With the positive acclaim of his debut album “Malibu” earlier this year and his features/vocal performances on standout projects such as Blank Face LP, The Divine Feminine and Coloring Book, singer/songwriter Anderson Paak. has officially made the case as to why 2016 may belong to him and his new collaborative project, “Yes Lawd!” FOr the LP, Paak partnered with producer Knxwledge under their duo name, NxWorries.
Like other collaborative projects released under Stones Throw Records, “Yes Lawd!” follows the formula of getting straight to the point with short tracks highlighted by artful skits that help further the development of the project. Knxwledge delivers his J Dilla and Madlib-inspired, soulful production, while Anderson Paak. displays his raspy vocals as a tool to enhance the delivery throughout his lyrics.
The opening track “Livvin” is where we find Paak announcing that he has officially made it in the music industry after years of being held under the radar through mistakes and setbacks. Now, with his success he quickly notes that it was the ambition and resilience that got him to the point he is at. The beat in particular displays an upbeat tone that treats the tracks as victory music for Paak himself.
Love, by far, is the focus of the project. Whether it is making love or making up, there is enough here to satisfy anyone. Two standout tracks that best showoff these topics are“Wngs” and “Sidepiece.”
“Lyk Dis” is a feel-good track that will leave every listener nodding their heads and singing along with Paak. On the other single, “Get Bigger,” Paak delivers the quintessential rags to riches story, going deeper into his come-up as an artist by actually stating his mistakes and setbacks mentioned earlier. We find out that at one point he was homeless, working retail and going through a marriage destined for failure.
Paak continues this introspection on “Khadijah”—a track that draws influence from Neo-Soul artists such as Erykah Badu, Maxwell and DeAngelo. Here, Paak puts himself in the shoes of many average listeners by spilling out every day vices that some of us face on the regular like relationship drama, money issues and even for some the lack of trust for law enforcement. As the song progresses he begins to mention that the ones close to him are noticing his trials and tribulations by the toll they take on his appearance and wellness. In the end we get a sense that through it all, Paak is looking for some type of blessing from the heavens to help him rise above adversity.
Released on the duo’s 2015 EP, “Suede” is one of a few tracks that found new life on this LP. Highlighted by the smooth production and charisma from Paak, this track fits perfectly with the newer material along with the others: “Link Up” and “Another Time.”
For some, many of the tracks may come off as a little too short, but the skits that I mentioned earlier add depth and bring character to the tracks while also entertaining the listener.
When it is all said and done, “Yes Lawd!” is one of the sexiest and most soulful projects of 2016. With that being said, Anderson Paak. and Knxwledge leave their listeners short of nothing but the optimism of what else is to come.