Rapper and Oxnard native Anderson .Paak shares love for his hometown in latest album

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Rapper and Oxnard native Anderson .Paak shares love for his hometown in latest album

Anderson .Paak signing a copy of his album Oxnard, at his free carnival. Photo credit: Manuel Herrera

Anderson .Paak signing a copy of his album Oxnard, at his free carnival. Photo credit: Manuel Herrera

Anderson .Paak signing a copy of his album Oxnard, at his free carnival. Photo credit: Manuel Herrera

Anderson .Paak signing a copy of his album Oxnard, at his free carnival. Photo credit: Manuel Herrera

By Alex Behunin

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Oxnard-born rapper Anderson .Paak released his third album, titled Oxnard, and came home to celebrate with fans.

“It’s super-awesome .Paak created an album named Oxnard, especially since Oxnard is relatively unknown in the music scene,” said resident Vance Garcia, 28. “I feel like he is putting us on the map, finally.”

.Paak was born and raised in the city. By the age of 27, he had released many mixed tapes. Before finding success, .Paak struggled for many years. At one point, after losing a job, he was homeless with his infant child and wife. But he kept grinding away trying to make it as a musician, eventually finding success in the Los Angeles underground music scene. While making his debut album, another local rapper hired him as an assistant videographer, editor, writer and producer. .Paak can play electric guitar, bass, piano, keyboards and drums.

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An autographed copy of Anderson .Paak 's latest album, "Oxnard". Photo credit: Alex Behunin

In 2014, .Paak wanted to release a trilogy of albums with a theme. Deciding on a beach theme, his first album was titled Venice, two years later he released Malibu, which received a Grammy nomination, and lastly, his most recent album Oxnard.

In 2015 still a relatively unknown name at the time, .Paak was featured, and had writing credits on Dr. Dre’s long-awaited third album, Compton. The appearance helped .Paak cement himself in the public’s conscience.

In the early stages of the album process, there were whispers around the internet that .Paak’s album was going to be named Oxnard, Ventura. On Sept. 14, .Paak tweeted out a picture of Dr. Dre holding a hat that said Oxnard, and after that everyone from Oxnard was ecstatic.

Oxnard resident Raul Lopez, 46, started seeing a few billboards around the city about .Paak. He was blown away, but impressed by .Paak’s loyalty to the city of Oxnard.

“Seeing a music artist represent Oxnard as hard as .Paak is crazy to me. I love my city and will never leave,” Lopez said. “I remember when Madlib [another Oxnard-born rapper] was blowing up in popularity. He never really represented Oxnard like Anderson is doing, or giving back.

Two days after Oxnard was released on Saturday, Nov. 17, .Paak threw an event called Andy’s Oxnard Carnival. The carnival went on from 2 – 8 p.m. at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center and had free rides, games, food, and giveaways. .Paak performed his new album after the carnival ended. The carnival sold out in ten minutes.

Free Basketball Game

Oxnard residents play basketball at Anderson .Paak's carnival. Photo credit: Alex Behunin

Oxnard resident and carnival attendee, Christian Moran, 28, had the opportunity to meet .Paak during an album signing. He expressed his appreciation for the musician and the event after the recent tragedies affecting communities throughout Ventura County.

“The carnival was a cool time and super-laid back, everyone was playing video games and basketball,” Moran said. “I tried to get into the concert, but the venue was at max capacity.”

Malcolm Turner, 34, an Oxnard resident, attended the concert after the carnival.

“He played all of the tracks off Oxnard and played some of his other hits,” Turner said. “The Performing Arts Center was full of energy and made me proud to be from Oxnard. Oh, and I got to see Dr. Dre who made a surprise appearance.”


Anderson .Paak takes the stage to perform songa from his album after the carnival. Photo credit: Alex Behunin

That same day, .Paak received the key to the city of Oxnard from Mayor Tim Flynn. When he got the key, he jokingly asked if the key unlocked the door to SoCal pizzeria, Topper’s Pizza.

In an interview with the Ventura County Star, .Paak explained how he wanted to help put Oxnard on the map, much like Dr. Dre did with his hometown of Compton.

“There is so much talent out here, not just music, but in sports and acting,” .Paak said. “People need to know that we got some real talent out here too.”

Key to the city

Anderson .Paak receives the key to the city of Oxnard by Mayor Tim Flynn, at the free carnival. Photo credit: Manuel Herrera

Oxnard combines numerous genres, ranging from rap, funk, jazz, and R&B and includes guest appearances from Snoop Dogg, J. Cole, Pusha T, Dr. Dre and Kendrick Lamar.

Stand-out tracks include Tints, 6 Summers, Brothers Keeper, Who R U? and Saviers Road, a song about .Paak being saved by God and becoming famous while living on Saviers Road in Oxnard, Calif.

Picture of Saviers Road sign

Anderson .Paak grew up on Savier's Road, and dedicated a song on the album. Photo credit: Alex Behunin

Debuting at number 11 on the Billboard 200 chart and raking in over $39,000 sales in it’s first-week, .Paak’s fame continues to grow, bringing in more and more fans along the way. While it is unclear what the future holds for the rising musician, one thing that does remain evident is his love for his hometown and his desire to express that in all he does.

“I have lived here for 46 years,” Lopez said. “I have never felt as much love for this city as I have felt these past few weeks.”

Oxnard is out now and available for purchase on iTunes or your local retailer.

For merchandise and tour information, please visit .Paak’s website.

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