.Paak compiles artists for new album

By Peter Zemeske

“Oxnard” is Paak’s third studio album and the follow up to 2016’s “Malibu.” Anderson .Paak, born Brandon Paak Anderson, has been in the music scene since 2009 but didn’t start performing under the Anderson .Paak moniker until 2013 with his covers EP, “Cover Art.” He has made waves with his soulful mix of rap, R&B and funk.

“The Chase,” the lead track, serves as a thesis for the scope and impact he is striving to achieve. The slow-building intro slides into an epic instrumental that fills every bit of space masterfully. .Paak’s background of playing drums is evident throughout the record; there is a collage of live instruments replacing the usual drum machines and synths heard on most top-40 rap records. Many big-name artists are featured on “Oxnard,” such as Kendrick Lamar, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and J. Cole, all of whom add their personal touch to .Paak’s tracks. The Kendrick Lamar-featuring lead single “Tints,” is immediately infectious after a first listen. .Paak’s opening bars and percussion lead up to a groovy chorus and Lamar’s expectedly well-worked contribution. .Paak points an accusing finger at unnamed rappers on “Who R U?” who lament making music without much acclaim as he raps, “Don’t nobody know your name, we ain’t ever seen ya face, you ain’t ever gang-bang, what you tryna prove?” .Paak explores afrobeat-style rhythms and comments on political reform on “6 Summers,” criticizing current administration and the “selfie” generation: “The revolution will not be televised but it will be streamed live!” .Paak reflects on his religious roots on “Saviers Road” and reminisces about rough spots in his life. The mellow track mirrors .Paak’s history working on a marijuana farm both melodically and lyrically saying, “Ten P’s in the rental truck, trimmin’ flowers in the Marriott with little cuz.”

“Oxnard” is Anderson .Paak’s strongest musical statement to date, and closes out the “beach” series of albums. .Paak’s lyrical flow and production prove he has what it takes to create a masterpiece. While more popular artists are featured on the album, .Paak doesn’t need their fame for a rise in stardom.