• Gov't Name: Brandon Paak Anderson
  • Twitter: @AndersonPaak
  • Instagram: @anderson._paak
  • Snapchat: @reallakilla
  • Age: 30
  • Reppin: Oxnard, Calif.
  • Notable Releases: Singles: "Drugs," "Suede" (with Knxwledge, as NxWorries), "Am I Wrong," "Room in Here," "Silicon Valley," "The Season/Carry Me"; Albums: Venice, Malibu; EPs: Link Up & Suede (with Knxwledge, as NxWorries); Guest Appearances: Dr. Dre's "Medicine Man" and "Deep Water"
  • Label: Steel Wool/OBE/Art Club/Aftermath
  • Currently Working On: As-yet- titled debut album under Aftermath due out 2017.
  • Surprised About Who Is Missing: "Your Old Droog, Conway and Westside Gunn. It would have been nice to have some real traditional raw rap shit."
  • Influenced By: "I'm influenced by good conversations, amazing movies, women, family, my band mates and [the] people that tell me I'm not really that good at what I do."
  • As A Freshman In High School: "I was a nerd. I was chubby and I had braces. I lived 
for platinum Fubu, Southpole, Rocawear, any kind of rap, hip-hop-associated streetwear brand and Sean John, I was all about that. I grew up in the suburbs; I was like one of two Black kids in the whole school. I went to magnet school;
I was really only into food and music, that was it."

TRUTH: On Being A 2016 XXL Freshman:

"This is a notch on the belt, this is amazing man. To see the history when you look at the posters and to see some of the people that have been freshmen before like Kendrick [Lamar], [Kid] Cudi, it's dope. I watched for lots of years different people grace the cover so it's really surreal to be in the room now.

I told my sisters, I usually tell them everything. I told my bandmates, I told my homie Dumbfoundead, who's a big battle rapper. It's huge man, this is hip-hop still, it's such a notch. This year is such a whirlwind and I know I'm going to look back and say, ‘Look at all this shit. Look at all this shit we did this year.' It's really crazy man. I'm just trying to soak it in. T.I. told me, ‘Soak these moments in because it goes by quick. After this, niggas is going to always expect you to make hit records. They always are going to expect you to do that. When you not, they're going to be saying, so and so is doing this, you're not. So, it's important when you're in it to make sure you love it and you're in it and you're maxing out and you're really hungry for it.'

I don't know if I deserve it. Some people say you get what you negotiate or you deserve and I just feel like you put the work in and hard work pays off. And honestly I don't see anybody in the game working as hard. And it's an amazing thing to be a part of, but what I'm doing, I feel like it embodies a lot more than just rap, you know what I'm saying? But, it's so amazing that people respect me in this realm too. I'm really honored. I think it's about show and prove and when this album comes I'll show you.

It was just a lot of preparations, working in the gym and my gym is the studio. A lot of sitting, watching and a lot of patience. I put a lot of time in trying to develop good work habits. I didn't have it for a long time. When I was going by a different name I spent a lot of years just doing a lot of shit that wasn't for me. Wasting a lot of time builds a lot of character, but I wasn't building any real worth ethics or good habits. So, it took a while for me to catch on to it and see that just because you're talented doesn't mean you don't have to work.

I didn't really understand that until the last three years. That's when things started to change for me. I started to take myself more serious and people started to take me more serious. It started working out. I developed a muscle memory to where I was always writing and I was always working, I was getting focus on what I want. I saw this. I wanted to be able to work with Dr. Dre and Snoop. I wanted to have a reputation, the same reputation that I murder shit. I just had to prepare for that so when it came time to execute I fell back on preparation, it wasn't luck. This is what I've been doing. You're going to be good at what you do. If you're good at rolling trees and watching TV and drinking then that's what you're going to be good at. Then when it's time to rap, you're probably not going to be that good." - Emmanuel C.M.

Behind the Scenes: Anderson .Paak