BEHIND THE PROJECT: MALIBU BY ANDERSON.PAAK
Behind The Project is a new section conceived by scratchtheblock.com staff with a focus on what we consider as the most important part of a musical project: the production. We’d like to offer to the audience an overview of the producers involved,making a review of their craft and …why not…giving them a proper tribute and spreading their artistry!
We kick off the new section with one of the most impressive album of the last decade: Malibu by California multi-talented artist Anderson.Paak formerly known as Breezy Lovejoy.
The new soldier of Dr.Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment is earning incredibile attention from social media,magazines (The Fader,Rolling Stones,Fact Mag,XXL),radio and music sites.
Anderson.Paak started the year putting the pedal to the metal with his magnum opus entitled Malibu.
The astute and soulful album is fueled with productions by DJ Khalil,Madlib,Pomo,9th Wonder,Kaytranada,Like of Pac Div,Hi-Tek,Chris Dave,Callum Connor,Dem Jointz and Paak himself.
Aftermath‘s in-house producer DJ Khalil is responsible for the excellent production of the joints called Heart Don’t Stand a Chance and Your Prime. The Los Angeles hit-maker got vast production credits working for the likes of G-Unit,Usher,A$AP Rocky,Talib Kweli,Cypress Hill,The Game,Jay-Z,Nas,50 Cent and the list goes on and on!! As just made with the multi-platinum single The Man performed by Aloe Blacc, Khalil explores melodic and soulful sonorities to create a perfect backdrop that highlights the intense vocal skills of Anderson.Paak who displays his multicafaceted artistry playing drums. DJ Khalil is an artist able to experiment different sounds,beats,vibez with an incredible confidence as you can realize listening to his recent works for Raury (All We Need),A$AP Rocky (Holy Ghost) and Logic (Soul Food).
L.A. hip-hop mogul Madlib finely crafted the production for the sumptuous song entitled The Waters. Otis Jackson, Jr. aka Madlib creates an artful sonic sauce that sounds so fucking smooth,classy and refined. Paak recruits the extremely soulful voice of BJ The Chicago Kid and the result is a big masterpiece.Make sure you to check out Madlib recent collaborative project alongisde losangeleno emcee Blu and M.E.D titled Bad Neighbor
9th Wonder is another veteran producer that made Malibu shines thanks his distinctive contribute.The Jamla Records founder created the beats for two joints: The Season/Carry Me and Without You.The first one is a co-production alongside Callum Connor,for the second one 9th Wonder draws inspiration from Hiatus Kayiote sophomore album Choose Your Weapon , in particular from the smooth joint called Molasses.Jamla Records queen Rapsody bites the mic delivering powerful bars over the brilliant instrumental. During his respectable long career, 9th Wonder cooked memorable beats for a long list of artists that includes:Jay-Z,Destiny’s Child,De La Soul,Mary J Blige,Lloyd Banks,Eykah Badu among others. Recently he dropped two collaborative projects: Indie 500 with Talib Kweli and Brighter Daze with Murs and through his Jamla Records he works to keep an high quality level in hip-hop game
The track called Am I Wrong has a strong inclination toward electronic music. The man behind the production is David Pimentel better known by the stage name Pomo. The Port Moody native is an eclectic artist that is earning a lot of attention not only in Canada. It’s not easy to classify Pomo music, infact despite J.Dilla is an artist that influenced him, you can often hear funk and electronic sonorities on his production, so it’s clear his approach flirts with different genres. Am I Wrong exudes 80’s disco and funk aesthetics …so no wonder if y’all start to move your feet! Pomo is currently working on the 4th volume of Tempo Dreams set to release in March via Brooklyn indipendent label Bastard Jazz.
Louis Kevin Celestin aka Kaytranada is the mind who worked on da track called Light Weight. His huge ability to assemble elements of hip-hop, disco, R&B and soul in order to create something new ,sometimes with an 80’s-90’s flava provides a sophisticated landscape for Anderson.Paak. In 2014 legendary hip-hop duo Mobb Deep recruited Kaytranada to work on their eighth studio album, The Infamous Mobb Deep alongside eminent producers such as Salaam Remi,The Alchemist,Illmind,Boi-1da and Om’Mas Keith of Sa-Ra Creative Partners.Last year he worked with one of the most interesting experimental r&b group The Internet on their third album Ego Death but also with Illa J,Mick Jenkins,Freddie Gibbs and Kali Uchis.
Maybe for many people Gabriel Stevenson aka Like is known as 1/3 of west coast hip-hop outfit Pac Div but “the mic isn’t the only vehicle of expression” as Gabriel says and he started to focus his career grinding behind the boards, honing his skills as producer and stepping in the forefront earning a grammy nomination for his excellent production Sing About Me from Kendrick Lamar masterpiece Good Kid,M.A.A.D City. We really appreciate Like production style, he definitely caught our attention with stunning works for Asher Roth,Tessa Evans and Ab-Soul. Anderson.Paak enlists Like to work on da joint called Room In Here. Like cooked a well-appointed production slightly jagged with jazzy nuances and downtempo rhythms that perfectly fits with Paak and The Game rhymes.
The recipe for a tasteful sonic cocktail: put together virtuoso bassist Pino Palladino, experimental modern jazz pianist/producer Robert Glasper and guitarist Isaiah Sharkey (member of The rumhedz and also D’Angelo band The Vanguard) and you will be in front of a masterpiece. Add to the aforementioned ingredients the talent of Chris ” Daddy” Dave and you will be in front of something epic.Yessir the Houston jazz drummer produced our favorite jam of the entire album ,the elegant interlude Water Fall. Superb,versatile,extremely gifted, Chris Dave is one of the most respected in-demand musicians of the modern era,playing for and recording with stellar artists such as Mint Condition,Mary J Blige,Meshell Ndegeocello,Maxwell,Bilal,Eric Roberson,D’Angelo and many others. He unleashed a dope project in 2013 alongside his band The Drumhedz
Another veteran hip-hop producer that gave an important contribution to Malibu is Hi-Tek. Tony Cottrell better known by the stage name Hi-Tek offers us a top-tier production for the cut named Come Down, imprinting his own unique feel. Last year the Cincinnati beat wizard worked with Talib Kweli producing the supa-stunning Every Ghetto featuring Rapsody from the album Indie 500. We can argue that sonically, Mr. Cottrell doesn’t lose sheen and his productions continue to excite our ears!
Silicon Valley is an impressive downtempo track that unveils the wizardry of talented songwriter and producer Dwayne Allen Abernathy Jr. aka Dem Jointz. Damn, the skilful sound architect hit and convinces with an hushed rhythm that engages the soul. 2015 was a great year for the west coast producer,he put his stamp on two important projects: the return of Janet Jackson after a five years hiatus with her 11th album Unbreakable and Dr.Dre’s Compton. He’s not a rookie, infact he made productions for a lot of artists: Glasses Malone,Jordin Sparks,Rihanna,Brandy and Bobby Brackins to name a few.
After giving his technical contribute to Anderson.Paak’s Venice, L.A based young newcomer producer Matt “Callum Connor” Merisola starts to shine bright like a diamond co-producing with hip-hop guru 9th Wonder The Season/ Carry Me and cooked the so fucking impressive tune entitled The Dreamer. The artist flexes his musical chops building an high quality,ear-catchy,instant classic production that highlights Anderson vocal qualities. Def a match made in heaven!