Music

Anderson Paak’s Oxnard is “Nothing Less Than Amazing”

Anderson.Paak is a chameleon.  He is like everything and nothing you’ve ever heard. His sound is the perfect blend of the past, present, and future.  He is the eclectic personified. He is my soul in musical form, lol.

His latest album Oxnard, named after his hometown, is a orgasmic blend of tight lyrics, shit talking, social commentary, and seductive speech, over the hottest beats.  His allure is his ability to be present, and exist solely and wholly in each song, lyric, word, drum beat.  Oxnard feels like a journey through sound and space with each song functioning as fully formed worlds.  I am pulled into their orbits and continue to be amazed at their uniqueness. Anderson.Paak is just DOPE!  But beyond that, his songs have proven to me (once again) why he is my dream guy. Anderson, I LOVE you!

I listened to Oxnard  while I rode a scooter around the park on a sunny Saturday.  After several hours of repeated listening (it was straight addictive) I finally put pen to paper in attempt to capture some of the greatness in my written words.  Here are some of my thoughts on a few of the tracks, but honestly the entire project is lit. I implore you to listen for yourself.

Headlow: Funny and Freaky.

Over a chill beat, Anderson.Paak recounts his stories of “head-boning” in public places.  From the car to the movies to jogging in the park. Apparently the man is the adventurous type; he even sounds like he is reliving these very moments while recording in the studio.  He highlights his playful side with the interlude following the song, which had me cracking up the first time I heard it.

6 Summers: Woke and Confident

Apparently Paak is not in the mood for subtly on this headbanging track.  He directly addresses the president, his policies, and the need for gun control, all over a tight beat.  You have to listen to this with the volume turned all the way up. He breaks down the cannibalistic nature of living a in hyper capitalistic society. Paak for President 2020? “Put down your heat and smoke marijuanas.”

Saviers Road: Poetic and Dedicated

One of the greatest displays of his lyricism, this seemingly “simple” song is packed with his truisms from his road to success and the lesson he learned along the way: “Probably coulda been a doctor/ I’m fond of optometry/ Vision was like Martin Luther /on the mountain peak.” A wonderful display of how his rhetoric and cadence work together to produce a unparalleled sound.  I had to listen to this one countless times and I still haven’t caught everything.

Mansa Musa (ft. Dr. Dre and Cocoa Sarai) Afrocentric and Fun

Paak has titled this song after the richest man to have ever lived, past and present – the king of Mali.  On this track, Paak enjoys the fruit of his labor and success as he raps about all the ways he enjoys his new money. There is nothing wrong with a man who likes to treat himself.

Anywhere (ft. Snoop) Witty and Versatile

Hands down, my current favorite, which is not surprising considering the fact that I am certain he wrote this while thinking about me.  We have yet to physically meet, but my energy and our chemistry is just that strong. This song feels like the sonic representation of summer, especially with Snoop providing the opening verse.  Paak cleverly creates double entendres from iconic R&B groups and songs to croon his female fans: “If you need an Xscape for now/ Meet up at room 112/ We can do it Anywhere…” He is so thoughtful, but also so busy he forgot to tell me the name of the hotel and when to meet him here.  I’ll wait for his text. 😉

Sweet Chick (ft. BJ the Chicago Kid)  Respectful and Ratchet

This is Paaks ode to Jay Z’s Girls, Girls, Girls, but instead of focusing on the ethnic diversity of his harem, he raps about the varied personalities.  He’s got a cheap chick, a gangsta chick, and even a lazy chick. His ability to put his own spin on a classic demonstrates his ability to simultaneously pay homage and leave his own mark on a new generation.  Paak knows how to operate in his own style and still honor those who paved the way. You gotta admire that.

Anderson.Paak is funny, freaky, woke, confident, poetic, dedicated, afrocentric, fun, witty, versatile, respect, and ratchet.  He is BAE. But more importantly, Paak is the embodiment of what it means to be “young, black, gifted, and AMAZING!”

MJ VanDevere

MJ VanDevere is a doctoral candidate at a predominately white elite institution in the South who uses humor to combat racism, sexism, and all the other –isms that seek to diminish her greatness. She is a self-proclaimed “stand-up snob” who does not have a favorite comedian, so please don't ask unless you have several hours to spare. Some of her favorite movies include, Life, Dead Presidents, and Happy Feet. If, she could only do one thing for the rest of her life, it would definitely be laugh, and maybe write. Adulting is her greatest work in progress.

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