Anderson .Paak has been on fire lately and his latest album Malibu is easily one of the better albums out right now. But in this conversation with Cuepoint, Paak goes back a bit to tell the story of how he ended up working with both Dr. Dre and DJ Premier on “Animals” off of Dre’s Compton. Here’s a taste and you can read the rest here.
“Animals” was one of the tracks that I brought to Dre when I was working with him. I got the beat from DJ Premier and BMB Spacekid after a show we did in Russia with my group NxWorries. It was a Boiler Room show with DJ Premier and Spacekid on the track where I would be the vocalist. We did one track there and recorded it and it came out. They sent the other beat that they did and that was the beat for “Animals.” I told Premier when I got home I was going to write something to it. I had the line “These old sneakers / faded blue jeans” for some years now. When I heard that beat, I thought it was perfect for it. And this was before I had any intention of making it about the riots or anything that was going on. But all of these things were happening. I was laying that part that I had, and I remember seeing little shots of the riots and stuff. I was trying to write the verse and it just hit me that this is what it would be.
I cut it and went to the studio that night with Dre and my manager said “You should play him that Premier track.” I was kind of apprehensive at first, but I played it and he loved it. Right when I heard it, he was like “I gotta put a verse on this.” He threw a verse on there and called me the next day and said “I know this is your tune, but I want to know if I can use this for the album.” I got to see him develop the track. Premier flew out and they worked on the record together. I watched Premier pick out records to scratch for the hook. That whole moment was crazy, because I know they are big fans of each other. It was a special moment to be a part of something that these two longtime friends put out together.
After I brought him the Premier joint, Dre pulled me in the room and said “Yo, I fuck with you. I think you’re going to be great and I really appreciate your work on this.” He kind of broke it down that he was adamant about working with me and wanted me to be around and help with the process of the album. I was all for it. They would be working on tracks and would be like “Yo, can you write a hook for this?” I would just come in on sessions and would just jump in and help where I could. Some of the stuff I laid down just ended up staying. I had no clue what I was going to be on. It was definitely a decision that Dre saw through. I was just hoping to get one joint on the album. It was not until the pre-order was out that I knew all of these records were making it on the album. It was dope.