The Shocking Real-Life Story Behind Anderson .Paak’s Family

The musician’s dad and uncle often switched places, including serving jail time and deployment in Korea.

Anderson .Paak poses with the Grammy for Best Melodic Rap Performance in the media room during the 63rd Annual GRAMMY Awards at Los Angeles Convention Center on March 14, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.

Anderson .Paak's dad and uncle often switched places, including serving jail time and deployment in Korea.

Photo by: Kevin Mazur via Getty Images

Kevin Mazur via Getty Images

Anderson .Paak may be one of the smoothest crooners of our generation but his life hasn’t always been as glamorous as his performance at the 2022 Grammys Awards show — where he picked up two trophies as one half of the super-duo Silk Sonic.

The North Philly turned Oxnard, California native’s father battled drug addiction and his mother had a gambling problem.

“My pops battled with drug abuse and there was domestic abuse with my mom, and I saw a lot of craziness. Then he went off to jail and I never got to really develop a relationship with him before he passed away,” .Paak, whose birth name is Brandon Anderson, said in a 2019 interview with CBS This Morning.

When .Paak was only seven years old, he saw his father, Ronald, try to strangle his mother to death, according to Andscape. Ronald was convicted of attempted murder, robbery, and kidnapping for the attack on his wife.

But on the day of the attack, Ronald was supposed to be serving a six-month sentence for spousal abuse, Andscape reported.

“That wasn’t my dad,” .Paak was quoted as saying at the time. “My dad wouldn’t do that to my mom.” .Paak said it must have been his uncle Donald, his dad’s identical twin brother.

His identical brother, however, was in jail serving Ronald’s six-month sentence.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, the switch was exposed because Ronald’s attack on his wife was four days after Donald went to jail, posing as his brother.

"The judge asked me why I did this, and I said my twin needed help," Donald told the Los Angeles Times in 1994. "I am doing all the things I do because I love him."

"I took my brother's place because he had all these problems,” he continued. “My brother has never been in jail for a long time. I've been in jail. I could handle it."

After the real Ronald was identified, he was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Believe it or not, it’s not the first time .Paak’s uncle and dad switched places. In fact, they had a long history of doing so dating back to when they were teenagers, with Donald occasionally working Ronald’s shifts for him at a hardware store in North Philly.

According to Andscape, Ronald joined the military and after basic training, he got deployed to South Korea but Ronald didn’t want to go and Donald went in his place, in 1969.

Ronald died in 2011 and .Paak said he never really got to know him after he got arrested that summer, in 1993, for attacking his mother.

“I put everything into music and I think there’s a part of me that didn’t want people to pay too much attention. So I was kind of like ‘everything’s cool man,’” .Paak told CBS This Morning, in 2019.

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