Anderson Paak’s Oxnard hits home


After a year of dropping singles and teasing a big release, soul/R&B singer Anderson Paak released Oxnard and it may be one of the best albums of the year.

Following the release of his last album, Malibu, Paak didn’t release anything under his name for over a year. While he did make a collaboration album with artist Knxwledge called Yes Lawd, it was under the name NxWorries. Earlier this year Paak released a single, “Til It’s Over”, and then this summer he released another, while announcing this album, and after over six months of waiting, that album is here.

The album is titled after Paak’s hometown in Oxnard, California and that title seems to really show the very down-to-earth and humble vibe that the album gives off.      

This album really seems to be a very emotional experience for Paak. This is really his first album since he has had any level of popularity and he seems reverent towards his fame. Recent social media postings by Paak really reflect his respect and solemnity. He constantly refers to the album as “home” and, while maintaining his constant excitement, still keeps his cool about it.

Now I haven’t been a very big fan of many albums this year, only Pusha T’s Daytona and Travis Scott’s Astroworld really stuck out to me,  but this one has really rocked my world. I have always been hesitant to scream out ‘Album of the Year’ but this one really deserves it.

Paak’s albums have always been known to have incredible opening tracks and this one is no different. The song “The Chase (feat. Kadhja Bonet)” has one of the strangest opening notes of any song I have heard. However all of the discordance and strangle flute bursts pays off in creating the most memorable instrumentation on the entire album.

Paak’s second tracks also are usually top notch, however this one kind of rubs me the wrong way. The song is extremely sexual, and while Anderson Paak rarely shies away from that subject, this time it seemed a little out of place for the extremely fast tempo and heavy beat that this song has. Songs off of Malibu like “Silicon Valley” had very similar overtones, however the song was much more relaxed and sensual.

    Once the track-list for this album released, I was extremely excited for the songs “6 Summers” and “Saviers Road”, however both of these songs were not at all what I expected. Now by no means are the songs bad, they are just much different from his past works, which shows that he is evolving as an artist and that is a great thing.

Most people, including myself, were really expecting this album to be very similar to Malibu, but it is really very different from it. Malibu was very much focused on R&B, while Oxnard is very focused on rap.  The shift is a good surprise and I am not at all disappointed.

This album is stuffed full of star power. Features come from all over the hip-hop spectrum on Oxnard. From Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, to J. Cole and Pusha T, artists old and new flocked to get a spot on this album.

Two of those features really stood out to me. Dr. Dre’s feature on “Mansa Musa” is possibly one of the best on the album, and that feature subsequently makes “Mansa Musa” an incredible song. The song talks about Paak’s current fame and he seems really braggadocious which is unlike him, but it does make for a wonderful track.


Pusha T’s feature on “Brother’s Keeper” seems so masterfully crafted. After listening to the masterpiece that is Pusha T’s Daytona, this track is extremely reminiscent of that album and it really seems like Paak created the song just for Pusha T. There is a big 70’s vibe to it, which is true for most of Paak’s songs but it is still strange to see that vibe mixed with modern day rap.

Unfortunately, the closing track for this album is a little lackluster and leaves a lot to be desired. The song ends so abruptly and it makes for a very poor farewell. It seems like Paak actually designed the second to last song to be his closing track but it got switched up last minute. Sadly, I was really looking forward to the last song, as Paak’s are usually incredible, but this one really left me wanting more.

Despite it’s minor shortcomings, this album really was amazing and highlighted everything good there is about Paak and his music. Even though I did stream this album on Apple Music, I did decide to purchase the album on ITunes for around fifteen bucks just to support him as an artist, and I wouldn’t do that if the album wasn’t incredible.

Paak called this album “home” multiple times, even saying “We’re almost home” in the second song. He also said that Oxnard is “Everything [he] has”. I just hope that after Paak makes it home, he’ll come out of the house a couple more times to drop some albums.