Anderson .Paak Flexes On A New Dr. Dre Production (Audio)

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Hi. We recently created AFH TV, Ambrosia For Heads’ streaming video service, because we believe real Hip-Hop deserves its own dedicated TV home, but we need your help to make it great. Please subscribe to AFH TV. It is only $1.99/month or $12/year, and already features some amazing content, but the best is yet to come. Thank you for all of your support.

Anderson .Paak fans have just one week to wait for Oxnard (November 16) and have already received some musical offerings from him prior to the Aftermath Entertainment LP’s release. The MC/singer/drummer/producer’s latest showcase is single, “Who R U?” With a beat by Dr. Dre and Mell Beet, it marks the first post-signing track that belongs to Andy and also carries Andre production. For many Heads, this was  chemistry they have been waiting to experience.

Less than six months before Paak signed with Aftermath or released his Grammy-nominated, beloved Malibu, the two worked together at length on Dre’s 2015 LP, Compton.

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“Who R U?” may not sound as many expect a Dre song to be. For .Paak, who is a drummer with the Free Nationals band, the song is built around hard-hitting percussion. There is a layer of drum patterns that the MC flexes over. As he did for Snoop Dogg and Eminem, Dre lends his guest vocal to some interplay as the track builds. Andy lets all know that this has been on his vision board for well over a decade:

They want my bid’ness on the front page (headlines) / I put prescription into your frames (sunshine) / I had the vision back in 12th grade (lunchtime) / That I’d be killing sh*t with Doc Dre (ni**a, what?)” With Dre throwing the words in parentheses, this one is about making dreams come true and showing off the chemistry.

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When the song gets to the first verse, Paak spits, “How many more drags do I have to puff from my cigar? / New enemies they bringing my old ways back / Back in my day, woulda’ had your whole face smacked / Look at you ni**as, wonder why I f*cking hate Rap / Oh, what make you wanna go say that? (yo!) / And I’m on another wave / And I’m f*cking on suede / Ni**as feeling overpaid, ‘f*ck I’m supposed to do?’ / Don’t nobody know your name / We ain’t ever seen ya face / You ain’t ever gang-bang / What you tryna prove?” For an artist who pays dues for years and years, it feels good to be on top.

That spirit is alive in the second (and final) verse of “Who R U?” as well. “I’ve been swimming through the process / And you can’t see me, I’m the Loch Ness / You could proceed, but with caution / Give the proceeds to my God-kids / Old dirt on my conscience / Same ni**a my pop is / Lame ni**as wanna pop sh*t, get drop-kicked by a dropkick.” Perhaps the song title suggests that Anderson .Paak has changed with his fame, associations, and Dre connection. However, his lyrics suggest otherwise.

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The tracklist for Oxnard was revealed late last month, and it features 14 songs and a slew of superstar features including Dre, along with J. Cole, Q-Tip, Pusha-T, Snoop Dogg, BJ the Chicago Kid, Norelle, and Kadhja Bonet, among others. Reportedly, one of the LP’s additional Dre contributions is a beat he built that started from Madlib. Mell Beets, who co-produces “Who R U?” with Dre, is a Watts, California product who has also worked with Aftermath’s Jon Connor.

Following Kendrick Lamar-assisted collabo video single “Tints,” this is just the second glimpse of Oxnard. Notably, “Bubblin’,” which many fans believed was the first LP single, is not included. Former Aftermath artist Busta Rhymes appeared on that song’s official remix to the high-powered video spot.

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#BonusBeat: The just-released video to “Beauty & Essex” by Free Nationals, featuring Daniel Caesar and Unknown Mortal Orchestra: