If you looked up "groovy" in the dictionary you'd probably find a picture of Anderson .Paak. His ability to blend hip hop, soul, jazz and R&B is almost unmatched today. When you put on an Anderson .Paak song, there's no doubting who it is. Our track this week is Paak's "Without You" featuring Rapsody. The song is about Paak's relationship with his current wife, and his hesitancy to accept her love. As much as he liked her, he kept making excuses for why he couldn't commit to her, "self-sabotage" as he would later explain. Thankfully for Paak, she stuck around, but the song serves as a reminder of the sad state he was in at one point.
Paak first caught critics' eyes with his 2014 album, Venice, but really exploded into the mainstream in 2016 with Malibu. For the next year, it seemed like everyone wanted to collaborate with Paak, jumping onto his jazz/rap/soul sound. He headlined festivals around the world. Then Bruno Mars took him on tour. Life has been good to Anderson .Paak recently, but it didn't always seem that way.
According to Paak's own estimations, it took him 13 years to find some semblance of success in music. Think about that: 13 years of trying to reach your dream and failing. In 2016 interview with The Breakfast Club, Paak talks about watching his contemporaries (like Drake, Kendrick Lamar and J Cole) become superstars in their twenties while he's homeless, couch-surfing with his wife and child. As he says in the interview, "Nobody wanted to fuck with me. Nobody wanted to hear me." He can't even count the number of times he was ready to give up, but music was the dream. The commitment to stay on that path throughout those years is batshit crazy and inspiring. Anderson .Paak finally made it, and he's promised his highly anticipated next album coming in 2018, so this week we're celebrating him.
You can learn more about Anderson .Paak here:
About the curator - Cormac McGee
Cormac McGee is a DJ, artist manager and concert promoter based in Toronto, Canada. He’s played in front of crowds from 10 – 1,000 people and has run concerts with some of today’s top hip hop artists, including Drake, Future, Mac Miller, 6lack, Ab-Soul and more. He also runs the Music Den at Ryerson University, a business incubator for entrepreneurs in the music industry.