Anderson Paak has to be the artist of the year hands down, as ever since the Malibu album (and Dre’s Compton sdtrk before that) everything he’s touched has turned to gold, and his new collaborative project with producer Knxwledge might even be his best work to date. Together the duo goes by NxWorries and the album is called Yes Lawd!, which is 19 tracks of pure heat that is sure to put the game on notice, and as a result places both artists in the upper echelon of each of their respective fields.
While Paak is a California native, Knxwledge only recently moved to Los Angeles after being raised on in the East by way of Jersey and Philadelphia. Although both artists have been on the grind for years Paak is undoubtedly more of a household name (thanks in part to the nature of their crafts), yet both are equally as critically acclaimed, considering Knxwledge is one of the producers on Kendrick Lamar’s 'Momma' - one of the most memorable tracks off Kendrick’s world renowned sophomore album To Pimp A Butterfly.
Together they released their debut project Link Up & Suede in 2015, and here they are with their sophomore only a year later, which front to back showcases Paak as one of the most gifted artists of the time period.
“Y'all ***** is scared, I feel it, you shakin' in your fuckin' draws" The intro is just Paak proclaiming his dominance in the game thus far, and by all accounts this is only the beginning.
“Let's get it, Yes lawd!, I'm livin', soul survivin', three spares, 100K on the mileage, let's get it, in the city of flawless women, my god, look at all of these bitches…” Anderson Paak is seemingly on top of the world, and on this record he rejoices in celebration of just how far he’s come. Yes it’s necessary to point out the explicit nature of the lyrics, which this reviewer believes is fair game in music as is the case with any art form.
“Baby, get your shit together, I'm talking right now, take out your shoes and your favorite smelling perfume, I'm on my way home, you know exactly what I wanna do” This might as well be an interlude but it’s comes from the soul and it sounds great, a constant theme throughout the album.
“You love me like you know I could be leaving in a moment's notice, you telling me to stay until the morning, you know a ***** homeless, you give me everything inside the showroom” On this record Paak sings to an unknown woman who took him in when he was homeless, a record that is likely autobiographical considering Paak’s own life story is of similar content. Paak goes on to explain the complexities of his feelings for this woman and their relationship, making this one of the most relatable records on the project.
What More Can I Say
“I keep tryna tell ya, you can't keep me on a leash, no matter how hard you train me, I'll do what I want in the end, and you can't disagree, but they make it so hard to be faithful, they make it so hard on me…” On this record Knxwledge samples 'Good To Get Away' by Brenda Nicholas, and Paak speaks in earnest about his infidelities and his struggle to be faithful. Not the best record on the project but it’s still good music.
“All this room in the Kutlessm, all this good, good, I'm loving, oh, let's cruise for the moment, let's do what they say can't be done” This record is a tribute to the Oldsmobile Cutlass, a popular choice of car in the 1970’s. For that reason this one is cool to ride out to even though it’s mellow and relatively monotone. This one can be considered filler.
"Say my name love (Just like this), now pick your legs up (Just like this), everything you do, oh when you do it..." The first single off the album is a good one, a straightforward yet smooth erotic tale that’s sure to get you in the mood.
“Man fuck the studio, it's too hot in that bitch right now” An interlude of some kind… cool instrumentals underneath but this one you can SKIP!
Get Bigger / Do U Luv
“Shopping work, bagging groceries, pushin' them carts, I was grateful to be working but say my back is hurtin', I don't think it's the purpose, no this can't be the call, at night, I workin' grave, just counting the time, on my break I wrote a song 'bout the love of my life, this ain't right, couple dollars and change, walking home in the rain, jump in the front of the train, bitch, I might, on top of the roof, empty bottles of brew, take a hit of my J, I'm in flight” Another fire collaboration and add this to list of records Anderson Paak has completely obliterated in 2016, where he’s quickly become one of the most sure-things in all of music.
“Heaven I need ya, can't wait 'til I see ya, until the day I'm wide awake, I'll find my own Nirvana in the lap of Khadijah” A spiritual record named after the first wife of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, this is another lane that Paak is absolutely dominant in, and arguably he’s even more effective at this than Kendrick Lamar… (honestly… Paak does A LOT of what Kendrick does and does it better... but that’s an article for a different day…)
"Just travelling around town, trying to make my rounds, I came across these hoe ass *****, hoe ass *****” It’s now clear what the acronym stands for and this one is about all the haters and freeloaders who try to stand in his way. his one is comical but actually leaves a lot to be desired for in regards to the music.
“My time ain't long, and it sure ain't free, if you gonna move it on do it now, put that loving on me, scared money don't make none, baby talk is cheap, if you gonna move it on do it now, put that loving on me” out of all the records this one stands out the most, with an infectious melody and a feel good vibe that’s impossible not to love. This one is definitely good for road trips and the cook outs, play this one and enjoy the ride.
“I'm far from a pimp, but I'm close to you, you fucking with an old soul, twice removed” This was the first released track from NxWorries that was the lead single off their EP released last year. This one is tough… check it out in the video below.
“Wish I was Prince Charming, but this is not the fairy tale, bitch, Cinderella's boring, I'm nothing like your Ken and you got bigger tits than Barbie”... good song but just for the record… although I personally don’t mind at all, if the Rap Twitter Misogyny police (Craig Jenkins of NY Mag and anyone like him) doesn’t take issue with Paak’s ‘problematic’ lyrics on this record or elsewhere throughout the album… please call them on their bullshit… because they're never consistent and therefore only diminish the very important issues that they so flagrantly misrepresent.
“I just want you, I want you, so I'll give up my sidepiece just to make room” Another record about Paak’s infidelities, a topic that he dedicates his music to often and to great results - and this one is no different. A beautiful record that’s all the more significant for its controversy.
“Babe run in the kitchen and make me a baloney and cheese sandwich? alright-with mayonnaise? yeah, put a lot of mayonnaise on my shit” This rather obscure record starts out with a skit where Paak alters his voice to sound like a woman, who is in conversation with a man (played by Knxwledge) after they’ve just had sex… rather obscure to say the least... Once Paak starts singing however he actually kinda kills it…
“Look at the lame ***** you came with, he can't dance the way yo mans do, look at my dip watch the foot work, won't-cha' come over get this good work, tell that ***** go and get a cold one, we gone dance until the songs done” On the second record that was originally released off the Link Up & Suede EP, this one samples Onda from the Brazilian funk legend Cassiano, where Paak talks about his penchant for taking dimes away from squares.
“Word to my OG, the game that he taught me will always suffice, it's the reason that I'm still alive, big grandaddy, grandpa, my father and now it's my season to shine, it's bigger than you, it's bigger than I” Using the same instrumental as the intro to Link Up & Suede, this is another one of the standout cuts on the new album, that seems to be dedicated to those who did, and did not, give Paak the wisdom and life experience that he puts back into his music.
“I hope there's a new way to put my foot up your ass one day, we got fucking talking watches and I hope they come up with a new way to whoop your ass” A comical outro and nothing more….
Although this album hosts a variety of great music that at times flows together nicely, overall they’re best played as singular records by themselves, considering the Yes Lawd! project as a whole fails to deliver any cohesive message or storyline. Or perhaps the very message is what’s found on the surface, that Paak caters to all his most selfish impulses at all times, taking what he wants when he wants it - most often the women of his desire no matter the circumstances or consequences. Not exactly honorable or thought provoking yet still entertaining and relatable all the same, where in the end it’s ultimately the music itself that tells the real story - which is none other than the fact that Anderson Paak is an undeniable force to be reckoned with, one who will likely dominate the music scene for many years to come.