Action Bronson Performs New Single, ‘Baby Blue,’ on Letterman
While you could never accuse Queens-based rapper Action Bronson of being short on personality, it would seem tough even for him to match the charm of his new video, "Baby Blue," when performing the song live. That's because that video opens hilariously, with Bronson in a triple role playing a barber in a heated discussion with two patrons whom he also plays. But, as Bronson (born Ariyan Arslani) proved last night (March 25), his outsized charisma translates even when confined to the Late Show With David Letterman's TV stage.
After the performance (check it out above), one thing is clear: The Albanian-American rapper has a future in Vegas singing love-weary heartbreak ballads. Whether any other artist has uttered the words, "Why you gotta act like a biiiiiitch?," while performing in front of a nationally televised audience, certainly none has delivered the downtrodden, almost blues-like sentiment of the song with the perfect combination of pathos and comedy that has distinguished Bronson as such a singular presence in today's hip-hop scene.
Fronting a six-piece live band that included a horn player, keys, guitar, bass, drums and a DJ, Bronson played the part of the exasperated boyfriend while busting rhymes about his own sex appeal. The song features lyrics like "So let's say that I'm a symbol for sex" and "The specialty is whitesnake and underwear sauce" -- lines that the herb- and cuisine-obsessed rapper spiked with self-deprecating wit and references to New York Mets baseball legend Doc Gooden.
About two-thirds of the way through, Chance the Rapper, who also guests on the studio version of "Baby Blue," joined Bronson to close things out. "Wait 'til you see me on TV / I make it look easy," Bronson rhymed. Fair enough!
Amidst a flurry of projects, including the Vice show Adventure Time With Action Bronson and collaborations with the likes of Alchemist, Bronson's new debut full-length, Mr. Wonderful, is out now on Warner Bros. Records.