The fusing of creative minds is often a beautiful thing. The production of Knxwledge and the soulful sound of Anderson .Paak bridge the minuscule gaps that sit between funk, soul and hip hop like a series of wooden bridges intersecting along the urban rapids.
.Paak’s debut studio album, Malibu, showcased the vast capacity of ideas and varied genre influence that the artist possesses, all structured together in a soulfully distinct fashion. It has well and truly put .Paak on the map, leading to a prestigious reputation as one of the most forward thinking artists in the game today. As for Knxwledge, his process in implementing soul and funk samples alongside carefully crafted percussion is almost unrivalled.
Yes Lawd! is the follow up to the pair’s Link Up & Suede EP – which focused on the strong points of both involved, whilst their latest project feels more like a .Paak album than a collaborative effort.
That’s not to say that the producer’s contribution isn’t visible. The broken hip hop beats and soulfully fused disco elements that make themselves known throughout the record suit .Paak’s original style perfectly. The album is put together in short, Dilla-esque bursts. .Paak’s voice is as distinctive as ever. The artist maintains an ability to level with the everyday man whilst at the same time showcasing the highs and lows of fame ideology.
“Every time I try to mind my own business, she gon’ come around and make me so tempted”, he states on What More Can I Say. Sexual references are rife within most of .Paak’s work, and this combined with the broken hip hop beats as exemplified on ‘Lyk Dis’ and ‘Can’t Stop’ make for an infectious groove that’s impossible not to rock to.
‘Get Bigger / Do U Luv’ is the stand out track. Storytelling at its finest. A story of an artist striving for greatness, fuelled by anxious thoughts and passion. “Throw myself in front of a train, bitch I might”, he threatens. “She said music or me, what the fuck do you mean? This ain’t right.” As the track continually evolves we’re introduced to the lows of .Paak’s life that have ignited the inspiration for greatness.
Tracks are delivered in a soulfully happy fashion, yet the lyrics are drenched in sadness and yearning. .Paak cries out for heaven on ‘Khadijah’, even detailing that he can’t wait to enter the gates of eternal life. It’s a beautifully constructed oxymoron.
Overall Yes Lawd! is an enjoyable record. It may feel more like a .Paak project, but there’s enough richness in the production to showcase Knxwledge’s vast array of talent. .Paak showcases once more his incredible writing skills, forging together the highs and lows of fame and normality, delivered through his singular, signature approach. The future is bright for both.