We asked rapper-turned-foodie Action Bronson how he unlocks his happiness
“My beard just happens to grow naturally gorgeous”
For the uninitiated, Action Bronson is a very good rapper from Flushing, north-east Queens, New York City, New York. He raps about pork chops and linguine and having sex and his beard and more food and wrestling.
Mr. Bronson is also the face of VICELAND's incredibly popular "Fuck, That's Delicious" series, where the rapper schleps around the world gets a buzz on and eats great food before stating, invariably, "Fuck... That's delicious."
Hello Action. How are you?
I feel amazing. It’s 11am over here [in New York]. All I’ve done this morning is wake up, cleaned some dog sh*t off the floor and now I’m watching Grey’s Anatomy. I’m addicted to it; it’s bringing out my emotional side.
You eat a lot of stuff on F*ck, That’s Delicious. What’s the tastiest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Every day is delicious. It’s like when I make a song, my newest song is always my hottest. The next meal is always going to be the most fire, the best meal of my f*cking life. There’s no telling.
You came over to the UK for your new TV show. What did you think of British food?
I love it man, every time I visit it gets better and better. Pitt Cue Co is one of my favourite places in the world, the meat is so delicious. There’s Lahore Kebab House in Whitechapel, it is so damn good. You could leave me there and I’ll be good. I could eat all day, walk over to Brick Lane, get some bagels. My friend set up this place Black Axe Mangal, it’s one of the hottest places around, let me tell you. They do flatbreads stuffed with beef cheek, rendered beef fat, pickled red onions. It’s phenomenal, man.
What’s the secret to living life like Action Bronson?
You gotta just enjoy life! Let me get emotional for a second, man. I travel a lot, and sometimes I get caught up and don’t take time to sit back and take in what’s really going on. One day I’ll be eating unbelievable meals from some exquisite fine-dining establishment, the next I’ll be eating the most f*cking fresh food with my hands in South Africa, washing it down with a beer. It’s all about the atmosphere.
You’re half Jewish on your mother’s side. What comfort food did you grow up on?
Oh, we did it all. Matzo ball soup – so good. I had some yesterday. I love pastrami, obviously, and my mother will always have gefilte fish in the house. But that stuff’s just f*cking disgusting. We ate noodle kugel, sh*t like that, at Shabbat. Jewish food is tremendous. Brisket? That sh*t is banging.
Where is the best place to get pastrami?
You know people will tell you New York – Katz’s Deli is legendary, sure. But the best pastrami I ever had was this delicious smoked meat in New Zealand, at a place called Federal Delicatessen. It was f*cking next level, man. They use this specific type of wood that’s native to New Zealand, Manuka wood, like the honey, and it gives the meat such a f*cking… [takes a deep breath]. It’s like a hard and slow f*ck. You know what I mean?
Yeah, it’s like getting f*cked hard and slow at the same time.
What are the most surreal moments of your music career? When did you stop and realise you were a big deal?
Probably when I played Parklife Festival, when some asshole dressed as a character from A Clockwork Orange jumped on stage. I punched him twice, one
of them hit him in the neck, I grabbed him by his T-shirt and threw him, but in doing so I broke my finger on stage. I was only on my second song!
Why did he jump on stage?
I dunno man, it was ridiculous. He came out of nowhere and broke my finger. I performed the rest of the set with some, f*cking, I dunno, bent finger. Nobody brought me ice, it was crazy.
Is your finger OK now?
Yeah, yeah. My finger is perfect now. My finger is amazing now.
Some people say you have the most impressive beard in hip-hop. What’s your secret?
You have to be dedicated, because it will get kinda funky. I haven’t shaved mine, I do nothing to it. Let it grow. I just put a little bit of conditioner in every once in a while, and that’s it. Mine just happens to grow naturally gorgeous. You gotta get it smelling real nice. A beautiful woman walks around smelling like a bouquet of flowers. Me? I smell like an old tray of fruit and cheese.
What was your career like in the early days? Did you ever think about giving up?
I did when I broke my leg. I’d been working as a chef and had to quit. It was a desperate time, I was pretty f*cked up. But this broken leg ended up unlocking my happiness, and now my leg is f*cking phenomenal. It’s like one of those legs that Oscar Pistorius has, but it’s an actual human leg. I have one of the best legs.
What do you think of the trend for ‘clean eating’?
Well, some would say I should be clean eating because look at me, I’m a fat f*ck. But it’s hard! I know I should be eating clean but, you know, I don’t. Life is about indulging, and I have an issue with over-indulging. Thank God I don’t take coke any more.
F*ck, That’s Delicious is on 22 Nov, 10pm on VICELAND