Anderson .Paak‘s new album Oxnard is the third in his beach town trilogy following Venice and Malibu: the record, Paak’s first on Aftermath, leads us to his hometown in Southern California, for which it’s named.
We’re excited because .Paak is finally back after two years and we know that his project is mixed and produced by Dr. Dre, Anderson’s talent scout since Compton.
We’re excited because Malibu was great: we have listened to it a dozen times and we feel that it looks kind of familiar.
We’re so excited, actually.
On the 4th of October .Paak dropped Oxnard‘s first single Tints, feat.Kendrick Lamar. We’ve been going crazy ever since: the track is absolutely formidable, .Paak and Lamar have a nice feel (their voices almost overlap) and we all damn wanted the entire album.
A few weeks before the official release, .Paak shared the second single WHO R U?: everything’s packed and we’re ready to leave for Oxnard, riding a window tinted car.
We feel that it’s time to enter his world. So let’s push play.
The Chase (feat. Kadhja Bonet)
We’re surprised that Paak didn’t ask “WHO R U?”, even if we’ve followed him here. The Chase just might be the story of this chase:
“I need you more than you could know
Ooooh, oooooh, oooh
Don’t let me down and don’t let go
.Paak didn’t let us down and didn’t let us go. This jazzy track is a warm welcome in the living room: the stunning voice of Kadhja Bonet perfectly knows how to relax us here on this cozy sofa. We really love the 70s Blax atmosphere of the track.
Headlow (feat. Norelle)
.Paak’s flow meets Norelle’s languid voice and everything sounds perfect but that crash (just at the best part) brings us back down to the earth with a bump. It doesn’t matter what’s going on: we don’t stop for anything.
Tints (feat. Kendrick Lamar)
On Tints, .Paak introduces Kendrick Lamar. While we listen to their voice in this super funk and smooth track, we experience extreme pleasure: we can now feel the breeze of the sea and watch the palms, looking out the window tinted.
Who R U?
We knew this moment could come: .Paak asked with a burning spoken-word style who we are and what we’re doing there.
The answer was clear: we’re all fans and we’ve come here, where he himself invited us.
.Paak is confused as well as the Dre’s production for this track. While .Paak rails against Trump, the sound switches from disorder to quiet.
“This shit gon’ bang for at least six summers
But ain’t shit gon’ change for at least three summers
They tryna kill a nigga faith, we need a little truth, brother
Pop-pop-pop goes the shooter
Reform, reform shoulda came sooner”
And frankly, who can blame you?
Saviers Road is an autobiographical peek into a younger: we’re looking at .Paak’s family photographs while an intimate chorus sing behind us and .Paak talks with God, asking unanswered questions.
“God, if you existin’, help my momma get acquitted
If they plottin’, then help me see it before they get the drop on me”
Smile / Petty
We don’t care about the lyrics: we’d like to listen only to the music for the next 4 minutes. That bassline as well as the women vocalists create a positive warm atmosphere. .Paak, can you please make a cup of tea?
Mansa Musa (feat. Dr. Dre e Cocoa Sarai)
Dr. Dre is right on time. On Mansa Musa they heatedly talk about money, bullshit, motherfucka, bitch.
It’s best not to get involved in these things.
Brother’s Keeper (feat. Pusha T)
Beat switch and we love this Pusha T groovy moment. The rapper is having a stellar year and wants you to know it: tornado-verses and reassuring guitars live together peacefully under the same sky.
Anywhere (feat. Snoop Dogg, The Last Artful, Dogdr)
Finally, we have tea while this funky soul track feat. Snoop Dogg reconciles us and the world.
Trippy (feat. J Cole)
We continue our trip with the silky melodies of Trippy and the delicate rap of J. Cole. The song finds both men talking about their lovers and that’s just what we needed.
Cheers (feat. Q-Tip)
It’s only a matter of time before we live, so we need to have a toast.
And we will do it for Mac.
“Shit, music business movin’ too fast for me (God damn)
Wishin’ I still had Mac wit’ me
How do you tell a nigga slow it down when you livin’ just as fast as ‘em?
I couldn’t understand when I see ’em stretched out cold on the pavement”
Sweet Chick (feat. BJ The Chicago Kid)
Sweet Chick makes us feel like home.
Left To Right
Hey .Paak, maybe we should talk about MAIOLE. “Destra sinistra destra sinistra”, you know? But it’s time to leave Oxnard while the head moves from left to right the whole time.
Bye, .Paak. It was great.