If you’re a fan of hip-hop, you’ve probably heard of Action Bronson. Emerging in the early 2010s with a comedic, charismatic presence that made him stand out from his peers, in the years since he’s turned his online persona into a brand that spans everything from vapes to clothing to cookbooks. Action Bronson has built a career on his culinary and rap skills, but even great rappers can get stale if they don’t keep pushing their sound forward. With his latest album, Action Bronson throws himself into the psychedelic world of Cocodrillo Turbo, and the result is a fantastic combination of madcap lyricism and hard-hitting soul-infused tracks.
Action Bronson’s last two albums had their moments, but lacked focus and direction. Both were packed with over-the-top features and production flourishes, but on Cocodrillo Turbo he’s dialed things back—almost to the point of being minimalist. But that doesn’t make this album any less wild; the lush instrumentation and dedication to obscure samples still sets it apart from other hip-hop records coming out this year.
With Cocodrillo Turbo you can hear a more thoughtful, imaginative, and confident Action Bronson. The rapper blends his signature raspy baritone with a bevy of tracks with choice guest stars, including Conway The Machine (“Tongpo”), Roc Marciano (“Zambezi”) and longtime collaborator Meyhem Lauren (“Turkish”). Cocodrillo Turbo is the most focused and flat-out enjoyable Action Bronson project in years, a dreamlike album of scrambled themes, big beats and stoned melodies courtesy of beats from producers like The Alchemist, Roc Marciano, Daringer and Bronsolino himself.
Cocodrillo Turbo is the rare album that rewards both focus and distraction. If you want to bob your head and nod along with the beats, you can do that. But if you want to let the psychedelic sounds wash over you and lose yourself in the record’s dreamy chaos, that works too. Seamlessly transitioning from one track to another, each song flow feels like a natural continuation of the previous track. And the album’s oddball soundscapes create a surreal audio journey—with a heavy focus on acoustic guitars and a touch of psychedelia—that perfectly showcase Action Bronson’s best lyrical work yet while also introducing a new level of consistency.