Anderson .Paak knows a thing or two about struggling. At age seven, his father was sentenced to 14 years in prison for assaulting his mom. Then, at age 14, what remained of normal family life was ripped apart after his mother and stepfather were both jailed for tax-related issues. “When my mom went under, everything collapsed,” he toldThe Guardian.
It’s easy to understand why Anderson .Paak found solace in music.
As he entered adolescence with dreams of a music career, .Paak worked a number of odd jobs—digging ditches, growing weed—married his long-time girlfriend, who was at one point nearly deported back to Korea, and wound up homeless for a period of time with a wife and a son on the way. It was only after Sa-Ra’s Shafiq Husayn gave him a couch to sleep on and a space to finish Venice—his first album as Anderson .Paak (he previously went by the name Breezy Lovejoy)—that his luck finally began to change.
“Suede.” Dr. Dre. Malibu. You know the story.
Through all the rain and the pain (word to ‘Pac), however, Anderson .Paak never stopped dreaming. In October 2013, a year before Venice dropped, .Paak tweeted, “I can see Ellen being like ‘give it up for Anderson .Paak! And The Free Nationals!’”
To quietly hope for such an experience is one thing, but to put it out there in the big, wide, critical world of Twitter is another. It’s a level of faith that only comes with supreme confidence in your own talent, and Anderson .Paak is a talented motherfucker.
Sure enough, his prediction finally came true. On Monday (October 10), almost three years to the day he fired off that hopeful tweet, DeGeneres gave Anderson .Paak and The Free Nationals their daytime television debut as they performed Malibu’s spunky single, “Come Down.”
And they didn’t disappoint. Joined by a stage full of dancers, .Paak commanded everything from the drums to the dancefloor as he turned Ellen into Soul Train 2016.
Anderson .Paak can now check another item off his bucket list—I wonder what else he’s got on there.
By Andy James. You can follow him on Twitter.
Photo Credit: YouTube