Spirit of '68 Presents
2 High 2 Die Tour feat. Action Bronson and Danny Brown
216 North Walnut Street
Bloomington, IN, 47404
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM
This event is 21 and over
Watch & Listen
A raunchy, cylinder-shaped ginger of Eastern European ancestry might not be the first dude you'd peg for rap stardom, but that's exactly the mantle Action Bronson is on the verge of possessing. Over the last two years, the 28-year old Queens native has become one of hip-hop's most charismatic and colorful new characters, thanks to his wicked sense of humor, a buffet of impressive releases and the rare knack for updating cherished East Coast aesthetics into indisputably modern music.
Last year, The New York Times hailed Bronson as "one of the most promising prospects in New York hip-hop." That formidable potential is now being realized. When Bronson gleefully tossed slabs of meat from Peter Luger's famed steakhouse into a wild-ass crowd at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, the mosh pit of skaters, knuckleheads, rap purists and young women was evidence of his ever-widening appeal.
Born Ariyan Arslani, Bronson grew up in Forest Hills, Queens, the son of an Albanian immigrant father and a Jewish mother from Brooklyn. He was an only child, but the population of the two-bedroom apartment swelled to as many as 13 inhabitants due to cousins, aunts, uncles and refuges from ethnic strife in Kosovo.
It was in the family restaurant that Bronson developed his enduring fascination with quality eating. After studying in the Art Institute of New York's culinary program, he took jobs ranging from busboy to sous chef. Consequently, songs in his discography often read like menu items: "Roasted Bone Marrow," "Pouches of Tuna," "Jerk Chicken," "Ceviche." Rolling Stone, appreciating the theme, described Bronson's music as "the ultimate in comfort food, with a contemporary twist."
While Bronson was a ravenous musical connoisseur who grew up admiring artists like Kool G. Rap, Cam'ron and Mobb Deep, he never contemplated rapping himself. But a few years back, he penned a satirical song over a Southern beat CD and the results were improbably impressive. With an oversized personality, intricate wordplay and the cagy charm of an outer-borough striver, he was a natural. And after a broken leg forced him out of the kitchen, Bronson began writing seriously. In 2007, joined with Mayhem Lauren and Jay Steele to release the Last of a Dyin' Breed: Volume 1 mixtape under the collective name "The Outdoorsmen."
Bronson's insistent delivery and penchant for flamboyant phraseology initially drew some comparisons to Ghostface, but he has long since matured beyond such superficialities. In 2011 alone, he released Bon Appetit... Bitch!, The Program EP, Dr. Lecter and Well Done. 2012 introduced collaborations with artists like Earl Sweatshirt, Riff Raff and SpaceGhostPurp, as well as Blue Chips, the brilliant street album produced by Party Supplies. In awarding the effort a lofty 8.1, Pitchfork called Bronson "one of the most hilarious and creative writers in rap" who savagely captured the essence of New York's seedy soul: "It is what a Weegee photograph would look like now."
In August of 2012, Bronson signed with Vice/Warner Bros Records. With the leading youth media company's multi-platform power now backing him, forthcoming projects like Rare Chandeliers with Alchemist, Saab Story with Harry Fraud and Blue Chips 2 will find countless new listeners. His debut LP on Vice/Warner Bros. Music is scheduled for 2013. For Action Bronson, this accelerating rise to greatness may just persuade him to put off "laying back, eating poutine" for a little while longer.
In an era of industry-obsessed MCs, interchangeable hashtag raps, and “viral” everything, it has become increasingly difficult to find a true original in the rap game, an artist able to ignite a buzz without calculatedly chasing it down. Yet ask anyone who’s been paying attention and they’ll tell you: Danny Brown is that dude.
Recording since his teens, 2010 was Danny’s breakout year, with his self-released The Hybrid showcasing a hypnotic, unique flow that Pitchfork called “the most peculiarly infectious voice since Dizzee Rascal,” while the LA Times praised it for “punch lines like Conan O’Brien if he’d come up selling crack.” He built a rabid online fanbase, stole the show on collaborations with everyone from Tony Yayo to Das Racist to the late J Dilla, and covered the Metro Times as the most acclaimed underground Detroit MC since a certain blonde fellow named Marshall. When it came time for Danny to take the next step and find a real home for his new music, it was only right that he would find a perfect fit with Fool’s Gold.
“When we first met, we really didn’t talk about doing business; we talked about music the whole time,” says Danny of what endeared him to Fool’s Gold. “That was the illest thing to me, because I sat down with a lot of labels and all we were talking about was, ‘How can we make this project work?’ and this and that. Fool’s Gold was all about being fans of music, and ‘How can we make Danny Brown better?’ I didn’t know they were such huge hip-hop nerds. A-Trak and Nick Catchdubs, you think of dance music, but they’re real knowledgeable with everything.”
“Fool’s Gold is thrilled to bring Danny Brown into our family,” says A-Trak. “We’ve been supporting his music on our blog for a long time, so we’re fans of his before anything else. Danny Brown represents a return to raw, gritty rap. His skills can’t be questioned. He sounds and looks like no one out there, and that’s something that appeals to us. We share the same grassroots values, and we can’t wait to get behind his new album!”