VENTURA by Anderson Paak
The new Anderson.Paak record Ventura reminds me of Steely Dan and Stevie Wonder. It was on my second listen when I realized this would be what I would be bumping at the pool this summer. It’s both less ambitious but more out of the mainstream than the last few Paak projects. That Nate Dogg joint, "What Can We Do" is a classic- even if it sounds a little bit like the product of surgery, the groove is solid, Fred Wreck is a worthy protector of the flame and the pretty single-in-waiting is reminiscent of the Nate Dogg classic “Never Leave Me Alone”.
In fact, the ending of that song, with this kind of edited banter between Paak and Nate gives us the goodbye to Nate Dogg that we never got. The effect is haunting and satisfying. That track alone is worth the price of admission but the whole record is full of slick R & B hip-hop hybrid leaning more towards the 70s and 80’s soul side of things throughout, peep it while it’s sunny, it’s more than solid. It's a thrilling continuation of Paak's gradual journey up the coast and he's bringing us all with him.
Tristan "Tanjint Wiggy" Acker is a staff writer for Zus Entertainment, a Jooseboxx and Untapped Hip-Hop contributor, and member of the Inland Empire nerdcore hip-hop group the West Coast Avengers.