bronson's major label debut, as the project is being released as an EP. We were originally told this would be a mixtape, and the realization that we're getting much, much less than we were expecting is immediately disappointing. Nonetheless, Fraud and Bronson make the most of the short duration of the project with 7 tracks that are sure to please anyone with even a slight interest in the genre.
One thing that Bronson will never escape is the comparison to Ghostface, and it feels like it gets brought up in nearly every review about him. His voice is uncannily similar, sure, but his style and cadence are distinctly his, and with every new project Bronson seems to be pulling further away from the obvious comparison and coming into his own. Saaab Stories is no different, and he builds his character with more food references and boastful recounts of his life that we've grown to love.
While Bronson's rapping is always a pleasure to listen to, the real backbone of the EP is Harry Fraud's masterful production. Fraud has always been able to jump around stylistically without trouble, but through the duration of Saaab Stories he blends styles together more seamlessly than ever before. There are your typical boom-bap style songs here like “Strictly 4 My Jeeps,” a style where Bronson sounds more than at home on, but elsewhere he's blending boom-bap and cloud rap in a more exciting way than we've seen before. Songs like “Triple Backflip,” “Alligator,” and “The Rockers” are all atmospheric and hazy while retaining the kind of hard hitting drums that stay true to the New York style both of these guys come from. Bronson compliments these beats exceedingly well, and witnessing the two at work is both thrilling and joyous. The chemistry these two have is undeniable.
What Saaab Stories lacks in quantity is easily made up for in quality. It would have been nice to get another 8-10 tracks, but that doesn't take away from how great these 7 sound. Not only is it nice to finally have this in our hands, but it makes for a good starting point for people who have never gotten into Bronson or Fraud prior to this. Hopefully these two did more than just these songs together, and from various interviews from the past year it sounds like they have. If there are more installments of Saaab Stories, it will be hard to complain about the short duration of this one, but if this is it, it would be nothing short of a let down.