“I hope this key opens up Toppers Pizza, pizza and tacos for the rest of my life, Yes Lawd!” Anderson .Paak said after receiving the key to the city of his hometown of Oxnard from Mayor Tim Flynn, thanking the artist for his contributions to the community. Anderson .Paak, the stage name of Brandon Anderson, was receiving the key at “Andy’s Carnival,” an event that took place on Nov. 17 at the park outside the Oxnard Performing Arts and Convention Center (PACC).
The carnival was in celebration of Anderson’s third album, Oxnard, titled after his hometown. The lines were long throughout the festivities for games and rides that people of all ages were enjoying. Local DJs from 95.9 spun hip-hop tunes, and Salzer’s Records sold copies of the album. Members of the Oxnard City Council also declared that November 16, 2018, would officially be “Anderson .Paak Day,” which got a rise out of the large crowd.
After the ceremony, Anderson in his signature orange beanie went on to sign copies of his new album for a large line of fans before returning to the stage to give away headphones
from Beats (who sponsored the event). He then hopped in a golf cart to prepare for the Live Listening event that was happening in the PACC’s auditorium.
After a long delay due to sound issues, with fans outside anxious and annoyed that there were no outside bathrooms, the doors opened and the crowd (which included Anderson’s friends and family) piled in. Media personality Karen Civil hosted a discussion with the artist.
“I worked really hard on this album. It’s my baby,” said Anderson. “I gotta bring out my co-pilot. Make some noise for Dr. Dre.”
Dr. Dre, who produced Oxnard and signed Anderson to his label, came out to an absurd amount of cheers from the audience and sat down next to Anderson for a Q&A.
“Anderson in my opinion is putting Oxnard on the map,” the legendary rapper and record producer acknowledged. “It reminds me of when I started out and no one knew what Compton was.”
Anderson noted that the two built a great relationship while working together. He also explained to the audience that while he used to perform as Breezy Love Joy, after meeting Dr. Dre he realized that he wanted to go by his own name, Anderson, and pay homage to his Korean heritage by adding .Paak. When asked which producers inspired him, Anderson cited Q-Tip and Oxnard legend Madlib (both of whom were involved with Oxnard).
After a screening of a documentary about Anderson made by his foundation, .Paakhouse, it was revealed that Anderson and his band, the Free Nationals, would perform. The 14-song set included several of the artist’s older hits, as well as live debuts of the new songs “6 summers,” “Tints,” and “Who R U?” The band included a horn section and renowned bassist Thundercat, and Anderson himself jammed at times on the drums. During the performance, the band teased “The Next Episode,” a song by Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, which brought Dre out from the sidelines and onto the stage.
Judging by the way the crowd sang just about every word back to Anderson, it was clear that Oxnard loved him just as much as he loved the city.