Action Bronson, a Queens rapper on the rise, likes flavors of Chicago

BY JAKE KRZECZOWSKI January 24, 2013 8:30PM

Originally Appeared for Chicago Sun-Times

Arian Asllani knows a quality product when he sees one.

The rap artist, better known as Action Bronson, learned to keep a keen eye on quality control while working as a flame-gourmet chef in New York City.

The Flushing, Queens, MC arrives in Chicago on Sunday at Reggie’s for a 21-and-up show at Reggie’s — a make-up

date for a show late last month that was postponed.

“I had to cancel my previous show at Reggie’s because I had so many shows prior that I totally lost my voice,” Bronson said. “I wanted to make sure I gave Chicago the best performance because I actually love coming to Chicago.”

That love has manifested itself in much of Bronson’s work, which features collaboration with the city’s own Chance the Rapper, ProbCause, Macie Stewart and Rockie Fresh, to name a few.

Having grown up in Queens, “Bronsolini” feels a connection to the Windy City, drawing parallels to his own neck of the woods.

“Chicago has a real pride and blue-collar feel,” said Bronson, 29. “That’s the kind of guy I am, and I was brought up that way.”

Pulling from what he knows, Action Bronson’s music is a cacophony of subjects, from food to women, that he discusses with the ease of a man enjoying a lazy conversation.

Action-BronsonThat relatable nature has vaulted him into rarefied air in the three years he’s been solely focusing on hip-hop.

At the beginning of 2012, Bronson released the critically acclaimed “Blue Chips” with producer Party Supplies and followed that with his year-end mixtape “Rare Chandeliers,” produced by the Alchemist.

This year should see at least one new project from the Warner Bros./VICE signee.

“It’s all about timing right now and making sure each thing gets its proper light,” said Bronson. “The album right now is the most important and it needs the most amount of light, but the fans will dictate what I do next.”

Of course, as a connoisseur of fine dining, the rapper/chef is eager to hit many of Chicago’s famed restaurants and lists the Blackbird Diner as a favorite spot. Bronson also weighed in on the great pizza debate — thin crust or deep dish?

“They’re both great things,” said Bronson. “New York-style pizza is built for the way we live, thin and easy to eat, whereas Chicago-style pizza is that hearty, stick-to-your-ribs kind of Midwestern food. They can’t really be compared.”

Regardless of what he’s eating, Bronson has his voice and seems poised to produce a top-notch experience for those in attendance at Reggie’s.

“My foot is gently in the pool and I want to be diving perfectly with no splashes into the water from 30 feet up,” he said. “Right now my toes are just twinkling in the water. I haven’t even scratched the surface yet.”

Jake Krzeczowski is a locally based free-lance writer.

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