Action Bronson

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.

Phranchyze is The Black Larry Bird.

"Phranchyze is quite literally battling his way to national prominence. The 26-year-old local rapper, otherwise known as financial adviser J.J. Shaw, is an emerging star…" (Austin Powell of Austin Chronicle).

The Nigerian-American born Jason Herman Alan-Jamal Shaw-Ogunro, JJ, has been curating his combative inflections in Austin since junior high. At the age of 16, Phranchyze won seven local hip-hop battles in a row, and knew that he had found his craft. Today, Featured in the international "battle" spotlight, he's consistently more jarring, charismatic, funny, and witty than any competitors. Phranchyze's YouTube portfolio of rap battles is conducive to wasting work hours. Having released over five full length albums and mix-tapes, his studio work is often regarded as vivid, concise rhymes mixed with compelling, moving beats. Over the past ten years, Phranchyze's unheard of "freestyle" skill has created a unique image that evokes intelligent, affluent thought.

Whether for underground hip-hop networks like Grind Time Now, or Eminem-sanctioned Red Bull promos, Phranchyze's features are top notch, winding, eight-to-ten minute slabs of humanism. In 2007, he cruised to the finals of the World Rap Championships, instinctively touting his Austin, Texas roots with a chip on his shoulder. Placing 3rd at the international finals in New York City, Phranchyze was able to add another impressive title to his other success:

2 x Rap Olympics Champion '04

World Rap Championships Houston Division Winner '07

5 X No Hurt Feelings Freestyle Battle Champion '07, '08

Toyota Scion "Keys to the City" Freestyle Battle Champion '08

2 x Epedemiic Freestly Battle Champion '09, '10

Red Bull "Road to Eight Mile" Freestlye Champion '10

5x Voted top ten in Austin Hip-Hop: '06, '07, '08′ '09 '10.

Phranchyze's battle career has developed a unique personality for the rapper, and has differentiated his brand in the international genre.

"He'll do homework on adversaries and pen exquisite one-liners, but leave the room and you will find a man that can flip a moment and leave an album in stitches with signatures." On Flowmasters (2006, 2007), Phranchyze was smooth, crispy, and hungry to show the world his abilities. His crossover style burst on Customs (2008), and featured themes that blew the album into a behemoth regional sneaker pimp anthem he'd win you over with. Released at the SXSW festival in 2009, Errybody Hates Me, took the flow high octane. Featuring mix-tape legend DJ Rapid Ric, the work featured Phranchyzes love for Austin and annoyance with popular culture. The Black Larry Bird was Phranchyze unhinged. Featuring stalker odes to porn stars, learned hometown hero raps brimming with persona, his biggest hooks, best laid to wax stanzas, and over the top production value, the album is Phranchyze's latest work and beginning to grow esteem in the local and regional marketplace.

Explore the region and you will find that Phranchyze not only freestyles, but writes and creates unique material. With packed, sweaty, and booming shows around Texas, Phranchyze has set the table for an aggressively fruitful 2011. It'll be a banner year.

$20.00 - $25.00

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Action Bronson with Phranchyze

Saturday, November 9 · Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM at Trees

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