Anderson .Paak’s New Album Will Have A Beat By Madlib & Dr. Dre
On Anderson .Paak’s Grammy-nominated 2016 Malibu album, the Oxnard, California singer, MC, producer, and drummer worked with a who’s who of great Hip-Hop producers. 9th Wonder shared production billing on the debut double-single “The Season / Carry Me” with Callum Connor. “Room In Here” was handled by Pac Div’s Like, who was already recognized for his Grammy-winning beats for Kendrick Lamar. Single “Come Down” came courtesy of Reflection Eternal’s Hi-Tek. In addition to KAYTRANADA, DJ Khalil, and Paak taking the reigns on tracks, Madlib was responsible for “The Waters” (embedded below) with a feature from BJ The Chicago Kid.
In the more than two-and-a-half-years since Malibu, Anderson .Paak has released NxWorries’ full-length (with partner Knxledge), signed with Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment, and worked with Chance The Rapper, ScHoolboy Q, and A Tribe Called Quest.
In making his third Anderson .Paak solo LP, Oxnard (keeping the city theme originated on 2015’s Venice), the versatile talent is keeping Madlib in the mix, as well as new mentor, Dr. Dre.
Speaking to Rolling Stone‘s Brendan Klinkenberg, Anderson described having two of music’s most respected (and yet elusive) producers on his major label debut, and working on the same song.
Of Dre, Paak explains, “He’s not gonna just be up there with an MPC making it from scratch. He’s gonna get this person in the room, he’s gonna get that person in the room, and he’s gonna guide the whole session. And then once it leaves his hands, when he puts his name on it, it’s not gonna be like anything else. Every little thing is gonna be perfect.” Heads got a taste of Anderson and Andre’s chemistry on 2015’s Compton album—before the Free Nationals drummer signed with Dre’s label. Dre is executive producing the LP, and according to early reports, has a heavy hand in the LP—at a time when Dre did no beats for Eminem’s Kamikaze LP on Shady/Aftermath last week.
Notably, Anderson .Paak reveals in the interview that he has still yet to meet Madlib, despite both repping Oxnard. Additionally, A.P.’s NxWorries act is signed to Stones Throw Records, a label that may be as associated with Madlib as it is with its founder, Peanut Butter Wolf. “Nope. The way I get all my Madlib beats is through another rapper from Oxnard, and he’s kind of, like, my liaison. He sent me this one, the one that I’ve got on the album, it didn’t even sound… Like, I could tell it was Madlib from the jump, but it sounded different from what I was used to,” reveals .Paak. “And Madlib, he’ll send the beat, right? And usually, if you get the beat, that’s it. You’re not gonna get the different stems, so you don’t have the opportunity to switch around their sound or whatever.” However, Madlib made exception when it was revealed that Dre would be working on the same track. “So, that was one of the instances where we just had the beat, and then when it came time to mix, Dre was like, ‘Yo we need the stems.’ ‘Cause Dre’s mixing the whole album. And I was like, ‘F*ck, man, we couldn’t get the stems from Madlib.’ We told him we would have to re-do the whole track. The next day, we got the stems.”
Madlib’s late JayLib partner, J. Dilla, worked with Dre and Aftermath on Busta Rhymes’ Big Bang album. As for Anderson, he notes, “I’m truly grateful to be able to have something like that on the album, to have something where Dre and Madlib were working simultaneously on something. The epitome, man.”
Rolling Stone‘s feature with Anderson .Paak.
#BonusBeat: “The Waters” featuring BJ The Chicago Kid and produced by Madlib: