Photo from npr.com
By Matthew Haid
NxWorries is a collaborative duo from Los Angeles consisting of singer-songwriter Anderson .Paak and producer Knxwledge.
Their newest work, “Yes Lawd!,” was released in October, almost a year after .Paak’s latest solo album,“Malibu.”
Knxwledge’s production on this album is reminiscent of the late J Dilla’s production style, albeit a slightly modern take on classic hip-hop with his use of nostalgic jazz and soul samples in his instrumentals.
On this particular release, Anderson .Paak reminisced lyrically. .Paak’s lyrics are conscious of the hardships and his previous mistakes. There is a sense of him knowing that one can learn from these experiences, which have since taught him the value in living.
However, the lyrics can be bitter, even selfish at times. On the track “Lyk Dis,” .Paak shamelessly admits that he is using the girl he is currently with for sex. He even so coldly states right from the first verse, “Don’t want your heart, don’t want your love.” These lyrics directly contrast Knxledge’s production sound, which is almost sweet and pleasing to hear.
A distinct track placed very early in the album, “Livvin,” stood out the most. For the most part, it seems as if this song sums up .Paak’s current outlook on life. “I don’t care. There is no fear. I’m livin’,” he raps on the second track.
The rest of the album after “Livvin” appears to be the .Paak from the past. On the other tracks, he deals with the hardships like that of when he was homeless or how he struggled to support his kid whom he had with his second wife.
“Livvin” is so appropriately placed because it lets the audience know right away that this is the new .Paak. The rest of the album is the new .Paak analyzing and coming to terms with the adversities he has previously faced.
Knxwledge’s beats work wonderfully with .Paak’s themes. The instrumentals he has crafted for the album almost make one feel as if a weight has been lifted off their shoulders, perfect for the subject matter .Paak is going for.
The combo of Knxwledge and Anderson .Paak creates a wonderful duo who complement each other’s strengths as well as compensate for what each lack. “Yes Lawd!” leaves off on the promising note that both artists will go on to have successful careers long down the road.