Action Bronson In Talks to Host Cooking Show, His Albanian Family Has Only Toilet in Town
Action Bronson is never at a loss for words. Well, until he gets too high to speak.
That's how this final installment of our extensive interview with the hip-hop and culinary hero, came to an end. The man's eyes were reduced to slits as a wide grin crept across his face. And yet half an hour later, he would be more alive than anyone in the frantic crowd at Bardot.
After the cut, find out about Action's negotiations for a cooking show, what the Flushing spitter thinks of Miami women, his early shit-eating days, and the best place to take a dump in his family's hometown in Albania.
A Cooking Show Is Inevitable
"I mean, it's going to happen. I've been in talks with people but you want to make sure ... I haven't done one [of my cooking videos] in a while. I just going to keep putting them out and seeing what it does.
"There are a lot of opportunities right now, obviously, through the music and through the cooking. I'm just going to roll with the punches and see how it goes. I'm not going to jump the gun, you know? Because I've seen all this shit, how you can get somewhere and then you're not happy with it and you're stuck in a situation.
Action Has Paid His Dues
"I did some shitty shows, man. A lot of...where did I fucking play? I played at this place called Fat Baby. Shitty shows, man. Old, just bad shit. Now I look back on them and I guess I had to eat shit to do things that I do now.
"Like I've been Jet Ski-ing all day and laying out by the pool with girls. All over the ocean, by Star Island. I was on the Jet Ski by myself [without a girl] because I was going way too fast. She would have flown off. My man Thirstin Howl III is down here and he's a prominent rapper in this world. He's my homie and he shows me around and shit.
"Last time [I came to Miami], I wasn't sure if I was going to make it. I thought I had an appendix attack or something with my hernia. I have a hernia in my stomach. I was shooting a video ["Hookers at the Point"] and just couldn't stand up straight. Ended up going to the hospital and was admitted overnight.
"Somehow, I was cleared to make moves, got up, got on the plane, and came through. I took my gall bladder out a long time ago. But they say it's not an immediate thing and I can hang out on it for a minute, as long as I can handle it."
Flying Down to Miami in Just the Clothes on His Back
"Last time, there was no need. We didn't even sleep. We came through, we went to the Food & Wine Festival, did the show, then chilled until we had to go on the plane. Got on the plane, I was in the bed by nine in the morning. I'm a simple man anyway. I'm not fucking bringing suitcases of costume changes. I'm not doing that.
"There are no pyrotechnics. At this point, though, it's more of a boutique show. It's not a stadium show. I don't know if I'll ever make music that translates to the stadium. I really do enjoy a smaller venue. A thousand people. Intimate, five hundred.
"Whatever. I make things exclusive. I've played very large festivals. It felt good, but it's not the same. You're separated from the crowd. I like to be close to my crowd."
Unlike a Lot of Chefs, Action Is Cool with Vegetarians:
"Vegetarians ... I like vegetarian shit, man. I grew up in Queens, bro. You know how many Jamaicans there are in Queens? All they do is eat, you know, the roti. They have all the drinks, you know.
"There's this one spot in Queens called Veggie Castle where they make these faux chicken wings, like literally the texturized vegetable protein made into a stick. They put it on a wood skewer cut in half, build a chicken wing around it, baste it with their sauce.
"Fucking amazing. I could eat that all the time. The soy is not that good for you every day. But it's a good substitute for eating chicken wings."
Action Only Started to Really Rap After an Injury Kept Him Out of the Kitchen
"Who knows what would have happened if I hadn't broken my leg? That's what's so good about it. That's what's so ill. It's such an ill story because who would have known? You can't call things like that. It's crazy how things work out.
"It just kind of happens that way. Like, the first album I did was with Tommy Mas. He made all the beats. We didn't realize. We were just doing a project and didn't realize we were going to put out a full album. I didn't even tell people I was a rapper. It was weird to me. I just said, 'Fuck it, I'm doing it. I'm going for mine.' I just went for mine and I got mine. So far, so good.
"We went to a lot of different European cities this year. We went to maybe 15 or 20 of them. Everything's different. The way they act, the way they talk. You're never going to feel like you're normal. You're never going to feel like, 'Oh, this is going smoothly. He really understands what I'm saying.'
