Anderson .Paak has been on quite the run; going back to last year where he burst onto the scene as a frequent collaborator on Dr. Dre’s Compton. Then following that up with his highly touted debut Malibu. While I felt his debut had it’s highs and lows, .Paak’s immense talent and versatility were evident. Kind of lost in the midst of this run, was a dope, soulful collaboration between rapper/producer Knxwledge called Link Up and Suede (EP). He promised a full-length follow up and finally Yes Lawd! has arrived to bless our playlists.
“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”
Anderson’s debut, Malibu, was a very solid project that I think suffered at times because he was employing so many different styles, genres, and sounds; resulting in a mixed bag of records. Yes Lawd! does not have that problem. The majority of the production duties fall to Knxwledge and the result is a cohesive neo-soul, almost J Dilla-esque, sound that runs throughout the whole album. The way he meshes old soul and funk samples with sharp percussions and smooth chords is masterful. Most of the tracks are short, running around 2 minutes in length, but that works in their favor, as they feel like you’re sitting in a jam session between two musicians that genuinely enjoy playing together. The production is phenomenal and this type of groove is something that’s been missing from music today.
“Now who the fuck called me a player? I ain’t one these young niggas out here sweating for a pay stub I’m a coach, I’mma teach these bitches how to layup Now most of ya’ll can’t do shit But all my chicks cook grits”
Yes Lawd! is a joint album, but aside from the production you won’t find any evidence of Knxwledge on the project. Anderson handles all the vocals and lyrics, and that’s not a bad thing because his raspy, smooth voice plays perfectly with the soulful production. While there are lyrics and themes, they’re more there to facilitate the spectacular sonic landscapes being laid down. The real star of the show is the groove, and it’s a deep one.
Have you heard Yes Lawd!? What’d you think about it? Do you think having Knxwledge only on the production was the right call? Did you enjoy the grooves? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to leave a rating for the album.
Yes Lawd! is pure instrumental bliss! The way Knxwledge layers old funk/soul samples over sharp percussions and smooth chords would make J Dilla proud. While Anderson .Paak's smooth, raspy vocals leave you with no choice but to get lost in the groove. Phenomenal.