Anderson .Paak is having a moment. His third album Malibu followed a spotlight position as a frequently featured artist on Dr. Dre’s long-anticipated album Compton, and between those two projects he’s riding high in 2016. .Paak is a child of the west and an instrumentalist in every sense of the word, often leading his band The Free Nationals from behind the drum kit while rapping and singing. .Paak and his band brought their impeccable groove to NPR’s signature Tiny Desk concert, and the resulting three song set is one of the funkiest (and dirtiest) to ever grace the office.
Part of the reason the Tiny Desk concert is so compelling is because it reveals the remarkable sense of improvisation the group works within — you have not experienced Anderson .Paak until you’ve seen him live. I recently saw him live for the first time at New York’s Panorama Festival and the only performance that even came close to his set was Kendrick Lamar’s video-heavy mic drop.
During the clip .Paak calls the band “his only friends” and while that may be a joke, the chemistry between these four suggests a level of camaraderie that supports his claim. They run through two Malibu tracks “Come Down” and “Put Me Thru” — the latter of which .Paak always dedicates to his bassist Jose’s ex — and then an audience request for the Knxwledge collaboration “Suede” thrills and surprises the band. “Ummm, I talk a lot of sh*t on this song, is that okay?” he asks, but the audience is fine with it.
Speaking of Knxwledge, he and .Paak have an entire collaborative album called Nxworries to follow up an earlier EP they did. .Paak says it’s done and the best thing he’s put out yet… so when do we get it? Watch the concert above to tide yourself over and keep your eyes on this guy — he’s just getting started.