TK: I never got the chance to chop it up with Dre until this summer. I have all these good relationships with people in the Dre camp, so I’ve been hearing your name, but had never met you. I followed you on Twitter and was like, “He’d be perfect for my album.” I hit you up, and you were like, “I got us all ready to go right now.” I knocked the track out while the tour bus was going. The record is fantastic. It’s one of my favorite records in a long time.
AP: I can’t wait to do it live, man. That’s going to be a moment. It’s crazy because the songs with you and Hi-Tek are the last I did for that album. I had slept on that beat that Hi-Tek sent me at first. It almost didn’t even happen because I wasn’t mastered. I like to push it ’till you literally can’t push it anymore. That song and yours, I rounded those up way later, and they’ve ended up being some of the most popular joints—”The Dreamer” and “Come Down.”
TK: In my career, it’s always the last two on the record that resonate with people. At that point, you’re recording with the vision of the album in mind.
AP: You’re seeing it way clearer at that point.
TK: Filling in the blanks. You know what the album needs. Who are some of your favorite producers? You produce too, right?
AP: I do produce. I’m like Dre with it—usually when I produce, I like to do the drum track. I work with my band usually—my guitar player Jose [Rios], bass player Kelsey [Gonzalez], and piano player Ron [Jerome Avant]. I build tracks with my musicians and steer them toward the vibe I’m looking for.
TK: I can imagine that as a drummer, producing tracks probably comes a little more naturally. Because I know a lot of musicians and all of them do tracks, but not all of them are tracks that I want to work with as a hip hop artist.
“I never thought about working
with Dre or Aftermath or anything—
that was too far-fetched.”
— Anderson .Paak
AP: Working with producers has really helped me because I learn a lot from them and see what I sound best on. It’s tough to be what I want for my album. I love working with producers who know how to utilize a lot of space, like Hi-Tek and Knxwledge. Very minimal. Another super talented producer is Pomo. He did the dancier groove “Am I Wrong.” Kaytranada also knows how to utilize space. He was on my last solo album and this one too. He’s one of the younger producers whose sound is instantly classic. I’m about to go to the studio with this kid named King Karnov.
TK: He’s got some really, really nice tracks.
AP: Others are Pharrell, of course, and Premier. I did some stuff with Q-Tip recently. It’s gonna be dope. I wanna get with Pete Rock.
TK: God bless Q-Tip—he’s not in a very straight space right now, but his whole shit has been, “Come through. Come through the crib. Come through.”
AP: I was tripping being in the studio with him.
TK: He’s the greatest. Who would you most like to collab with and why? What upcoming collaborations are you excited about?
AP: I’m with D Prosper, and we’re in the studio working on another record. I’m still trying to finish up my verses.
TK: D Prosper knows where the beat’s at. I would go over to Lauryn Hill’s crib back in the day and Prosper would be sitting there. When 50 Cent was cracking, everyone was wondering how he was getting all those beats, and it turns out that D Prosper was the A&R at G-Unit.
AP: We were just chilling, smoking outside of Miss Lily’s, and he was like, “You should do some shit with Björk.” I was like, “Yeah. That’s it.” Her, Thom Yorke and Jack White. I’m just avidly working on the album right now. I’ve been getting an early start, so maybe I can be going through some of the cream of the crop by this time next year. I feel like it’s going to be a lot of group-based stuff on the next one. I want you to do vocals then have me come in here and there. Some high-level party stuff. We can try to get something in this summer.
TK: That sounds like a lot of fun.
Christophe Lemaire Pants courtesy of Please Do Not Enter, Los Angeles