Anderson .Paak’s New Song Celebrates LeBron James For His Activism (Audio)
Life is too short to listen to bad music. So…let Ambrosia For Heads fight through it for you and only supply you with that great stuff. Despite the reports, Hip-Hop is alive and well and, in many ways, is better than it’s ever been. Not only are we able to go back and listen to all of our favorites, at the click of a button, there is also a ton of great music still being made by artists, young and veteran alike…if you know where to look. To help with that task, we’ve created a playlist with recent music—songs that have been released within the last year or so. We update it regularly, so, if you like what you hear, subscribe to follow us on Spotify.
2018 was a pivotal year for Anderson .Paak. Last November, .Paak paid homage to his California hometown with the Dr. Dre-executive produced album, Oxnard, with features from Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, Pusha T, J. Cole, and Q-Tip. Additionally, .Paak wrapped up the year with a Grammy win for his Oxnard preceding loosie single, “Bubblin,” in a tie with Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar, Future, and James Blake’s “King’s Dead,” from the K-Dot-helmed collaborative project, Black Panther: The Album.
Just two weeks after his Grammy nod, .Paak announced the release of a brand new project, Ventura, and his biggest national tour schedule to date. This week, the man formerly known as Breezy LoveJoy unveiled a studded tracklist for the album with guest appearances from Andre 3000, the late Nate Dogg, Smokey Robinson, Brandy, and Sonyae Elise. In anticipation for the record, The Free Nationals front-man drops his first track, “King James.”
The mood for his latest single is chocked full of Soul and Jazz influences that .Paak has been praised for. “King James” is a labor of love to push through troubling times, and Anderson makes his point heard as he takes an empowering political twist on a funky, plush production. .Paak sings, “We’ve been through it all, though it could be worse / We’ve been moved around in a state of alert / There’s nothing new or sharp about the cutting edge / If they build a wall, let’s jump the fence, I’m over this.”
Saluting the activism displayed by professional athletes like Colin Kaepernick, Eric Reid, and more, .Paak interpolates NBA All-Star LeBron James into the record, becoming the catalyst for the change .Paak is seeking in the world. He continues, “We couldn’t stand to see our children shot dead in the streets / But when I finally took a knee / Them crackers took me out the league / 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.”
The song is produced by Callum and Kiefer, who did “Smile / Pretty” on last year’s Oxnard. Anderson .Paak is set to release his fourth studio album, Ventura, April 12. It will be through Dre’s Aftermath in conjunction with Doug Morris’ 12 Tone Music.
In addition to new music from Anderson .Paak, the official AFH playlist includes songs from Billy Danze, 2 Chainz, J. Cole, Nas, Atmosphere, Boogie, Eminem, Big K.R.I.T., Pharoahe Monch, Denzel Curry, Benny The Butcher, Masta Ace & Marco Polo, Apollo Brown & Joell Ortiz, Drake, AZ, Bun B, Wu-Tang Clan, Evidence, and others.