Shortly after the release of 2018’s Oxnard, Anderson .Paak began teasing another project, with ‘King James’ being the first preview for the upcoming Ventura. As listeners have come to expect, .Paak’s delivery on this single is rhythmic and delivered confidently and with his typical vocal charisma and honesty.
The beat and melody are equally well crafted with an infectious synth bassline setting the tone for the rest of the track, featuring triumphant horns, subtle nostalgic electric piano, and gospel backing vocals, all of which shows the influences .Paak takes from a bygone era of groove and funk.
The song covers many topical issues, a slight change from .Paak’s normally cheerful work. Its title is a direct reference to NBA athlete LeBron James’ philanthropic work in underprivileged communities, and .Paak also references other prominent racial conflicts.
‘King James’ is an enjoyable track, for both the established fan as well as the casual listener: its lyrics are well-written, and .Paak’s signature laid-back delivery craft an anthem for hope – even if it lacks the urgency of other protest tracks.
Image: Julio Enriquez via Flickr