At 29 years old it would seem Anderson Paak is quite an old soul for someone who is just breaking into the limelight. Whilst many will have only been brought to the attention of Anderson last summer when he was featured on a huge portion of Dre’s ‘Compton’, he has been slowly working away in the L.A underground for the best part of the last decade.
Billed as a newcomer, it is in fact quite a different story. Having previously performed under the name ‘Breezey Lovejoy’, it seems Anderson has already lived a lifetime. With both parents incarcerated when he was 17, he learnt to grow up the hard way. Witness to both the hardships and joys of life and able to study the consequences both good and bad, one thing is clear to Anderson .Paak. Time isn’t a luxury, and he’s making the most of. With the arrival of his most recent project ‘Malibu’, Anderson .Paak proves that if you can weather the storm the sunrise is waiting behind the clouds.
As its title would suggest ‘Malibu’ is warm and luscious with texture, working as a long day at the beach as you watch the world go by. Anderson functions as the watcher and the shepherd, able to draw from his own experiences whilst bringing along the ones that surrounded him for the ride too. Anderson grew up performing in Church and it shows throughout the entirety of the record. .Paak uses words in a similar manner that a Baptist minister would, warm yet consoling, conversational yet always informing. On the album opener ‘The Bird, he preaches” I got my patience and I’m making do, I learned my lessons from the ancient roots, I choose to follow what the greatest do.” Throughout the album .Paak looks back at the past as not history but a journey to what made him the man he is today. Every mistake is as important as every high.
Patience is something .Paak has certainly come to know but its paid off on ‘Malibu’ with a perfect culmination of collaborators. Producers such as 9th Wonder, Kaytranda and Madlib lend their hand in weaving together .Paak’s sprawling tales accompanied by the like of Schoolboy Q, BJ the Chicago Kid and the Game who all play their role. Liquid bass lines and piano solos paired with .Paak’s unravelling melodies and sporadic bars serve to keep the flow going but always keep you on your toes. On an album highlight ‘The Waters’ he has a message for the doubters, “I’m glad that you finally made it to the future but you’re late and the price is through the muthafuckin’ roof. If you want you could wait outside the building I ain’t takin’ no more meetings.” ‘Malibu’ serves as the end of the chapter in .Paak’s life that will only open up many more doors.
Nothing in life was given or handed down to Anderson .Paak and he realised this from a young age. As he says on ‘Am I Wrong’, ““I never wanna waste your time, my life so precious, is yours, is mine.” As you reach the end of ‘Malibu’ its clear no ones time has been wasted. A record that has not only been years in the making, is spilling with years of hardship, honesty and life lessons. Accompanied by the sun soaked guitar strings and keys, this is journey you will want to take over and over again. .Paak is in utter control of the past, present and future. ‘Malibu’ proves Anderson .Paak is built to last and will have many more a story to tell.