Action Bronson: Gabba Goo as Soulcraft

I have been listening to a lot of Action Bronson lately:

He’s a great lyricist who represents a cyclical change in hip hop music that happens about every fifteen years. Rap music devours everything around it and eventually swells to operatic, bloated proportions (see Kanye West’s last album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy). Much like the Wu Tang before him, Action Bronson strips the music down to its basic elements and changes the underlying vocabulary in such a way that tweaks and refreshes the genre. There are a number of artists that have undertaken to do this refreshing task of late, but what makes Action Bronson so interesting is his extreme attention to craft. Even the mistakes in the above song “9-24-11” point to how hard it is to craft a great verse and execute it. I think this attention to craft is also evident in his cooking segments:

It takes a true commitment to craft to make a 9 minute video about making a cheeseburger, even if that cheeseburger is this fucking crazy and everything about it has its own specific slang and inside jokes. Its this commitment to craft that brings to mind the central thesis of this book:

Basically the thesis of Shopcraft as Soulcraft is that whatever you do, do it well. Pay attention to the craft. Respect the traditional ways of doing things while you also think of new ways to do it better. If you are a garbageman, be the best garbageman. Pay attention to the details and do it right. People will notice (and they will also notice if you don’t do it right, maybe even more). This applies to all types of work but is particularly helpful to keep in mind if you’re trying to do something creative. Action Bronson embodies this idea as well as any artist working today.