Photo Credit: Katie Spoleti
Long awaited fans of the multi-talented jack-of-all-trades, drummer, producer, writer, and rapper, Anderson .Paak were nothing less than excited to blast the latest creation from the unique and one of a kind artist. Oxnard is his third studio album, but his first album release from his mentor, Dr. Dre’s label, Aftermath Entertainment. Dr. Dre was also heavily involved in the making of the album and served as an executive producer. Oxnard pays homage to Paak’s hometown in California, where his mother of African American and Korean ancestry and his father of African American heritage raised him. Paak’s parents were in an abusive relationship for the majority of his childhood. When Paak was 14-years-old, his father got arrested after an altercation with his mother and it was the last time he saw him.
The heavy funk, west coast inspired album Oxnard serves on a lighter note than Paak’s childhood, but stills sends his fans vibes of authenticity. The 12-track, plus 2-bonus track, album offers an amazing all-star list of features. The most features Paak has ever had on any of his albums, because honestly, he does not need it. However, fans were not disappointed to hear Kendrick Lamar, Dr. Dre, Pusha T, J. Cole, Q-Tip, BJ the Chicago Kid, Kadhja Bonet, Norelle, Cocoa Sarai rapping and singing alongside Paak, The album featured producers Dem Jointz, 9th Wonder, Jhair Lazo, King Michael, Avant, Chris Dave, and Mell, making the tracks and this body of work just that much more iconic. Oxnard is a timeless and cohesive complete album as every song blends perfectly with the one played before it. The album takes you on a ride with Paak through the Oxnard streets, with you sitting in the passenger seat.
Oxnard starts with sounds of the beach, followed by the sounds of radio station surfing till the beat drops, paying respect to 70’s rhythm and funk. The pleasurable beat gradually transitions to a smooth, fun, breezy R&B melody on “Headlow”. Paak then demands his listeners to dance with the upbeat R&B jazz tempo and lyrical lines from Kendrick Lamar on “Tints”. Then Paak, in classic Paak fashion, reminds his listeners that you are not on his level and may have to remind him who you are again, because you are not even on his radar. Paak raps, “And I’m on another wave // And I’m puttin’ on suede // N*ggas feeling overpaid, “F*ck I’m supposed to do?” // Don’t nobody know your name // We ain’t ever seen ya face.”
Paak later shares a little of his political side on the track titled “6 Summers”, where he shares his views on the current President of the United States, while adding an entendre to the chorus. He raps, “This sh*t goin’ to bang for at least 6 summers.” One way reference’s the song will be a hit and will be played for at least six summers. Another way Paak references the chorus is that citizens may be fighting with the government during the duration of the Presidents stay in the White House. A few songs later, Paak slows it down with “Anywhere” featuring Snoop Dogg, followed by “Trippy” featuring J.Cole to give his listeners the smooth, summer Cali night vibes.
The album overall is another classic one-of-a-kind from Anderson .Paak. Oxnard displayed the multi-talented artist skills and lyrical ability extremely well. You could play Oxnard for your mom, your neighbor, or the truest gangster you know, and they will each vibe and resonate to a different part of a song. Whether it is the jazz and groove or the confidence, swag, and bars he delivers. Whatever it may be, you’ll be satisfied.