REVIEW: Action Bronson & Harry Fraud – Saab Stories

by Reginald Duvivier

In the past few years rapper Action Bronson’s has grown from: “That white rapper who sounds like Ghostface” into his own persona filled with smooth raps and food references. Producer Harry Fraud has grown into one of the biggest producers coming out of NYC; switching between sample based hip-hop and club bangers like the French Montana associate Chinx Drugs track, ‘I’m a Coke Boy’. After a few successful collaborative songs here and there they teamed up for the seven songs EP, “Saab Stories.”
This EP is pretty much what you expect of it; breezy rhymes and smooth soul samples. Harry Fraud finds a way to make Wiz Khalifa listenable; giving the track ‘The Rockers’ an easy 80?s AM radio feel that Wiz can thrive on. Fraud tends to mine classic hip-hop records for drums and samples (his French Montana hit, ‘Shot Caller’ uses the horn riff from Lordz of the Underground ‘Funky Child’ as the main backdrop). With the track “No Time” he plays his biggest homage to 90?s hip-hop yet with vintage boom bap that sounds like it was beamed from 1994 in a time machine.
Only real clunker here is ‘Strictly 4 My Jeeps’. It’s not a bad song per say, but pretty lazy with Action Bronson going off on autopilot while Fraud gives him slightly reworked version of EPMD’s classic, ‘Rampage’.
The album quickly gets back on the rails with the next track, the standout ‘Alligator’. For the first half of the song Fraud lays down happy horns while Bronson is in boast mode; “Prince of Albania, no money? Nothin to say to ya.” Half way through the song switches completely in theme and sample. A mournful bass line kicks in with stripped down drums while Bronson paints a picture of a girl living who lived the fast life and is now paying for it. “She got the tats straight from West 4th, hereditary cancer almost took her breast off/and over six months she said she had a chest cough/Well im not a doctor but I know that’s not a good sign.” Hard luck ‘ho’ stories tend to be a common trope in tough guy raps but both producer and rapper rise to the occasion making it hit harder emotionally then expected..
Overall Saab Stories is a solid little mini summer album and will soundtrack many a BBQ. Both Bronson and Fraud break no new ground here but definitely make a case for the buzz both acts have been amassing. Dope.