Following the release of Dr. Dre’s Compton, rising artist, Anderson .Paak, released his second studio album, Malibu, on Jan. 15, 2016. This record, though not yet extremely popular, has allowed .Paak to standout as a very talented, respectable artist. He uses his very unique voice and talent on drums to create original, insightful and simultaneously catchy tracks. Malibu appeals to a much larger audience due to its incorporation of hip hop and R&B influences, contrasting Venice, .Paak’s first studio album, which is composed largely of electronic beats. With a track list of 16 impressive songs, the album feels smooth, while poppy, and rather incomparable to many other works of this decade.
Anderson .Paak contributes to the overall beach theme of Malibu by producing smooth, dreamlike beats and drumlines mixed with calming acoustics and piano riffs. Listeners will not be able to stop themselves from connecting with the rhythm and bobbing their heads. The record opens with “The Bird,” a track as emotional as it is catchy, preparing the listener for a beautifully unique experience. Transitioning into “Heart Don’t Stand a Chance” and “The Waters,” the smooth catchy rhythm continues with the brilliant clash of two of hip hop’s best voices, Anderson .Paak and BJ the Chicago Kid. The body of the album consists of one great song after another, with very few boring or low points. From the reminiscent “The Season/ Carry Me,” the vibey “Parking Lot,” and the bold (and almost humorous) “Silicon Valley,” to the impressive rap influenced flow of “Your Prime,” Malibu embodies a wide range of influences and a variety of fast and slow beats. Several of the tracks are followed by fragments from several old interviews and quotes (several from people of M) relevant to the meaning of the song. Additionally, the record includes many acclaimed featured artists such as the aforementioned BJ the Chicago Kid, in addition to Schoolboy Q, The Free Nationals, The Game, Sonyae Elise, and Talib Kweli.
Malibu closes with one of the best tracks on the album, “The Dreamer,” which features Talib Kweli. “The Dreamer” is reminiscent of the struggles of .Paak’s past before his success as an artist and encourages ambitious visionaries like himself to continue pursuing their dreams despite their current situation. .Paak mixes his own soulful insights “I’m a product of the tube and the free lunch. Living room, watching old reruns. And who cares your daddy couldn’t be here? Mama always kept the cable on.” with Kweli’s powerful lyrics about the power of soul and hip hop music, “My job as an artist is making miracles, to show you how the struggle (is) poetic and make it lyrical.” This collaboration and call to action provides a perfect outro to a very unique and soulful experience designed brilliantly by Mr. Anderson .Paak.