As my team and I were traveling to Austin for SXSW, my colleague Chris Kane brought something to my attention that I never even thought about. He asked “is Anderson Paak the new D’Angelo?” At first I looked at him like he was crazy, then I gave it a second thought. I think that he may be right. Think about if for a second if you will, listen to the flow of both artist and style and you can hear the resemblance. Sure D’angelo was more of an RnB artist than hip hop, but can you really say that Anderson Paak is purely a hip hop artist? Of course not, you could not put him in a box just as you could not put D’Angelo in a box. Let’s not forget to mention that both artist can fall into the MC/producer lane as well. Both artist can play multiple instruments including the drums which both may be more notable for.
As a fan of good music it is good to listen to artist that don’t allow themselves to be defined by others. Just because you look a certain way does not mean that your style has to reflect that image. Both artist even had their own bands that they came up with. D’Angelo’s band was “The Vanguard” and Anderson Paak has “The Free Nationals.”
So in closing, moving forward take this into consideration. Are we seeing the new era of D’Angelo? Perhaps D’Angelo 2.0 as we are in a different age of music where you can reach a different audience much faster and for the record, “Malibu” should have won a grammy just as D’Angelo should have won a grammy for “Brown Sugar.”