"You got to make the best of things. Don't get mad. You just got to make sure things run smoothly in your own mind and then everything else will be fine. I'll go rap and then I'm going back in the pool."
What the Title of His Album with The Alchemist, Rare Chandeliers, Means:
"Who knows? It sounds cool, though. It doesn't mean anything."
His Family Back in Albania
"I'm first generation American. I still got family back there. I'm big there, but life's so different. It was only a couple of years ago that my family got a toilet.
"It's the only one in their town. Everyone else is still using outhouses and now they come over and use the toilet five times a day."
His Pre-Show Rituals
"I like to depress myself before a show. It's just fun. Prepare. Make yourself feel like it's going to be the worst. And when it's not, you're a little happier.
"I don't know, it's just a mind thing. I mindfuck myself. How would it backfire? I'll just be like, in my own mind, "I was just fucking around." After a show, it's all over. You go home and that's that. The adrenaline is gone. Go to sleep. But in this case, I'm going to go to the pool.
"Maybe the fucking hot springs and then the cold bath. Get my exhilaration game on. Get me away from everybody. At home, it's different. I can drive around by myself for three hours. Who gives a fuck?
"[On the road,] I try to get a little time on my own. Just sit alone for a minute and then I'm back to reality. I'm going to need five minutes to myself, just to sit here with the night."
Lights, Camera ... Action Bronson?
"I mean now that this happened, who's the fuck to say that I can't do a movie? If I want to act ... Sure, fuck, put me wherever. I don't give a fuck.
"I don't know who I'd play, man. Not many people. Santa Claus?
"But I could do anything. If you're a good actor, you can do anything. I don't know if I am. I don't act in regular life, but I have personality. I have pizzaz. I have what it takes. I don't get nervous under the pressure.
"Probably if I took classes and was taught a little something, I could. Because I've seen motherfuckers come out of nowhere and they're actors. Where do they come from? It's not like they get drafted or something. Where do they come from?"
Dancing, Miami Women, Action in a Thong
"I'm known to dance. I'm just a dancer. I'm just, I have many dance moves.
"I like salsa dancing. I'm into Spanish music. I like reggae. I like doing the reggae dances with the women, going down to the floor. That's my favorite.
"I like all women. But I'm partial for like a darker, tan-skin Dominican. Some kind of Spanish and black thing. A mixture. One of those. There sure are some of those down here.
"You know what? All women are beautiful everywhere. It's just that down here in Miami, they wear less, so they look better. Like, they don't walk around like they do in New York. New York is different. You can't just come through with the thong on the street. Down here, it's commonplace. Men are wearing thongs. It's like the fucking Birdcage down here.
"Would I wear a thong? No. Definitely not. No, why not? Who gives a fuck? For my bitch. On Valentine's Day only."
His Restaurant Recommendation for Visitors to His Hometown of Flushing, Queens
"Taipan. It's like an Indian-Asian fusion place. It's crazy. You get drums of heaven. Chili fried lamb. Sweet corn soup. Go in."
Action's Raps Are Crazy But They Still Make a Ton of Sense
"That's the thing. I don't feel anyone out there is stylistically doing things this way. I'm just mentioning like crazy shit and it's like making movies every time. I want you to see exactly what I'm saying. Nobody mentions the type of shit I mention.
"Like for example, I said something about how you get touched like the coach and the gymnast. You know, like that weird relationship between the coach and the fucking gymnast in Russia? Who is referring to that?
"It's fun. Sometimes I write to a random beat and have it ready to go but a lot of the time, I'm just working on the spot."
The End of the Interview
"I'm fucking stoned. I'm stoned as shit. Before a show, I medicate myself heavily.
"Does it help? I don't know! I know that fucking hash oil before a show in San Francisco made me rap better than I'd ever had in my life. I nailed every word.
"I'm stoned all the time. There are times when I don't want to be. But it fades very quickly and I'm like, "Damn, I want to smoke." Something fucking goes wrong and you smoke.
"I do all kinds of things. Vague. Vague answers. We all get high. I can't even think."
Experience the many moods of Action Bronson at ActionBronson.com and on twitter @ActionBronson.
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