Dr. Dre is arguably the most influential mogul to ever exist in the hip-hop world and is responsible for helping dozens of artists gain superstar status. Eminem, 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, The Game and Kendrick Lamar are all examples of rappers who owe a big part of their success to the endorsement and guidance of Dr. Dre. Recently Dre decided to set his eyes on singer-songwriter-­instrumentalist Anderson .Paak.

 

Anderson .Paak, originally Brandon Paak Anderson, formally known as Breezy LoveJoy is our must know artist of 2016. After being recruited by Dr. Dre for his motion picture inspired album, COMPTON, Paak has dropped an album, made his television debut on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (see below), and collaborated with the likes of SchoolBoy Q, Game, Talib Kweli, and BJ The Chicago Kid.

The California native has a unique style & sound which is extremely rare in today’s hip-hop industry where artists seem to all sound the same and mimic each other’s blueprints in order to sell records and gain followers. By mixing his raspy vocals with jazzy hip-hop beats and strong lyrical content, Paak has been able to create his own sound and niche. He’s also not your ordinary rapper, he’s an extremely skilled drummer, producer, vocalist and songwriter. Here’s his television debut on The Late Show where he not only sings and raps, but also hops on the drums while doing both. Insane.

 

 

Before his fame, Paak was inspired by various genres, cultures and time periods. In 2013, Paak produced and recorded Cover Art, an all-covers EP. Paak was inspired by the white artists of the 1950s who achieved commercial success by remaking songs written by African-American blues and R&B singers while hardly ever compensating the original artists. Cover Art reversed the process and transformed folk and rock classics from white musicians into a mold of soul, jazz, hip hop, and R&B. This creative project is absolutely genius and you can listen to one of my personal favourite tracks, a remix of Seven Nation Army originally by The White Stripes below:

 

 

Most recently on January 15th, Anderson .Paak released Malibu, his second commercial album which is an incredible balance of Jazz, Hip-Hop, R&B, and Soul. The importance of Balance… ironic right?  It’s hard to recommend any song in particular but my personal favourites are Room in Here, Am I Wrong, The Season|Carry Me, and Silicon Valley. With that said, if you have the time I strongly recommend listening to the whole album front to back as it flows incredibly well and is perfect for setting the mood during a long drive. It’s available on Spotify or you can listen to it via YouTube below:

 

 

With all that said, Anderson .Paak is still very unknown to the average person. So take the time to go through his music and you can be that person who says “Oh I knew him before he was famous!” when he eventually blows up and is a household name. If there’s one thing that can be said about Dr. Dre, it’s that he has an unparalleled ability to spot talent and help them achieve success. With Dre’s musical connections and wisdom, the sky’s the limit for Anderson .Paak in 2016.