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Anderson .Paak Drops Lead Single, Track List For Upcoming 'Ventura'
Just over a month since taking home his first GRAMMY for "Bubblin," Southern California-bred hip-hop artist Anderson .Paak is ready to give the world some fresh jams. Early this morning, March 15, he shared the upbeat, celebratory lead single, "King James," from his upcoming fourth studio album Ventura, due out April 12.
"King James" is classic .Paak, beginning with horns and a slow, bouncing beat that sets the tone as he opens, "We've been through it all, thought it could be worse." The song, as the name implies, offers a nod to NBA champ LeBron James, who opened a public school in his hometown last fall, as well as to activist and former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
"Now I'm not much for games / But I play for keeps / And we salute King James for using his change / to create some equal opportunities," .Paak raps.
It is the seventh song on the 11-song album, whose track list (check it out below) he revealed on Twitter yesterday. It is rife with hot features across generations and styles; GRAMMY winners André 3000, Smokey Robinson, Lalah Hathaway and Brandy all make appearances. Rising songwriter/rapper/singer Sonyae Elise, who worked with .Paak on 2016's "Room In Here," also has a feature, as well as GRAMMY nominees Jazmine Sullivan and Nate Dogg, who appears posthumously.
.Paak spoke to Billboard about Ventura on Feb. 27, the same day he announced the album and his upcoming tour: "Growing up in Oxnard gave me the grit and the church to find this voice of mine. One town over I went further and found my depth."
He added: "The duality of each place inspired me greatly and from that I made two albums at the exact same time but held one back because that would have been too many songs to perform live for you all! I like ending things on an even number so welcome to Ventura."
Oxnard, his third studio album, was the third installment of .Paak's "beach trilogy," an idea he envisioned back in high school in Oxnard, Calif. His first LP was titled Venice and released in October 2014. All three names are nods to cities near Los Angeles, Calif.
Earlier this year at the 61st GRAMMY Awards, he earned his first GRAMMY win for Best Rap Performance for "Bubblin," a non-album single he dropped in May 2018. He was first nominated at the 59th GRAMMY Awards for Best New Artist and for Best Urban Contemporary Album for his sophomore effort, Malibu.
Following the release of Ventura, .Paak will be embarking on the Best Teef In The Game Tour, with dates across Europe and Northern America. The North American leg kicks off on May 17 in Nashville, Tenn. after several U.S. festival appearances, including Coachella.