Anderson .Paak is slowly ascending to a level of notoriety that’s inescapable. Since the release of Malibu, I’ve witnessed skaters groove to his funk inside roller rinks and I’ve watched footage of festivals where people lose their minds as he commands the stage. His prowess for performing has made his every late night television appearance a must-see spectacle. Anderson is far from a new artist, but he's slowly going from fairly unknown to world renowned before our very eyes.
“Yes LAWD!” has become a signature for Anderson. The boisterous ad-lib is one of his vocal trademarks, which was first introduced on “Suede,” the first single released from NxWorries - the group that consists of Anderson and highly-acclaimed underground producer Knxwledge.
What “Suede” showcased was the best of both worlds - Anderson’s soulful juxtaposition of rapping and singing, paired with the dusty, vintage production that has helped carve a name for Knxwledge as a prominent producer. The release would grace the ears of Dr. Dre, who would go on to make Anderson a huge part of his Compton album and eventually sign him as the newest artist on Aftermath. One song can do wonders when heard by the right ears.
NxWorries released the Link Up & Suede EP last year - six songs that only furthered prove why their union was a match made in musical Nirvana. The tape felt like a teaser, the scrumptious appetizer, but even if your taste buds were sent to heaven you never stopped thinking about the main course to come. The promise of a full-length album has always hovered over both artists.
With each new Anderson guest feature or Knxwledge Bandcamp upload, the questions about a NxWorries debut always followed. Finally, after months of speculation, the album finally has a release date. October 21st, NxWorries will be releasing the 19-track album, Yes LAWD! through Stones Throw Records.
The music video for “Suede” ended with a snippet of an unreleased song, and that very song has now been released as the first single from Yes LAWD!. “Lyk Dis” is everything we want from NxWorries - nostalgic and soulful audio honey.
The song centers around a sexual relationship between Anderson and a woman, but it’s more sensual than lewd or salacious. Anderson’s ability to mix sex and soul is his strength as a songwriter, an ability that isn’t seen in all modern R&B artists. Anderson’s voice is pleasant, he could sing about cockroaches and Donald Trump’s views on foreign policy and the song would be played endlessly. “Lyk Dis” is minimum—the sample loop is simple, gentle, and elegant like a field of daffodils blowing in the wind—but the beauty of Knxwledge’s production is that it never feels overdone. He finds the magic in simplicity, and that allows Anderson’s voice to shine like lightning in a bottle.
I love Malibu, I still hold it as my favorite album of 2016, but countless plays of “Lyk Dis” have left me ecstatic for Yes Lawd!.
Some artists just have a natural chemistry, collaborators who bring the best out of each other, and I’m seeing that synergy with NxWorries. Knxwledge is nowhere to be found on Malibu, but I’m certain they were saving the best NxWorries records for this album. If the LP is as soulful as “Lyk Dis” and “Suede” I might have a new favorite come October 21.
I’m positive that Anderson and Knxwledge will give us more than a few reasons to say "Yes Lawd."
By Yoh, aka Ellen YohGeneres, aka @Yoh31.
Photo Credit: Stones Throw