Monday, August 10, 2015

Introducing Dr. Dre's New Compton Crew | The Funked Up Experimental Soul Sounds of Anderson .Paak


Anderson .Paak - Venice (2014)
Purchase at Itunes 

  
We aren't going out on much of a limb stating the Dr. Dre's new album Compton: A Soundtrack is dope as AF. Two things strike us as interesting about the album though. 

First, although traces of the Dre signature west coast G Funk sound can be found, this album is strikingly experimental in the production and song writing. We are forced to speculate whether the boundary pushing Kendrick Lamar has something to do with this. Needless to say, the album is sonically and thematically pleasing.

Second, other than the three KDot joints, Compton is stunningly absent the blockbuster names and usual suspects. Sure, Snoop, Cube, Em, and X to tha Z get some shine on a few tracks but nothing like the the power contributions on the Chronic 1 & 2. 


Dre is known for his loyalty to a group of homies that have been down since day 1 or 2 ("welcome to death row") such as Hittman, the D.O.C., King T, Daz, Kurupt, Nate Dogg, Mel-Man, and RBX among others. We love all of the usual suspects but we get the sense that Dr. Andre Young felt a little "Been There, Done That" and purposefully decided to go with some new blood in order to conjure up some new magic potions to "keep our heads ringin'" (see what I did there?).

I mean, what else should we expect from the genius that threw Snoop upside our heads in '92 and scared the shit out of us with Em in '99. Andre's ear for samples and melodies is only matched by his eye for talent.

This new Compton crew is much more indie and experimental than his previous Negus With Attitudes. The youngn's more than capitalize on their big break and provide the biggest contributions to one of the best albums of 2015. Fuck Detox... it probably would've been tired and boring anyway.


So let's introduce you to the leaders of the new school:

1. King Mez (North Carolina)

North Carolina native, King Mez (born Morris Wayne Ricks II), has been doin his thing for a minute collaborating with mainstream stars like J. Cole, underground legends like 9th Wonder, Rapper Big Pooh, and Phonte and indie young bucks such as Khrysis, Thee Thom Hardy, Carlitta Durand, Tab One, and Nickelus F.

2. Justus (Dallas, Texas)

Dallas, Texas native (the Dallas suburb of Garland to be exact) and the new Aftermath white boy Justus (born Justin Mohrle) has been an integral part of one of the dopest hip hop collectives in Texas, the Brain Gang, alongside Blue, the Misfit, Cash'Mir, Sam Lao. The Brain Gang is part of a larger Dallas hip hop movement that includes Ad.D+, Sore Losers, Dustin Cavazos, Leon the Professional and The Mohicans


It looks as if, Mohrle has scrubbed the internet of almost all of his previous material but we have located a few tracks that we will make available later this week. In the meantime, you may want to get familiar with these other Dallas artists because (a) they are fucking dope and (b) the flashing lights that JT has followed are likely to shine some new light on this Dallas movement. 

As far as we can tell, Mohrle was introduced to Dr. Young through one of those OGs that's been a (maybe the) key ingredient to everything the Doctor has concocted since the N.W.A. days - the legendary D.O.C. (who is also a Dallas native). 

In case you intend on getting your google on, it is important to know that Justus has been recording and performing under various name - JT or Love, JT or BrainGangJT.

3. Jon Connor (Flint, Michigan) & BJ the Chicago Kid (Surpise! Chicago, Illinois)

Jon Connor and BJ the Chicago Kid should be relatively household names to most hip hop heads. Connor is one of the dopest MCs of the freshman class generation and has put out a plethora of material which we will post later this week as well.


4. Anderson .Paak (Los Angeles)


Arguably the dopest and most creative of the new Compton crew is the Los Angeles based singer, songwriter, drummer, rapper, producer savant - Anderson .Paak


Born Brandon Anderson Paak in Oxnard, Ca in 1986 (the hometown of Stones Throw legends Madlib and Oh No), .Paak has been performing under the alias Breezy Lovejoy and has collaborated with some underground giants such as Blu, John Wayne, Knxwledge, Tokimonsta, michael uzowuruWatsky, Shafiq Husayn, and Thundercat. 




In 2014, Rolling Stone Magazine listed .Paak as one of the 10 artist needed to know for the month November.


Brandon's solo material will be a little surprising to new fans. The Compton tracks he is featured on present a harder edge of .Paak. He holds his own (more like excels) as he trades verses with KDot & Eminem and rides the deep G Funked base lines and dark melodies on tracks like "Genocide," "Deep Water," and "Medicine Man." .Paak's solo material blends lighter experimental electronic sounds with a jazzy funked up soul vibe and some occasional good 'ol boom bap. 



Anderson .Paak - Cover Art (2013) 


"I'd been watching documentaries about early rock where white artists took 'race records' from blues and soul musicians to achieve mass appeal," says  Paak, "I wanted to flip that and do an EP covering only white artists. These are all soul songs that mean a lot to me, but I wanted to add more grease. The goal was to hold its weight or be better." 
"Paak's vision of R&B fits more comfortably alongside peers Frank Ocean and Miguel and their immediate predecessors, D'Angelo and Sa-Ra. In fact, Shafiq Husayn of Sa-Ra served as both mentor and life raft when Paak fell on hard times in 2011." LA Weekly

Here is how StonesThrow.com describes .Paak:
"Anderson.Paak is one of the most amazing young vocalists in R&B right now in our humble opinion. He’s also worked under the name “Breezy Lovejoy” and his credits go beyond vocalist – songwriter, drummer, producer and an incredible live performer. His solo album Venice was just released. His production formed much of Watsky’s All You Can Do (2014).

Anderson .Paak - Lovejoy (2012) 


"I just want people to be affected by the music." 

"I'm really affected by my surroundings and put everything in my music -- what I'm not getting and what I desire. I want it to be uncompromised ... almost a spiritual thing." - LA Weekly


Anderson .Paak - O.B.E. Vol. 1 (2012) 
Purchase @ Bandcamp


Get with Mr. .Paak on the internets:
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