“Do you like Funk? Do you like music to grab your hand and get you to the dance floor? Do you like to feel soulful bliss? Then, Malibu is the right choice for you.”
Last Summer, I opened r/hhh to find quite the surprise: Dre’s newest production, Compton. It was an incredible foray into the world of west coast rap. It held a justifiable anger that oozed through every note and verse. More importantly, it marked the return of Dr. Dre since the classic 2001. That morning was as good as Christmas. Something else struck my attention. A few of the tracks hid an absolute talent. A raspy, soulful, and absolutely funky voice coming from a man named Anderson Paak. His sound was as if Chance the Rapper’s soul was combined with Kendrick’s flow. I had to hear more. January 2016 rolls around and with it comes his new project, Malibu. Was he a hidden gem who works better on features, or is this artist someone who can pioneer a new, funky era of west coast hip-hop? Short answer: The album flows with so much youthful joy and soul that through it’s hour duration, you will be transported to a much funkier plane of existence with nothing on you but a wide-ass grin.
The sound is infectious for all the right reasons. But that same sound is extremely difficult to pin down into one specific genres. Paak is willing to take risks to defy what it means to be a musician coming from west-coast California. But dear lord, does his risks pay off. From the disco sound of “Am I Wrong”, accompanied by an excellent verse from Schoolboy Q, to the nostalgia trip titled “The Season | Carry Me”, Paak shines with an ability to paint a portrait of his surroundings while keeping himself front and center.
It’s impressive that that same feeling is able to be carried from cover to cover. Like Q raps in “Am I Wrong”, “Music ain’t music without soul”. This isn’t an album that needs to be picked apart for it’s hidden lyricism (even though there are some great verses from Paak and his features), but it needs to be judged on it’s ability to get you off your feet. Does it accomplish just that? Yes. So much Yes.
Malibu is the shot of adrenaline hip-hop needed. It’s relevant but it feels timeless. I know it is an oxymoron, but this album is an instant classic. Do you like Funk? Do you like music to grab your hand and get you to the dance floor? Do you like to feel soulful bliss? Then, Malibu is the right choice for you.