Action Bronson makes sure to let me know that he does not want to promote his new book, F*ck It, Ill Start Tomorrow: A True Story. Over Zoom, hes animated and seems relieved that the process of putting it together is finally over. Its not that Bronson, born Ariyan Arslani, thinks the book is bad more that working on it forced him into an uncomfortable moment of self-reflection. I hated every second of it, but in a sense, it really did help me, he says. It was one of those eye-opening things for me that was like, Damn, all right. What the fuck am I writing? This is fucking out of control. Get my shit together.'
The books release coincides with a dramatic new look for Bronson, who is known for outlandishly clever raps as well as possessing a one-of-a-kind onscreen charm, from his VICE TV cooking series F*ck Thats Delicious to his YouTube channel. Health is everything. Money, all this other bullshit really doesnt mean a fucking thing if youre not healthy, Bronson says. Look at fucking Patrick Swayze. Bronsons televised culinary adventures found him indulging in the worlds finest foods with abandon. He says that at the beginning of the process of writing the book he weighed around 400 pounds; hes since lost more than 100 pounds.
Now, hes regularly in the gym and has taken up body surfing as well as honing his craft as a painter. He credits an experience with boxing champ Laila Ali, the daughter of late legend Muhammad Ali, as inspiration for the latter pursuit. She was on my show called The Untitled Show at the time, and we just fucking painted something together, he says. That got me hyped. I felt Muhammads hand was involved.
Hes also working on new music, which he hopes to release soon. He spoke toRolling Stoneabout his new book, weight loss, and his dream of hosting a Billy Blanks-style fitness show.
A big topic of conversation has been your weight-loss journey. How did you get the motivation to begin?To me, Ive needed this for a long time. Ive been living hard and fast. I feel like the motivation came from having a new baby, and my wife constantly being on me, you know? There was always somebody on me, and that means that they care. Theres no doubt about that. They want me around, and I want to be around to enjoy the fruits of everything. I love life, so I wouldnt want to leave it for no damn Entenmanns fucking cakes and shit.
Its interesting that this transformation really clicked for you right around the start of Covid.Yeah. Motherfuckers were dying, bro. Im not trying to be in that percentile thats at risk.
Do you feel like the world being locked down gave you some space to focus on what you needed to do?It was a blessing. I was just talking about this with my man today, that this whole slowdown was the thing that we all needed, and we didnt even know it. It was a forced slowdown, and it allowed us to get our shit together. It made us look inside of ourselves, and be like, Yo, we got to change and its time. Theres no fucking better time than now.
Is that how the book came about? Its being advertised as a self-help book.Let me just say this. Let me say this about this book. This book had nothing to fucking do with anything. I hated doing this book. I didnt want to do this book. Its so funny. It was very tedious for me. Usually, when I do things the two previous books Ive done, Stoned Beyond Belief, F*ck, Thats Delicious it was a joy. Like, please let me do that every time. But this took a lot out of me, and to be honest with you I feel like that in itself gave me a little bit of a boost, and a little kick in the ass unknowingly. I hate it, but its a guiding light.
What sucked about it?When anyone reads shit about themselves it sucks. Its trash. Its like, Man, I cant even believe I wrote this. Why am I saying this? Why am I telling this? Whats the point of this? I feel all that type of anxiety with things. Some things dont need to be told, and you just dont know which ones are which, but who gives a fuck? I was trying to coast through it, and joke around, but the joke ended up being on me because it made me get my shit together.
Do you feel like it made you face some things that you maybe wouldnt have otherwise?100 percent. Writing therapy right there. I dont know. It needed to happen. Thats why it happened. Thats how I feel about it.
Can we get into some of the ideas in the book? It talks about food addiction, self-acceptance, and topics like that.When you say food addiction, it sounds so fucking intense, you know? It sounds fucking intense. Its like Im a scumbag for liking cookies. Its fucked up.
People say sugar is the most addictive drug.And everyone should know that. Its sugar, alcohol, shit like that. Im addicted to weed because I like it. I dont want to stop. I dont really know where Im going with that. Thats what weed does to you. It just makes you say crazy shit, so theres an example of weed if you needed one.
Right. But with food, there are more physical impacts.Yeah, for sure. Im physically impacted for sure. I was physically impacted by food. It took a toll on me.
How did it feel to confront that?I try to confront it all the time. Thats why its like, fuck it, Ill start tomorrow. Youre always confronting it. Im going to start tomorrow. Ill start tomorrow. Ill start Monday. It could be Wednesday, Oh, fuck it, Ill start Monday. Thats four or five days away! That was always the mentality of tomorrow, Monday, the next day.
Do you feel like this book is mainly about the journey with weight loss?Its really not. It doesnt have anything to do with it. It was the catalyst. This was written while I was around 400 pounds. There was no reason for me to be doing anything like this. But when you turn it around, its like, you know what? I hate it for a reason. Because it turned the mirror on me, on my soul, and it forced me to change. It forced me to look at the things I didnt like right in the face. Its heavy shit, bro. Its heavy. And its no bullshit, because I swear to God I dont want to do this. I dont want to promote this shit, because I fucking hate it, but I feel like I need to because its a message that helped me. I dont know if its going to help anybody else, but this is exactly what helped me.
What can you say about where your music is at now?I mean, Im evolved. The evolution is like going from a I dont know, from pterodactyl to eagle. Its just evolution.
How does your mind feel after losing that weight? Do you feel mentally sharper?Of course. You know, the first fucking couple of weeks you start drinking green juice, your mind starts feeling sharper. Once youre at this point, all the olive oil that I drink and the good fat thats going to this brain? Poof. Next-level shit. Im firing.
Do you think doing TV and books and everything else took time away from the music?I mean, I roll with the vibe. And that was the vibe. I traveled the world with my friends, and we ate. We drank. We chilled. We met amazing people. We built bonds and friendships that will last forever. I did the best I could while I was chilling and having fun. I still put out a bunch of music. I have my own studio, so that never slows down. Im always creating, I dont have to wait on anybody. Thats the beauty of things these days, I never wait on anybody. I create it all myself. I have a bunch of very key, integral people in my life, and thats it. We execute. Im working on music right now. I have the artwork. Im standing in front of the artwork for the next three albums. Im organized. I just have to produce the artwork that needs to be wrapped. It has to be on the spot and ready to go.
Thinking about how you brought food onto TV so easily, have you thought about doing a fitness TV show?Yeah. Do you remember this show called Body by Gilad? It was this Israeli dude and two models behind him. They would do choreography, like choreographed workouts, for a half-hour on ESPN2 back in the day, 7:30 in the morning. I kind of want to do that. Like a Jazzercise situation. Billy Blanks. I want to wear the microphone, the Bobby Brown microphone, the hands-free one. I always wanted to do something with the hands-free microphone. And I feel like this would be a perfect time, where I can incorporate a performance, fitness, talent show situations, comedy, never-seen-before type of things, different types of circus acts. As long as I have the hands-free microphone, you can just start getting crazy.
Would you consider this book a memoir?No, this is not a fucking memoir. Im 37 years old, for Gods sake. Ive lived a lot, but man, theres so much more to tell. This is bullshit. I bullshitted my way through everything, like I did in school, but somehow its taught me a lesson, and thats what this is. This is a fucking lesson learned, and this was the catalyst to keeping me and getting me on track to changing my life. Thats what this is. This is straight-up what this is. I cant lie. I cannot lie. I hated every second, like I said 45 times, but it was the catalyst because it made me look into myself, which I havent been doing and I needed to.
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Action Bronson Hated Writing His New Book, But He Knows He Needed To - Rolling Stone