Dr Dre, despite his MAJOR lifestyle flaws(read Michel’le), is undoubtedly one of greater statesmen in hiphop, dead or alive. The self-made billionaire introduced the world to the talented Anderson .Paak who embodies hip hop soul in 2015. And we have been blessed since.
.Paak has collaborated on some dope projects with Kendrick Lamar on To Pimp A Butterfly and recently on Rapsody’s Laila’s Wisdom. Oxnard is the artist’s 3rd studio album, 2 years after Malibu an album that produced the bangers Come Down, The Bird & Room in here.
Oxnard boasts 14 tracks and prominent features from Kendrick Lamar, J Cole, Pusha T, Snoop Dogg, Dr Dre, BJ The Chicago Kid and more. I am confused (and disappointed) that Bubbling didn’t make it on the album, only because his distinctive Yes laaawd always gets me to a ‘deliverdt’ place beloved.
The album starts off with The Chase where .Paak raps mellow and Khadija’s accompanying vocals against a funky bassline set the mood in a car. The transition into Headlow is smooth with it. He raps about literally receiving head while driving and consequentially crashes. A little anticlimactic..but an ok record.
His collaborative effort with Kendrick on Tints is laid back, smooth and breezy. Not entirely bad but again another ok record. Who R U starts off with drums and I am finally getting into the project. (just when I was getting bored too). The track introduces that eclectic atmosphere that I have come to utterly love from Mr .Paak. Plus he’s dusting off his shoulders at his haters. This is a standout record.
Smile/Petty is undeniably a record I will listen to a couple more times. That bassline and funk is pure gold. Sanging Anderson makes an appearance and I am here for it. He intertwines some humoring skits that make for a hilarious output.
The album picks up in tempo halfway in. Brother’s Keeper with Pusha T sounds like wild wild west crack and cocaine music. Very thuggish. Pusha is having a stellar 2018. Anderson delivers some punchy bars; If Jesus would’ve had a better lawyer would he have to see the cross/I hope your niggas is true, I hope they don’t do you like Judas, bars which Pusha trades back with equal punch.
Anywhere with Snoop is reminiscent of G-Funk, a party starter, which is a great thing. It’s supernatural that Uncle Snoop has yet to lose it and doesn’t sound like he’s about too anytime soon. Trippy with J Cole has very trippy vibes infusing the singing rap style. I expected more especially from Cole. Cheers is an infectious fusion of jazz and funk which is always a safe bet for the rapper. Sweet Chick is a testament to the versatile rapper that can cuss you out and take you to church at the same time. Let the congregation say Yes Lawd!
Conclusively, Oxnard would have been an outstanding album save for a couple of unforgettable records that we could have done without. Disappointing since I’ve been waiting on this project for the longest time. Plus why was Bubbling not on here? sigh…
Notable favorites; Who R U, Smile/Petty, Brother’s Keeper, Sweet Chick
Overall rating; 7.2/10