I Can't Call It: "Malibu" - Anderson Paak

Posted On Wednesday, January 27, 2016

One of the biggest surprises in 2015 was Dr. Dre FINALLY dropping his follow up album to Chronic 2001 some 15 years later. Another big surprise (to me at least) was how SO many people didn’t rock with it like that. While I gave it 5 mics and called it a classic, it seemed like the rest of the hip hop community thought it was just aiight at best. A lot of cats say they weren’t feeling the new MC’s Dre brought in the fold and that the reunion tracks with Snoop, Cube and Em weren’t dope enough. Plus most of us have been spoiled by Dre introducing us to that next “one.” Whether it was D.O.C., Snoop, Eminem, Game or Kendrick, Dre has always had that eye for whoever had next in the game. And I told cats back when I reviewed “Compton” that Dre may have not introduced us to the "next" MC this go ‘round but that he definitely introduced us to who had next in the game and that dude was Anderson Paak. To me, dude wasn’t just the shinning star of “Compton” but dude was the glue that held the entire project together and had me anticipating dude’s solo project. Now, after poking around the ‘net long enough I came across some of his past projects (“Venice”, “OBE Vol. 1 & the Anderson Paak EP) which have been holding me down the past few months but when word got to ear that dude was working on a new album named “Malibu” that jawn instantly shot to the top of my most anticipated album lists and now that it’s finally on tap, I’m mos def all ears.

“Malibu” sets things off with “The Bird” and to be honest, I don’t know if there would be a doper way to set off an album. This jawn is soooooooo dope it doesn’t make any sense. It’s a thick syrupy mixture of soul and blues and has Paak reminiscing on his upbringing, “I’m repping for the longest cycle, my uncles had to pay the cost/my sister used to sing to Whitney, my mama caught the gambling bug/we came up in a lonely castle, my papa was behind them bars/we never had to want for nothing, said all we ever need is love/we see the same things, we sing the same songs/we feel the same grief, bleed the same blood.” The DJ Khalil “Heart Don’t Stand A Chance” is drenched in nuthin’ but some DOPE Cali G Funk and the bassline alone on the Madlib produced “The Waters” is enough to make the song flat out stupid but when Paak and BJ the Chicago Kid step up to the plate, these two just take it to a whole other level of stupidity. The 9th Wonder produced “The Season” has Paak taking us ALL to church and has us ALL giving our tithes & offerings (even if you don’t want to) “my faith is buried somewhere underneath the town (until it’s paid for)/strawberry season my sweetheart is coming ‘round (I hear it rain and pour)/how did you find me here, it must be perfect timing (forever grateful)/if I didn’t love you then I damn sure love you now (fruit of you labor) and then the beat flips into “Carry Me” which will have drug dealers living vicariously though him, “Gather ‘round hustlers, that’s if you’re still living, and get on down before the judge give the sentence/a few more rounds before the feds come and get you/is you gonna smile when your date gets issued, you know them feds taking picture/your mom’s in prison, your father need a new kidney/your family’s splitting, rivalries between siblings/if cash ain’t king it’s damn sure the incentive.”

“Put Me Through” sounds like The Doobie Brothers linked up with George Clinton at the slauson swap meet and had a jam session, “Without You” featuring Rhapsody has Paak on some heartbroken ish, “I should take this heart and pawn it at the auction, I don’t need it I’m gonna slay this b-tch and take ya shopping/cause what good is any heart if it can break in pieces, rather have no feelings then crying and sobbing.” “Parking Lot” and “Light Weight” are both dope but it’s the banger “Room In Here” where Paak shoots his shot, “I want you by my lonesome above this crowded space, it’s easier to hold some when no one’s in the way/well if no one’s in the running for the part, I’d love to pick a day/to show you the main room, I don’t need a bouquet, I just need proper space/homie three blocks away, I got bottles for days/I got tropical haze go ahead and wave bye/let me help you with your coat grab a hold of my arm, tell them niggas to move tell your sister you fine.” “Your Prime” is Paak running game on his college shorty & telling her not to waste her prime but to jump in this bed with him. The album’s first single the Hi Tek produced “Come On Down” is BONKERS and “Silicon Valley” sounds like a classic Prince slow jam from those Sign O The Times sessions mixed with Outkast’s horn section and has Paak getting straight to the point, “what’s behind those tig ole bitties?” “Celebrate” and “The Dreamer” end the album on a REAL dope note but my fave banger off “Malibu” is the 80’s inspired “Am I Wrong” featuring Schoolboy Q. This banger is so dope, it’s one of those songs that if you don’t like it, it’s nothing wrong with the song, it’s something wrong with you! On some real ish, you’d have to be dead to not like this banger. And the horns?!?!?! Don’t even get me started on the horns.

One of the craziest things about Anderson Paak is that when I first heard his voice on Dre’s “All In A Day’s Work” I thought “dude sounds JUST like Bilal.” Which made me remember that when Bilal 1st dropped that he was down with Dre. Which then had me thinking was Dre trying to replace Bilal like Puff did with Faith when him and Mary parted ways? And what makes this comparison even iller was the same way that I felt that Anderson Paak was the glue that held “Compton” together, I felt like Bilal was the glue that held Kendrick’s “To Pimp A Butterfly” together. But neither here nor there, the thing is, even if you do think Anderson Paak “sounds” like Bilal, (which he kinda does) he’s one of the VERY few cases where I can’t dis dude like I usually would when someone sound like somebody else like he’s the broke version of Bilal cause Anderson Paak is no broke version of nobody. In fact, the best way I would break down the differences between Bilal and Anderson Paak is to go to one of my favorite movies ever “Dead Presidents.” Cause Bilal is like Anthony AFTER the war. A smooth, cool ass dude you don’t wanna fuck with (ask Lucious) while Paak is more like Cutty…that cool ass pimp who’ll steal your girl while you’re fighting for your life in ‘Naam. Yeah…Paak is THAT dude. And after you bang out to “Malibu” for a minute, you’ll find out why he's that dude.

4.5 outta 5 mics


  1. i agree! he is THAT dude. i remember him by the name Breezy LoveJoy, he was killin' it then and continues to do so.

  2. One of the dopest, most refreshing R&B / Soul albums I've heard in a while!


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