Anderson .Paak’s star has risen. With that rise in notoriety comes many perks, like Dr. Dre producing your album and access to more resources and press. Yet, fame has its demanding side as well. In a new interview with Billboard, .Paak breaks down how his rise to fame has impacted his workflow. Hint: he has to work harder.
"Every day is a grind still, it's just a different type of grind now,” he said. “The only thing now is we have less time to get shit cracking and it's bigger—more eyes now. It's always been like that, but now it's even more magnetized. Every year, every project it gets more. That's the goal, you want it to get more and more intense. And now every day is more of a grind, but now it's like a mental, physical [battle]. It's like all these different things now as opposed to before where you don't really have those many eyes on you. You don't have access to many things to get your dreams out there or what you're feeling in your head. So it's more of a struggle, but you still got to grind and you've got to grind harder now to keep it because now it's about keeping it. Keeping it and making it better each year. I don't miss none of it. It ain't stopped."
The struggle .Paak alludes to is the truth that for as tough as it is to get on, staying on is all the more difficult. The path to the top is much broader than the peak he finds himself standing atop. With so many eyes on him, his every move will be far more scrutinized, both within and outside of music. Consider the pressure to perform tripled.
With Oxnard, .Paak sounds aware of the eyes on him, which might be the reason the album sounds more of-the-times than it does fresh and vibrant. Nothing about the record is particularly offensive, but it is missing that Anderson .Paak magic. Sometimes pressure produces diamonds, and sometimes pressure produces Oxnard.