To kick off 2016 and what should be a year full of albums worth your time we have California rapper/singer Anderson .Paak‘s Malibu, his follow up to Venice from 2014. Like Rae Sremmurd’s Sremmlife last year, Anderson .Paak has a head start on the competition by releasing the first relevant hip-hop/R&B album of the year. He doesn’t nearly have as wide of an appeal as Rae Sremmurd, but I hope this means we get to see more of Anderson .Paak at festivals and on TV this year.
I’ve read some comparisons to Kendrick Lamar in relation to this album, and yes the track “Your Prime” is a jam and is in the same vein musically and thematically as To Pimp A Butterfly, but as a whole this new effort from Anderson .Paak reminds me more of some combination of Slum Village, Bilal, and Musiq Soulchild. Though there are many jazz flourishes like the end of “Am I Wrong” feat. Schoolboy Q.
Speaking of features, shouts to Rhapsody and The Game for lending nice verses as well, especially over the quality beats for “Without You” and “Room in Here”, respectively. Malibu is fast and slow, sometimes heavy on the rap and other times heavy into R&B — like on the downright sensual “Water Fall (Interluuube)”. Still, it maintains a sunny California vibe with various nods to the culture here and there for a fully formed effort.
17 tracks make the 1 hour trip through Malibu feel a bit longer than it is. I can’t decide if that’s good or bad here, maybe a few tracks are superfluous, but overall it’s a solid album with enough going on to hold your interest and absolutely worth a spin (what’ve you got to lose?).