Song of the Day: Anderson .Paak’s “Make It Better” (With Smokey Robinson)

Anderson .Paak performs at Coachella. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella)
Anderson .Paak performs at Coachella. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella)
Getty Images for Coachella

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It’s not like we’re sitting around waiting for Anderson .Paak to blow up. The guy already has a Grammy Award to his name, so he doesn’t have anything to prove to anybody. Then again, his 2018 release, Oxnard, wasn’t quite the critical darling his 2016 album, Malibu, was. So maybe he does have something to show?

Whatever the case, Ventura is out now, and it sounds exactly like an extravagant night out in 1977. Complete with Dr. Dre production that makes you think the good doctor went and dug through the crates of records he has hidden away in one of his mansions, searching for the sound that influenced him in his post-NWA days. So you get Paak, everybody from André 3000 to Brandy and Nate Dogg guesting, and some real G Funkish sounding AM grooves playing behind them.

And then you have the song above. Paak teaming up with Mr. Quiet Storm, Smokey Robinson. Which is really sort of a big deal. It’s a future legend teaming up with an actual Motown legend, one of the all-time greats. The result is something along the lines of the time when Snoop Dogg got Stevie Wonder and Pharrell Williams to guest with him on a track. It’s the old and new making something timeless, the kind of thing where you really can’t go wrong.


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