When news broke that Anderson .Paak enlisted Motown legend Smokey Robinson for his forthcoming Ventura album, it became one of the talked about records of 2019. Their collaboration “Make It Better,” has finally surfaced, and it’s a majestic clash of two different generations of rhythm and blues.
The groovy number sports an incredibly infectious bass-driven melody that alludes Robinson played a key role in guiding the song’s lyrical content.
Some of the metaphors and references like “give each other new instructions on what makes us feel good now” could be plucked out and place into a record of Robinson’s from decades ago.
.Paak shared what it was like connecting with Robinson in the studio. “He’s still got it. He came through. He said, ‘You gotta make it nice, baby. You gotta say something sweet to her, baby. If you want her to fall in love, you gotta make love to her with your words, man,’” said the recent Grammy winner to Beats 1 host Zane Lowe.
Robinson is one of five elite stars on .Paak’s follow-up to 2018’s Oxnard. André 3000, Jazmine Sullivan, Brandy, Nate Dogg, and Lalah Hathaway are all featured on the new work that arrives on April 12 via Aftermath Entertainment.
.Paak will take music from Ventura and Oxnard to Coachella later this month. On May 20, he will hit the road for his Best Teef In The Game Tour, with special guests Jessie Reyez, Earl Sweatshirt, Noname, and Mac DeMarco. The first show starts in Nashville.
In August, .Paak will play the Outside Lands Festival and Made in America Festival on Labor Day weekend.
Watch the romantic video for .Paak’s epic collaboration with Smokey Robinson below.