By Aiden Brady
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Hypnotic, smooth, serene, rich—those are merely a couple of lasting descriptions that stormed my thoughts as the closing track of “Yes Lawd!” came to an end. Not a second more was needed to convince me that NxWorries, a collaboration between vocalist Anderson .Paak and producer Knxwledge, had once again proved their excellence with grace and finesse.
The title of the project is a play on .Paak’s jubilant ad lib, which is shouted to preface or conclude a song that he is featured on. It stems from the phrase “Yes Lord!”, but his festive drawl puts a unique spin on the simple, two-word expression. Despite the cheerful connotation, the 19 track hybrid of soul, R&B, and hip-hop tells the story of Anderson’s highs and lows in terms of success and love.
The first track, which follows a brief spoken-word introduction, is the triumphant “Livvin”, a tune driven by celebratory lyrics and hard-hitting instrumentation from Knxwledge.
“A long way to get out here, but there’s a drought here / And I’m winning,” sings .Paak in his signature raspy, sugary voice.
Whereas this tune touches on his opulence, the album quickly delves into the tribulations that he had or has to overcome. It’s reminiscent of a success story, but the tale is creatively being spun backwards.
The essence of his struggle can be heard on the autobiographical song, “Get Bigger.” With a melodic flow, he voices, “In the fall, gotta get it with my brother in law / Shopping work, bagging groceries, pushing them carts / I was grateful to be working, but say, my back is hurting / I don’t think it’s the purpose, no, this can’t be the call.” It’s a candid and personal view into his world, and one that is equally inspiring. Anderson’s verses also touch on his divorce with his first wife, and regardless of the point only spanning over a few lines, it still left me with a sense of sympathy towards him.
All of these emotional cuts just make “Livvin” that much sweeter. Having the album kick off with merriment seems to be his way of letting listeners know that he is happier than he has ever been in his current state. It doesn’t take more than one play of this project to realize that, with all of the unadulterated talent he has at his disposal, the joy and success is well-deserved.
There are endless highlights to cover, but I’d need the entire newspaper to do so. My suggestion would be to sit back, relax, and let NxWorries take your worries away with their incredible work.
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