Anderson .Paak’s four-year journey up Highway 1 was inevitably going to lead to his latest album Oxnard. Titled after his hometown and in line with his Southern California coastal town theme, this release comes four years after his debut project Venice and two years after the critically acclaimed Malibu. Oxnard is a homecoming of sorts for .Paak, a celebration of success and hustle exemplified by production from the legendary Dr. Dre and new label Aftermath Records.
Oxnard is .Paak’s highest star-studded album to date with features from Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Q-Tip, Kendrick Lamar, .Pusha-T, J. Cole and a number up and coming, well-regarded artists like BJ the Chicago Kid. The features on the project read as a confirmation of .Paak’s growth and recognition as if he is coming home with proof of his success. In a recent interview with LA’s radio personality Big Boy, .Paak explains Oxnard as going back home, “Trying to be the same dude in a new car.”
.Paak’s third album feels different from the previous while delivering familiar funk sounds we have grown to expect from the West Coast singer/rapper. Not as experimental as Venice, less soulful than Malibu, Oxnard feels heavier on the rap side. This project is less melodic than we’re used to from Anderson .Paak, likely due to a number of great rappers featured on the project.
As rap/hip-hop continue to dominate the music charts with melancholy raps and trap beats, Anderson .Paak manages to once again deliver something refreshing. Oxnard, like .Paak’s previous projects at times pulls inspiration from the practically extinct G-Funk sound, at times he hits us with 90’s R&B vibes but never does it feel like a nostalgia project.
Oxnard is available on all streaming platforms, take a listen and let us know what you think of Anderson .Paaks homecoming album.