Anderson .Paak -- who appears on six Compton tracks -- knows what it means to follow in such legendary footsteps as an important collaborator on a Dr. Dre LP.
"It’s surreal," Anderson told MTV News. " It’s absolutely mind-blowing. It’s hard to wrap my dome around that sometimes. These are people that very much a part of my musical background. It’s embedded in me...It’s amazing to be a part of that."
Compton allowed Paak to work with some of those artists who are now famous Dr. Dre protégés. Anderson, for example, appeared with Slim Shady on "Medicine Man" thanks to a verse Em sent his mentor for Compton.
"When it came back, they had to structure the ['Medicine Man'] beat around his verse," the Oxnard, Calif. singer (who formerly went by Breezy LoveJoy) explained. "The [Eminem] verse was just out of control. They built a whole different landscape around his verse to go with what he was doing, to set the mood. It was awesome. I can’t wait to meet with him in person and make more music with him."
Paak's work with Dre isn't finished. "I’m looking forward to doing more work with him," he said, after explaining how their working relationship grew. “I know he’s gonna push me...He worked extensively with me as far as just doing my vocal performance and that’s where it paid off the most. At the same time, he trusted in me. There were times I just turned a song in and he f-cked with everything and didn’t change anything. What he added just made the song that much better...I’m always going to get pushed to the very best with him."
Perhaps some of those Dre lessons have helped Paak create his latest project, which was released today. The Anderson .Paak EP, an effort crafted by the singer and producers Blended Babies, features Asher Roth, King Chip and Donnie Trumpet.
"The music speaks for itself," Paak said of the project. "I was able to tap into some deep blues working with Blended Babies. They brought out some personal stories and also some sh-t to ride to."