After a handful of releases under the name Breezy Lovejoy, singer, rapper, drummer, and producer Anderson .Paak broke through with six songs on Dr. Dre's 2015 album, Compton. Born and raised in Oxnard, California, Brandon Paak Anderson's first experience as a musician came as a teenage drummer in the church band. As an adult, he helped manage a marijuana farm in Santa Barbara while working on a debut album, but when he lost his pot job unexpectedly, the recording costs had put him in deep debt. Shafiq Husayn of Sa-Ra hired him as an assistant, and with access to the Sa-Ra studio, Paak finished his debut album. O.B.E., Vol. 1 landed in 2012 as a Breezy Lovejoy album, but he didn't get to promote the release much as he soon hit the road as drummer for American Idol contestant Haley Reinhart. His 2013 all-covers EP Cover Art arrived as the first Anderson .Paak release. A year later he issued Venice, an album featuring production from DJ Nobody, Tokimonsta, and others.
In 2015, Paak joined Dr. Dre in the studio and landed on six songs on the legendary producer's third album, Compton. Paak's second proper album, Malibu, was issued in early 2016 with contributions from 9th Wonder, Rapsody, and Kaytranada. It debuted at number nine on the Billboard R&B/hip-hop chart and was followed only nine months later by Yes Lawd!, a full-length recorded with producer Knxwledge under the alias NxWorries. Shortly thereafter, Malibu was nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Urban Contemporary Album, while Paak himself was up for Best New Artist. Rapsody's Laila's Wisdom, one of several releases on which he made a guest appearance during this period, was nominated the same year for Best Rap Album. As Malibu tracks were licensed to the films Everything, Everything, Pacific Rim Uprising, and Marvel's Iron Fist, Paak made appearances on Chris Dave and the Drumhedz and Black Panther: The Album.