Anderson .Paak Brings L.A. to Life on 'Malibu'

BY Erin LowersPublished Jan 25, 2016

Rapper, singer and producer Anderson .Paak first made a significant mark on Dr. Dre's 2015 album Compton; on .Paak's new full-length Malibu, he's not only made the most personal album of his career, but is hoping to bring all of the reemerging L.A. scene with him. The 16-track Malibu is layered with soul, funk and hip-hop, accentuated by .Paak's raspy voice, coy deliveries and, more importantly, insight into a problematic but triumphant life journey.

"This is my most personal album," he tells Exclaim!, "where I actually talk about who I am and where I come from, and the things that I've been through. It's everything."

Following the incarceration of both his mother and step-father when he was 17, .Paak used music to guide him through difficult times. He's worked the likes of Blu, Exile and Schoolboy Q, in addition to Dre.

"I heard someone describe [Malibu] as a sensory musical Venn diagram of L.A.," the native of Oxnard, CA, explains. "That's how I wanted it to be, and I didn't want there to be a room I couldn't go in."

Of course, being at the start of his career, .Paak still has his sights set on working with more artists from L.A.

"I'd love to continue working with the L.A. scene. I think that the L.A. scene is one of the most expansive, creative and broad scenes in the game right now. I'm always interested in working with more people in L.A. and there are a lot of people who I haven't really worked with as much as I'd like to," he continues.

Among the list of artists he mentions are Flying Lotus, Thundercat, Ty Dolla $ign and Kendrick Lamar, to which he notes, "We've met, and we talk frequently, but I want to get more in the studio with him."

Although .Paak is about to embark on a European tour next month, he's already planning his recently announced Coachella set.

"I wanna make it like Earth, Wind & Fire, and literally have a festival on stage where people can lose their mind, and not be like, we play a song and it fades out, and then we play another song — nah, it'll be like a continuous stream where we're always moving, there's always something happening."

Having already attended the festival as a fan, .Paak says: "A lot of what Coachella is too is bringing out special guests. I got a lot of access after the Dre thing, so I'm trying to put together something really cool. Maybe bring out some cool people from the West coast who weren't on the bill, that I've been known to link with, and I think they'd be down to come out."

Coachella is just a piece of what's turning out to be a very busy 2016 for .Paak. He confirms a May release date for NxWorries' debut (his project with Knxwledge), which is already complete, as well as an upcoming EP with TOKiMONSTA, a new album with his band the Free Nationals and an appearance on The Late Night with Stephen Colbert.

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