It’s been almost two years since Action Bronson announced plans to release a new project called Blue Chips 7 (which has since been renamed to Blue Chips 7000, presumably for added oomph). Last May, he told Zane Lowe he was aiming to drop it that month, but—spoiler alert!—he was forced to break that promise, for reasons unknown.
For a while, it seemed like Blue Chips 7000 was all but tabled, until Bam Bam jumped on Twitter yesterday and let the world know he’s “putting the finishing touches” on the project. Not exactly a concrete release date, but hey, at least we know it’s still coming—and by the sounds of it, it’ll be worth the wait.
A new Action Bronson project that, if you take his word as gospel, is “fucking lit,” is obviously an exciting prospect for his fans. But what does Blue Chips 7000 mean for Action Bronson himself?
In the 18 months since he first announced the mixtape, Bronson has become as famous—if not more—for being a celebrity chef as he is a rapper. He’s seen his flagship food series, Fuck, That’s Delicious, make the jump from YouTube to cable television (thanks to the launch of VICELAND last March), he’s appeared on numerous daytime and late night talk shows—to prepare delicious dishes, not perform rap songs—and he’s about to get his own match-making show on Snapchat.
By all accounts, Action Bronson is a star outside of hip-hop.
It’s not like Bam Bam has abandoned music, though. In 2016, the Queens emcee remained a regular on the festival circuit while releasing a string of singles and loose songs, including “Durag vs Headband,” “Descendants of the Stars” and “Mr. 2 Face.” “JUST BECAUSE A MOTHAFUCKA HAS OTHER INTERESTS DON’T MEAN IM NOT STILL A RAP LORD!!,” he tweeted when he released the latter.
Like Kanye with fashion, Ice Cube with acting and Jay Z with just about everything you can think of, the whole celebrity chef thing is simply one of many clubs that Action Bronson juggles as a multifaceted hustler. But these days, it feels like the heaviest thing he’s juggling.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though. In many ways, Action Bronson is the blueprint for new artists: make a name for yourself in music, turn that fame into a lucrative gig (something more lucrative and long-term than music, anyway) and treat music as a passion project (and, of course, promotional tool) that you do on the side—an approach that lends itself to creating better music in the first place.
Just ask Action’s good friend and collaborator Danny Brown, who echoed similar sentiments during a recent appearance on Joey Diaz’s The Church of What’s Happening Now podcast.
"My favorite rapper was Nas. When I got out of my last deal, Nas was trying to sign me to his label, Mass Appeal. When I talked to him, he told me that I was more than a rapper. I thought about that shit all the time, so ever since then I've tried to do more than rap. Doing voiceover work, even auditioning for movies.
"I guess it's like growing up. I can't be fucking jumping around on stage when I'm 50 years old. I really just wanna be secure in life 'cause rap music is selling dope to me. It's a gamble.
"Music is the commercial."
Music may have taken a back seat for Action Bronson lately, but let’s not forget: he was killing it in the kitchen long before he ever stepped foot in the studio. His shift in focus is a return to his roots, not a sell-out move. If anything, spending the last two years traveling the world and expanding his taste buds can only result in more interesting music. Best believe Bam Bam’s worked up an appetite, too.
At this point, Blue Chips 7000 feels like the side dish to Action Bronson’s main course. Either way, no one’s going home hungry.
Photo Credit: VICELAND