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Hi.

Welcome to Rob Hakimian’s website, collecting together the best of his writing from over the years.

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Anderson .Paak - Malibu

[Steel Wool/Art Club/OBE/Empire]

Prior to releasing Malibu, and kicking off an incredible 2016 for himself, Anderson .Paak was a mid-level rapper from California who originally released music as Breezy Lovejoy. Malibu is the second album under his Anderson .Paak moniker, which is much closer to his real name (Brandon Paak Anderson) and also gets much closer to his reality and true self. The most refreshing thing about Malibu is that compared to most other rappers around at the moment (and including .Paak’s other work), it is a humble, honest and thankful work. Here we get a sense of .Paak growing up, as a lover, a family man and, through it all, the life of the party.

Throughout Malibu there are several songs about love, and .Paak and his co-producers seem to have figured out the perfect way to create vibrant songs that show off his vocal abilities and his tenderness, while keeping the album highly charged and fully danceable. The sadness of “Heart Don’t Stand A Chance” is offset by the sudden bubbles of “champagne falling down” that cascade out gorgeously. Devotions to beautiful women are common, but much less vulgar and more honourable than most hip-hop tropes would have you think; he praises their fortitude and support on “Put Me Thru” and “Without You”; he puts youthful beauty on a pedestal in “Your Prime”; and he and The Game delightfully recount a high-electricity connection in “Room In Here.” Sometimes all he needs is a party, and the song “Come Down” practically sounds like a field recording from a rowdy house party, complete with shift-stepping beat and a hooks about someone having drunk all his liquor.

But the best moments of Malibu are when .Paak gets honest and in touch with his history, unafraid to fully describe his less-than-glamorous upbringing and praise his mother for the job she did. On 2-part “The Season/Carry Me” he goes full-on self-praise while admitting he’s been very lucky, then the song flips into its more contemplative second half filled with asides of “Momma can you carryme?” The album’s 2 bookends are the best examples of .Paak’s humility and nodding to his past. Starting with “The Bird,” where Paak discusses the patience and perseverance he had to have through his childhood, then the song takes a turn for the beautiful with the verse: “My sister used to sing to Whitney / My mama caught the gambling bug / We came up in a lonely castle / My papa was behind them bars / We never had to want for nothing / Said all we ever need is love.” This is only topped on the closing track, “The Dreamer,” which has the ascendant and joyous chorus:

“This one's for all the little dreamers
And the ones who never gave a fuck
I'm a product of the tube and the free lunch
Living room, watching old reruns
And who cares your daddy couldn't be here?
Mama always kept the cable on
I'm a product of the tube and the free lunch
Living room, watching old reruns.”

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Below you can see my top 50 albums of the year list.

50| Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith - EARS
49| Thee Oh Sees - A Weird Exits
48| Daughter - Not To Disappear
47| The Avalanches - Wildflower
46| Beyonce - Lemonade
45| Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool
44| Gold Panda - Good Luck and Do Your Best
43| James Blake - The Colour In Anything
42| Lambchop - FLOTUS
41| Ty Segall - Emotional Mugger
40| Nothing - Tired Of Tomorrow
39| Camp Cope - Camp Cope
38| Cymbals Eat Guitars - Pretty Years
37| Aphex Twin - Cheetah EP
36| Mary Lattimore - At The Dam
35| Woods - City Sun Eater In The River Of Light
34| White Lung - Paradise
33| Solange - A Seat At The Table
32| Wild Beasts - Boy King
31| Danny Brown - Atrocity Exhibition
30| Marissa Nadler - Strangers
29| Weyes Blood - Front Row Seat To Earth
28| Kevin Morby - Singing Saw
27| Kendrick Lamar - untitled unmastered.
26| Whitney - Light Upon The Lake
25| Kedr Livanskiy - January Sun
24| Frankie Cosmos - Next Thing
23| Steve Gunn - Eyes On The Lines
22| Pantha du Prince - The Triad
21| Cass McCombs - Mangy Love
20| Cavern of Anti-Matter - void beats/invocation trex
19| Olga Bell - Tempo
18| Chairlift - Moth
17| Mitski - Puberty 2
16| Anderson .Paak - Malibu
15| Underworld - Barbara, Barbara we face a shining future
14| Xenia Rubinos - Black Terry Cat
13| Savages - Adore Life
12| DIIV - Is The Is Are
11| Frank Ocean - Blonde
10| Jenny Hval - Blood Bitch
09| MONEY - Suicide Songs
08| Car Seat Headrest - Teens of Denial
07| A Tribe Called Quest - We Got It From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service
06| Nicolas Jaar - Sirens
05| Angel Olsen - My Woman
04| Parquet Courts - Human Performance
03| Preoccupations - Preoccupations
02| ANOHNI - Hopelessness
01| Blood Orange - Freetown Sound

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