Anderson .Paak: a Dillo Day listening guide

    Complain 100 percent less about ScHoolboy Q as the 2016 Dillo Day headliner and re-direct your energy to celebrating Anderson .Paak. I jammed to Acid Rap for hours in an immersive introduction to Chance the Rapper before Dillo in 2014, and I predict a similar trajectory for .Paak. He feels like a Kendrick Lamar voice and Donnie Trumpet musicality in his diverse contributions to neo-soul.

    Look no further than “Am I Wrong” for your Dillo Day anthem, .Paak’s upbeat tune off Malibu, featuring ScHoolboy Q and relevant Dillo lyrics: “make love once or more, we rest and encore.” “Am I Wrong” will satisfy the dose of optimism and pop that you need in a Dillo anthem.

    But the real reason to listen to .Paak is what he’s doing outside of pop and that Bruno Mars-type energy. He’s throwing you some very real narratives of his young life in L.A., where his father spent time in prison for drug abuse and domestic abuse. The sweet hook traces some of his journey and his own sense of responsibility as a father ("I had to wake up just to make it through / I got my patience and I'm making do") to a comforting “mmm” as he makes peace with it all: ("We came up in a lonely castle, mmm / My papa was behind them bars, mmm / We never had to want for nothing, mmm / Said all we ever need is love, mmm").

    .Paak emerged from collaborating with Dr. Dre on Compton to signing with Dre’s label Aftermath, and now, to the Dillo Day 3:30 p.m. stage.

    Watch this video for to get a solid taste of his creativity in this surreal collage over “The Season | Carry Me,” his best track. The song progresses in two parts, the season, and carry me, the cry for his mother, all over Dillatronic-like funk feels. .Paak has a knack for a narrative arch, for sharing a dark story without transferring a feeling of anger to the listener (@Future). This attitude, these funky beats and these gospel features create a hopeful, yet honest, piece of art.

    Back to Dillo, though – wake up with “Put Me Thru” as you bounce onto the day’s activities with this upbeat track’s heavy funk influences. “Milk N’ Honey” off the 2014 Venice can spice up your pregame, blending harder rap feels and his smooth voice in this reference to Exodus 3:8, “a land flowing with milk and honey.” If you want more rap, check out “Money on Me” with Snakehips.

    Once you’re fully pumped and sufficiently high energy, belt it out with .Paak.

    “Room in Here” will serve well as a a Dillo Day hookup jam ("I want you by my lonesome / above this crowded space"). The beat keeps you swinging back in your r&b feels, and .Paak's first verse pushes the song forward. For a slower jam, hit up “Silicon Valley” despite the unbelievably corny chorus.

    Head out to the Lakefill with a full appreciation of .Paak’s musical crossover and depth in his lyrics. In a few years, you’ll be bragging that you heard him live first.


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