In addition to singing the laid-back R&B-funk cut, .Paak showcased his drumming skills throughout – opening with some jazzy hi-hat flourishes before settling into a simple, grooving backbeat. Lamar joined to add his nimble boasts midway through the song, rapping, “Bitch, I’m Kendrick Lamar; respect me from afar / I was made in His image; you can call me a god.”
Later during his SNL debut, .Paak stepped out from behind the kit for the synth-fueled rap track “Who R U?” The emcee glided around a stage shrouded in fog, red lights and silhouettes.
Both tracks appear on .Paak’s recently issued third LP, Oxnard. Dr. Dre executive-produced and appears on the album, which also includes guest spots from Pusha T, Snoop Dogg, J. Cole, Q-Tip and Kadhja Bonet, among others.
“I feel like ambition is missing from today’s music,” the musician told Rolling Stone of his creative mindset. “This is the album I dreamed of making in high school, when I was listening to [Jay-Z]’s The Blueprint, The Game’s The Documentary, and [Kanye West’s] The College Dropout.”