Action Bronson: The Master of the Obscure Sports Rap

  • Action Bronson sports references

    Coup d'Oreille/Flickr Creative Commons

    "The Rockers"

    “Rock this Shawn Kemp, kamikaze”

    Shawn Kemp was a six-time NBA All-Star who played for the Seattle Supersonics for eight seasons. Kemp was nicknamed the “Reign Man” because of his supreme dunks and all-around ferocity, and just so happened to have signature Reebok sneakers called the Kamikaze.

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  • Action Bronson sports references

    Coup d'Oreille/Flickr Creative Commons

    "9.24.13"

    “I told the driver Lenny swing me by the garden I gotta talk to Pat / Showed him some stacks / Then showed him the gat like ‘you’re gonna miss the finger roll right?’ / Yes Mr. Baklava / Then I cartwheeled into a aqua car.”

    Action Bronson’s garden is clearly Eden because he bleeds orange, blue, silver, and white. This song pays homage to an unfortunate moment in Knicks history. In Game 7 of the 1995 Eastern Conference Semifinals, the Indiana Pacers defeated the New York Knicks, 97-95. In the last seconds of the game, Patrick Ewing missed a potential game-tying layup. In this song, Bronson is suggesting that he paid Ewing to miss the layup.

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    image via Coup d’Oreille/Flickr Creative Commons

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  • Action Bronson sports references

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    “Baby Blue”

    “Things change now my dashboard wooden / All black Benz like a young Doc Gooden.”

    Doc Gooden was a pitcher for the New York Mets from 1984-1994 and won the World Series with the Mets in 1986. Born and raised in Flushing, Queens, Bronson is a diehard Mets fan. He was actually a chef at Citifield before he was “fired for some crazy [expletive],” according to an interview with the Daily News.

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    image via Jeremy Perez Photos./Flickr Creative Commons

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  • “Strictly 4 My Jeeps Remix”

    “Shimmy in the GMC Jimmy / So I can assist like Mike Bibby

    Mike Bibby was a point guard for 14 seasons in the NBA. Similarly to Bronson, Bibby is a passionate guy. In February 2013, Bibby was kicked out of his son’s high school basketball game after a disagreement with a referee about a call.

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  • Twin Peugots”

    Nick Van Exel with the handle”

    Nick Van Exel, also known as “Nick The Quick,” was in the NBA for 13 seasons. When he was on the Los Angeles Lakers, he made an All-Star Game and was generally viewed as one of the flashiest and nastiest players of the late-90s. He was also super clutch, always coming through in big moments with killer shots. The man had no fear.

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  • "Practice"

    “She said I look David Justice when she see me floating in the Maxima.” 

    David Justice, a retired professional baseball player, was married to Halle Berry during the 1990s. Bronson, like Justice, is a ladies man and any woman would be lucky to have him.

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  • Action Bronson sports references

    Coup d'Oreille/Flickr Creative Commons

    “Watersports”

    “Hoop it up, I put myself against your best three / Dunk on Dikembe

    Even though Dikembe Mutombo is 7-2, Bronson believes he can dunk on him.

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  • “Compliments 2 the Chef”

    “In ’87, saw my father in a blue Saab / Right seat sittin’, left hand shiftin’ / You know that every team needs a Paxson and a Pippen

    John Paxson and Scottie Pippen were on the Chicago Bulls when the team won the NBA Finals in 1991, 1992, and 1993, and Pip stuck around later in the decade for three more. Even though Jordan will go down in history as the star of that team, without Paxson or Pippen the Bulls wouldn’t have won anything. During Game 5 of the 1991 NBA Finals, Pippen had 32 points and helped win that game against the Lakers, 108-101, giving the Bulls the series, 4-1. In Game 6 of the 1993 NBA Finals, Paxson hit a game winning, title-clinching three-point shot.

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  • Action Bronson sports lyrics

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    “Shiraz”

    “Going ‘Boom Shakalaka’ like it’s NBA Jam”

    NBA Jam was a basketball arcade game that came out in 1993 and yet people will always remember the announcer’s ridiculous playcalls. “Boom Shakalaka” might’ve gone to another level once SportsCenter anchors started using it but everyone will always remember it for this game. The last issue of the game was released on the Sega Game Gear.

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  • Action Bronson sports lyrics

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    "Pouches of Tuna"

    “Been on the honor roll, sculptures of my body out in Nagano / My shawty features like MadonnaI ain’t like that one / Yo / Line for line / Straight up lambs on the arm / Giambi lenses / Ken CaminitiBosworth

    Bronson is as muscular as retired baseball players Jason Giambi and Ken Caminiti, as well as the former football player Brian Bosworth. All of those athletes produced ridiculous physical feats and were often worshipped for their strength. Bronson merely flexes on the mic but he’s always ready to show out.

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Action Bronson is 50 shades of fresh in all pursuits: rapper, chef, and comedian.

Bronson previously appeared in our Icon series because he has a great fashion sense. Through his “alphet” aesthetic, he shows that style and comfort can be friends. A staple outfit of Bronson’s consists of the freshest ASICS sneakers and Champs Sports sweatpants. However, Bronson isn’t only draped in tattoos and Carhartt tees: He also wears his heart on his sleeves. His influences are very apparent throughout his music. He loves girls, food, and has a knack for storytelling like another New York legend (*cough* Ghostface Killah *cough*), although he doesn’t like that comparison.

He is also obsessed with sports.

The title of his mixtape series, Blue Chips 1 and 2, is a reference to a basketball movie from the early 1990s called Blue Chips, which starred Shaquille O’Neal and Penny Hardaway. Bronson’s songs are not only filled with references to both famous and lesser-known athletes, but he also runs with a tight clique of sports nuts. DJ Statik Selektah, Bronson’s producer on Well Done, his 2011 album, is a basketball savant.

Action Bronson’s newest album — Mr. Wonderful — is out today, with features from Chance the Rapper, Meyhem Lauren, Big Body Bes, and production from Mark Ronson, Noah “40” Shebib, Party Supplies, and the Alchemist. Go out and cop the album today, but before you do here’s a look at how Action Bronson is the Master of the Obscure Sports Rap.

Follow Fred on Twitter at @FredBerger

image via Joseph Okpako/Getty Images