Anderson .Paak finally announced what was considered inevitable by most. On Saturday, the singer-rhymer revealed that he had officially signed with Aftermath Entertainment, appearing in a short video with Dr. Dre who said “I want y’all to say what’s up to the new Aftermath representative.”
.Paak’s decision to go with Dre and Aftermath was a foregone conclusion after he came through and stole the show on Compton, the legendary producer’s long-awaited return to music. The Oxnard, CA born artist was featured on six of the albums 16 tracks. .Paak followed up his showing there by releasing Link Up & Suede, a collaborative EP with producer Knxwledge, and more recently, his own solo effort, Malibu, which was well received by most.
The biggest catch to joining Aftermath would be the label’s lack of success when it comes to furthering the careers of its artists and moving them out of Dre’s looming shadow. As XXL pointed out, the ‘Math has managed to put out 22 albums over the course of its 19 year existence. The majority of those projects were actually ones for Eminem, 50 Cent and Dre himself and, factoring out their work, that would leave eight projects total. Safe to say the odds aren’t exactly in .Paak’s favor here.
By now, many know how .Paak worked his way up from the bottom, going from couch surfing with his wife and kid to inching his way up to where he’s at now. Working under Beats boss can only help him grow as a musician. “I definitely can see the difference in the vocal production working with him versus working by myself,” .Paak told Cuepoint. “When I listen to “Animals” or “All in a Days Work,” you can tell there’s a difference in the energy and that’s the main thing he likes to get across. I had never heard myself like that before.”
And, according to Anderson, Dre’s eased up on the high level of expectations and pressure he’s typically put on himself in the past. “You hear people say ‘Dre’s a super perfectionist’ and he is. He knows what he wants, he’s going to grind to get it, but I feel like he is in a different mode right now. It’s cool to be able to work with him and his level of artistry. He doesn’t seemed pressed for making that million dollar hook, or anything but making good music, creative music.
For his sake and our listening pleasure, let’s hope that holds true, otherwise Malibu may have to hold us over for quite a long time.