Riff Raff, Action Bronson, and Meyhem Lauren

Birth of an Icon, Blue Chips, and Mandatory Brunch Meetings

SXSW 2013 Records

Hip-hop lives both on the streets and in the make-believe. I'm a killer, I'm a pimp, I'm a dope dealer, but really I work at Blockbuster. As the music industry continues folding in on itself, the mixtape focuses the buzz without sucking up capital. Houston rapper Riff Raff has the MTV, NBA, BET, and WorldStarHipHop logos tattooed somewhere on his body. The jury's out on whether he's serious or not. He signed to Diplo's Mad Decent on an insane eight-album deal, and now Birth of an Icon emerges as the first product of that partnership. Braided, skeevy, and pallid-white, Riff Raff thrives in reckless absurdity. "Diamonds on my neck, diamonds on my kiss/I really hate to be quaint/Questions on my Anne Frank." Riff's thematic cohort Action Bronson isn't quite as bizarre, a burly, New York chef marketing a delectably goofy take on classic hip-hop fantasies. Blue Chips finds Bronson partnered with producer Party Supplies, "Laying in the Galapagos, eating tacos, higher than an opera note." Samples straight off YouTube streams and name-checks spanning wrestlers, dirty sex, and expensive cuisine; he ain't a thug or a playboy, but the legends live in his rhymes. Fellow NYC shit-talker Meyhem Lauren spends about as much time spewing pulpy boasts as he does dropping language on Mandatory Brunch Meetings. Lauren sounds rich, lording over smoky, velvet rooms. Beats are made out of polished brass and solid gold, a perfect environment to tell the world why they ain't hot. "Now I'm sorta like your step-daddy, manicured pinky nails hopping out the red caddy." (Action Bronson: 12:20am, the North Door; Fri., 10:15pm, Viceland; Meyhem Lauren: 8:35pm, the North Door; Riff Raff: 11:25pm, Emo's; Fri., 10:15pm, Scoot Inn; Fri., 12mid, Haven)

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Action Bronson
SXSW 2014 Records
Action Bronson
Blue Chips 2 (Record Review)

Luke Winkie, March 14, 2014

More Music Reviews
Sunday ACL Fest 2018 Record Reviews
Travis Scott
Astroworld (Record Review)

Kahron Spearman, Oct. 12, 2018

Texas Platters
Kydd Jones
Homecoming (Record Review)

Clara Wang, Sept. 7, 2018

More by Luke Winkie
ACL Music Fest 2015 Friday Record Reviews – Second Weekend
Future
Dirty Sprite 2 (Record Review)

Oct. 9, 2015

Live Shots
X Games: Nicki Minaj

June 12, 2015

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Riff Raff, Action Bronson, Meyhem Lauren

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle