Anderson .Paak’s “Ventura” fuses together past and present

.Paak’s fourth studio album fuses classic soul with today’s modern hip-hop.

Chris Baeza, Freelance Writer

In their heyday, soul and funk dominated the airwaves. Smooth harmonies from The Temptations and themes of love and heartbreak characterized ’60s and ’70s music. Artists like Parliament, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight and the Pips and Diana Ross alike paved the way for many African American artists today, with their influence still evident in modern hip-hop. The reproduction of these sounds will continue to influence the world of hip-hop now and in the days to come.

In latest album “Ventura,” Anderson .Paak appreciates the old and creates something new through his blend of soul and funk samplings with contemporary hip-hop. Because hip-hop at its core is influenced by the soul, funk and jazz music from the ’60s and ’70s, it’s not a battle of the old and new but rather, how the old influences the new. Like many of .Paak’s other albums, “Ventura” is planted firmly with one foot in the past and one in the present, giving listeners the sounds of what has been, what is and what can be.


The first track “Come Home” is one of the best examples of .Paak’s neo-soul/neo-funk fusion. This is exemplified through the addition of featured artist, Andre 3000. “Come Home” opens with melodic vocals and ringing bells, bringing listeners back to the nostalgic days of soulful R&B from the late ‘60s.

Make It Better” features beats from the past and soul music samples, featuring legendary artist Smokey Robinson. “Make It Better” speaks of lost love as well as the memory of good times from a former relationship. The desire to rekindle the old love is present in the lyrics, “Do you wanna make it better,” which is a solemn reminder that love does not fade easily.

.Paak proves his success with the cross-pollination of the old and new within this sentimental album. Themes of love, past and future create the unique and wistful sounds listeners hear in “Ventura,” with each song featuring its own unique element to distinguish it between itself and the prior track. .Paak succeeds with his ode to soul, funk and jazz in “Ventura,” making it a pleasant and exciting album to listen to. “Ventura” is the perfect album to listen to while driving down the beach or to play walking between classes. Next time you are on a stroll, make sure to give “Ventura” a listen.

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