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  • Writer's pictureMalcolm Williams

Don’t Sleep #12

Updated: May 8, 2019

Anderson .Paak - Ventura

A little under six months since Anderson dropped ‘Oxnard’ the album I deemed Number One on my top five hip hop albums of 2018. So you could imagine the look on my face when I was scrolling Facebook and Anderson was announcing a tour and at the bottom he’s like “oh yeah my new album coming in three weeks.” The last of the beach series ‘Ventura’ is a showcase of what is seemingly an unlimited repertoire of skills that Anderson .Paak has available.

We’ve heard so many different sounds from Anderson .Paak over the years. It sounds like Motown was the sound of choice this time around, and it wouldn’t be an Anderson .Paak album if we didn’t get some of the most amazing features and a lot of soul.

*Insert soulful background and piano keys* ‘Come Home’ may be my favorite Anderson .Paak intro. When he announced the tape I immediately started thinking “which version of him are we gonna get this time around?” So when the album starts I got excited because it felt extremely soulful then he starts begging in the hook and I was sold. There’s always some sort of humor in his music so when he says “I’m begging you, I’m begging you please, no one even begs anymore.” It’s like damn he‘s right. The vibe is so well balanced between soul and hip hop it’s hard not to bop and sing your heart out. Not to mention may have gotten one of the Great Great Andre 3000 best verses all time but I’ll let y’all determine that for yourselves.

Did anyone say Smokey Robinson? I remember my mom having a Smokey Robinson greatest hits CD in the car and I would play it when I got in because I thought I was gonna be light skinned forever and I had to rep my set. I’m kidding Smokey was just super dope to me. So hearing he was on the album was super refreshing, it told me exactly what we were getting on this album. ’Make it Better’ is my favorite song on the album and it‘s very high on my Song of the Year list. It’s on some let’s make it work vibes which is very rare to hear nowadays. It’s definitely a bop that’s going on the summertime cookout playlist, it’s a song the old folks will absolutely love and the younger people can get they game off to. This is much needed song in 2019.

‘Reachin’ 2 Much’ is coming right off those last two songs and it’s phenomenal as well. It’s rare that an album gives you a quick 15 minutes of music with the first three songs and every second of slaps extremely hard. If anyone is capable of such a feat it’s Anderson. He‘s also the only one who could give us the make up anthem of the year and possibly the breakup/slow it down record of the year back to back on his album. It’s such a rude record but it flows so beautifully and that Lalah Hathaway feature was well placed. There’s also an amazing gimmick on this song that if you haven’t heard the song I’ll allow you to discover it for yourself and for those who have heard *wink*.

Yo I’m not leaving without talking about that Brandy track. ‘Jet Black’ is soooo funky man, I really look like an idiot if you pull up next to me in the car. Brandy and Anderson’s chemistry is super amazing, this by far one of the grooviest sensual records I’ve ever heard. The way Brandy just cuts through the track is wonderful, it’s one of those things that she seems to have to remind us of whenever we forget and it’s a quick reminder. One note will have you saying ”damn shame on me, Brandy has always been amazing.” Anderson’s ear for additional vocals and features has always been spot on, this is just another example of that.

There’s a Nate Dogg feature too but again I’ll leave that to y’all as well. I think Anderson .Paak is one of those artists like Kendrick in the fact that it’s excruciating to try and rank they’re albums because they all are unique in sound and vibes but also very high in artistry. How could say one over the other when they’re all number one worthy? This album definitely has the potential to be my number one R&B album of 2019, which would be crazy because just a few months ago he had the Induberantly Media number one hip hop album of 2018. That’s a testament to the talent Anderson .Paak possesses and I’m not sure if he’s even peaked yet. That’s scary to think of.

I really want to thank Anderson .Paak once again for delivering such an amazing experience with ’Ventura’. The artists that were chosen to compliment his sound were genius. It feels like we’re getting the artistry our parents and grandparents got to experience in their heyday, it’s a resurrection of musicianship.

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