Anderson .Paak: All Teef, No Beef

Over the last three years or so, Anderson. Paak has taken the music industry by storm and his success is long overdue. At the age of 33, .Paak is already a veteran and has been involved in the music industry in one way or another for about 15 years. However, to some, it may seem like his success came out of nowhere. Being the protégé of a legend like Dr. Dre automatically grants you a bit of sway in the building, but Paak has long been an artist that paved his own lane in popular music, sporting his own set of values, crafted by his inspiring history.

Background

.Paak is a native of Oxnard, in Ventura County, California. He grew up in a rocky household, where his father, a military veteran, went to prison for almost 15 years for drug and domestic abuse. He documents this story on his song “The Bird.” His mother, the owner of a produce business, raised him and his little sister entirely on her own. At age six he began to develop a love for rap music. Around age 12, he began playing the drums, only to learn that he was a natural. It was also around this time that his god sister took him to church for the first time.

Over the next decade and a half, .Paak would find himself working odd jobs just to make ends meet, while working on pursuing his music dreams. Through one of these jobs, working in a mental institution, he learned the value of treating people kindly. This work increased ten-fold when he met his wife and they had their first child, Soul. During this time he was forced to sit on the sidelines to watch other peers of his succeed: “"It was taking forever. I had no direction, and I was just watching all these people pop off. Cole, Drake, Kendrick, all these people were the same age as me. Nobody wanted to fuck with me. Nobody wanted to hear me.”

He released a number of projects under the name Breezy Lovejoy before changing his stage name to Anderson .Paak and held a number of music related jobs, including playing drums for Hailey Reinhart. After his project Yes Lawd! with NxWxrries, he caught the attention of Dr. Dre and began to cultivate a relationship that would go on to provide his big break. .Paak saw success with his Malibu project, but it wasn’t until Oxnard, executive produced by Dr. Dre, that his career really began to skyrocket.

Current Music and Associated Acts

.Paak truly provides a sonic refreshment for people that are a fan of soul and funk music, but also love the current spectrum of rap, hip-hop and R&B. He bridges the genres together seamlessly. AllMusic describes his music as “a series of prismatic albums with hybrids of contemporary soul, funk, hip-hop, and left-field pop underpinning fantastical escapades and personal reflections related with a cutting sense of humor.” He proves that he can go back and forth between more soulful, narrative tracks like “Jet Black” to upbeat funky tracks like “Come Down” to energetic rap tracks like his Grammy-winning song, “Bubblin’.” One of .Paak’s closest friends was the late Mac Miller, for whom he made the track “Cheers” from his album, Oxnard.

.Paak is one of the best names in music right now. Not just because of his unique style, amazing stage presence and performances and great teeth, but also because he’s incredibly unproblematic. The only “beef” he’s had was with Lil Yachty, kind of, and a fake beef with Anthony Fantano. The Yachty beef was a reaction to Yachty saying that he didn’t know much about Tupac and Biggie’s music, not really a beef at all. People speak incredibly positively about him and his music has an air of positivity and camaraderie within it.

.Paak’s attitude fits in with the current spectrum of black music that seeks to reduce the beef and to create an air of positivity and friendship within music and the community.

video Block
Double-click here to add a video by URL or embed code. Learn more
Azaria Brown