Album Review: NxWorries—“Yes Lawd!”

By Alex Ryu, Feature Photo via The Fader

The hype train surrounding Anderson .Paak continues. For this stop, he re-teams Knxwledge as the duo NxWorries to release their first studio album together, Yes Lawd!. It’s interesting to see how far the duo has come under their solo monikers, let alone the chemistry that they managed to combine together in the album. Consider .Paak’s vocal abilities based on his upbringing as a struggling solo artist until his breakout on several tracks on Dr. Dre’s Compton as a featured artist. Since, he has his own released album Malibu with Knxwledge’s vast discography of 64 releases (and counting) that melds jazz, old school and hip hop together. The blend results in a sound that is reminiscent of nostalgia and is psychedelic yet original, simultaneously retaining the force that keeps the listener staying until the very end.

The album is filled with songs of various conceptions. One song can go from being demanding with charm and flair, such as stand out track “Suede” (already released on the Suede/Link Up EP). Armed with Knxwledge’s well twisted sample of Gil-Scott Heron’s “The Bottle” transitioning into a slow but commanding jam, .Paak tells a story about his history of relationships as a coping mechanism. However, he knows that too much can be self-destructive so he continues to “Keep it 300” to get the girls he wants without being overwhelmed. Another song can be prescribed with romantic themes that only .Paak can deliver such as “Lyk Dis.” The song describes .Paak’s ideal girl and her manners that he would like to woo in an instrumental best described as fantasy atmospheric in a way Knxwledge knows how to deliver. For the standout track, we are given “Get Bigger/Do U Luv” that describes the hardships that .Paak faced prior to his rise to fame and what he has now. He realizes he needs to “Get bigger,” or move on from the obstacles that are holding him back, such as a normal job with no satisfaction or a girl that continues to use him for his money in order to pursue his goals, passion and happiness. This is tied in with a Knxwledge instrumental that yells reflection with samples of horns, background vocals, and strings. 

nxworries-yes-lawd

Yes Lawd! Album Cover

The album continues the theme of struggling to be successful in the limelight while facing the everyday conflicts as an artist that was evident in .Paak’s prior releases, often combined with themes of love and commitment. However, he goes full force this time, holding nothing back as he delivers concept after concept on every track. The addition of Knxwledge’s production only adds to .Paak’s vocals, and gives him his own times to shine in tracks such as “Can’t Stop”, “Fkku” and “Lodi.” His twisting production ranges from various instruments strummed in perfect sequence and harmony to psychedelic patterns that quickly puts the listener in the required mood set rarely using samples. Incredibly enough, only three songs in the album have samples. One can argue that this may be Knxwledge’s best production work since his work with artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$$, Blu, and Earl Sweathshirt.

Another helping of Anderson .Paak’s story was necessary. This work surpasses the line set by Malibu and with all Knxwledge wrapped around it, making Yes Lawd! the “Yes indeed” progression to the duo’s respective careers. (Stones Throw Records)

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