The Jazz and 90s Hip-Hop infused duo of producer Knxwledge and singer/songwriter Anderson .Paak make the group NxWorries. They released their debut EP towards the end of 2015 and their debut studio album ‘Yes Lawd!’ in October 2016. The style of production and .Paak’s vocal performance on the album showcase that while the majority of Hip-Hop today is flooded with Trap and carbon-copies of your favourite rappers least favourite rapper, NxWorries came together to provide that tranquil sonic sound capturing the OG West-Coast flavour that Dr. Dre, Bootsy Collins and Scarface first popularised.
At 19 tracks length and the majority of the tracks less than 3 minutes, clocking in the album at just over 45 minutes. Starting off with “Livvin”, filled with triumphant trumpets, goosebump worthy vocal ad-libs from .Paak and freestyled drums, NxWorries begin by asserting their recent gain of happiness and the comfortability of having the opportunities they’ve now got. Throughout the album, there are minimal skits that add cinematic effect to the rollout of the NxWorries records.
The majority of the records are smoky, jazz-infused, romantic and filled with layers of emotion and breakup. While it’s a heavily dense album and .Paak is as intriguing on here alongside Knxwledge as well as a solo artist, some songs get lost in the gleeful vocal performances and the weightless but still very much entertaining production. The first song that stood out for both production and .Paak is “Best One”. Scratchy guitar riffs, distorted vocal samples and lo-fi drums provide a smooth backdrop for him to harmonize and give his fans an electric performance. Other records that stand out for both artists’ are “Lyk Dis”, “Get Bigger / Do U Love”, the very much direct attack on “H.A.N”, “Starlite” and the short but sweet “Jodi”.
In all, for a debut project in today’s Hip-Hop community and music universe in general, it’s a solid project. Although it does have its weak points, like any album, it’s flaws do not bring down the quality or the creativity that influenced and created this LP. It is packed with raw emotions, experimental Jazz instrumentals and one of the most unique vocal talents of today. While it may not be one of my favourite releases of last year, it is still a recommendable album.