Context – cutting carrots
My wife is a teacher and helped me devise a grading rubric for this album, which goes roughly as follows (all areas graded on a 5 point scale):
- Production: 4.5 / There’s a lot of soul and funk rubbed into the beats on this thing, which I appreciate greatly. There’s a swagger present on these tracks that’s hard to pinpoint, and not enough people are choosing these styles to rap over. There are a couple variations, such as the rock influence on “Only in America”, but for the most part he stays on message (in a good way).
- Delivery: 3 / Action Bronson has a confidence in his vocal delivery that’s appealing, but an overall lyrical theme that’s extremely hit or miss. I applaud his attempts to include fart jokes in his rapping, but I think the execution is lacking. Or I’m not into fart jokes in my rapping. Either way I think there’s a lot of promise here but for whatever reason I’m not confident giving this above average marks.
- Interludes: 1 / Did not enjoy the interludes, particularly “THUG LOVE STORY 2017 THE MUSICAL”, which may be the funniest thing in the world, I wouldn’t know, I was too busy cringing.
- Features: 4 / I didn’t notice anyone giving Action Bronson slack that needed picking up, and I’m a sucker for Chance the Rapper, so him being on the album already starts this category off at a strong 3.
- Overall Creativity: 4 / No one is doing what Bronson is doing, or at least no one that I’m aware of. Other people have dipped their toes into his stylings and production choices before, but this still felt refreshing.
OVERALL GRADE: 3.3 / This seems a bit harsh in retrospect, this album deserves more than a D+, but the numbers don’t lie. If he were in my class, I’d probably have a soft spot for him and round him up to a C- to keep his mom off his back. Or because I’m a sucker that would get taken advantage of by bold students willing to coerce me through guilt or intimidation. Either way.