April 13, 2017

Will Schube is hoping his midlife crisis comes early so he can get his septum pierced.

I always forget that Anderson .Paak has a septum piercing. Rather, he has two septum piercings; little rings dangling from his nose cartilage, one extra indicator that he’s cooler than you’ll ever be. You see, the raddest folks are the ones that make potentially bad style choices and through sheer force of will make them rad(ical). That’s what .Paak has done for the septum piercing. And the dad hat. And the really big floppy hat. Half mutton chops, too. All this to say: .Paak is the coolest dude around in addition to being rap’s fastest rising star.

After Malibu-by-way of Compton propelled .Paak into the stratosphere (how fortunate that he wasn’t still calling himself Breezy Lovejoy when this happened), he linked up with East Coast beatmaking extraordinaire Knxwledge to form NxWorries. The duo immediately joined the long line of badass Stones Throw album-length collaborators, not quite reaching the heights of Jaylib or Madvillain, but still creating a fun as hell producer/emcee full-length in Yes Lawd! As a quick 2017 reminder that 2016 was truly the year of the .Paak, the duo just released a video for “Scared Money,” tacking on a dirty groove remix to the track’s original ‘80s charm.

The video revels in its retro sensibilities—turtlenecks, Beemers, Chinese food and champagne. We get a pair of Gucci flip flops, too—maybe timeless is a better word than retro. The flip flops definitely belong to Knxwledge, by the way. .Paak obviously subscribed to the Tom Ford school of leisurewear.  .Paak changes clothes a bunch and Knxwledge stands in the background smoking weed—you can tell he’s a quiet guy just by the way he stands. He’s also a very cool guy. These are two very cool guys—perhaps the coolest.

After the original track ends Knx and .Paak teleport to a basketball court under the bluest sky I’ve ever seen—like The Truman Show set before Jim Carrey bursts free or perhaps atop an aircraft carrier like they make those poor college players play atop sometimes. Either way, it’s extremely evocative yet slightly unnerving; it’s almost too perfect and serene, the ocean quietly presenting itself in the deep background. .Paak raps/sings, “I hope I never have to cut you off,” and the track ends. i really hope i don’t have to cut you off, reads the video’s final card, lowercase and italicized and perfectly satisfying aesthetically. What else would you expect from the coolest duo in the world?