Anderson .Paak has gone from an underground rapper playing tiny rooms in Los Angeles to an international star, but he’s always going to stay close to home in his mind. That’s why his upcoming album with Aftermath is called Oxnard and he’s trying to maintain the same feeling of his previous work despite his change in circumstances, according to a Rolling Stone interview discussing the new album.
“You’re trying to be the same person, but in a new car,” he says of the creative process behind the new project, which he says features production from both Dr. Dre and Madlib. “Everything we made for Malibu we made from the dirt. We had the bare minimum. Now, it’s trying to keep that same mentality, but when you have everything. When you’ve been eating calamari and lobster, when you’ve been going to festivals and playing for 40,000 people. You finally have a tour bus. You have two kids now, and a wife to support. You’re trying to keep the same principles you had when you just had a couch.”
He says that naming the album after his birthplace and childhood home is his way of staying humble and keeping the success from tempering his musical ambition. “When you go everywhere, you just hold on to the things that made you,” he says. “This is the album I dreamed of making in high school, when I was listening to [Jay-Z]’s The Blueprint, The Game’s The Documentary, and [Kanye West’s] The College Dropout.”
While he does admit that this level of investment has cost him personally, he believes it was worth it in the long run. “I put everything into this man,” he says. “My wife f*cking hates me, I’m not even getting to see my kids all the time because I’m in the studio all the time. This is it. This is everything I have.”
Oxnard‘s release date has yet to be announced but is expected this year from Aftermath Records.