Love. Lust. Dreams. Achievement. With just one listen to Anderson Paak’s “Malibu,” it’s clear the album is something special.
The west coast rapper’s sophomore release blends R&B and hip hop into a smooth, groovy ride. Paak’s lyricism and honest delivery add genuine depth to the album.
Paak has been a prominent figure in recent hip-hop, being featured in six songs on Dr. Dre’s “Compton,” and two tracks from The Game’s “The Documentary 2.” Paak even produced an album for fellow west coast rapper Watsky.
I suppose it’s about time we heard some top class music from Paak. The Oxnard, California, rapper’s commitment shines through.
“Malibu” is one of those albums that can be enjoyed in its entirety without a dull moment. I found my head nodding constantly to the funky bass lines and diverse samples. Not to mention that the lyrics are relatable and witty enough to produce a few honest grins.
Paak’s influences are clear, as hints of James Brown and Marvin Gaye can be detected throughout the record. It’s rather refreshing to see yet another hip-hop artist really play around with the malleability of the genre.
“The Bird” starts off the album as a strong biographical song featuring hazy guitar samples. Paak asserts his place in the hip-hop world with some help from BJ the Chicago Kid in the third track, “The Waters.”
These tracks describe the artist’s roots so vividly he feels like an old friend immediately.
What really makes this album special, however, is the story of lust turned to love told throughout. Paak’s story telling ability is reminiscent of his contemporary, Kendrick Lamar.
“Am I Wrong” exemplifies this ability, and features an incredibly dope verse from ScHoolboy Q.
The year, while it’s young, is off to a solid start with “Malibu.” And Paak leaves you with the impression that he is just getting started.