If you’re like me, you grew up listening to your parents’ music. Whether on car rides to school or during long weekends doing chores in the house, a lot of the music we’re exposed to at first is from our parents. For me, my mom was always playing gospel, soul, R&B and jazz. Marvin Gaye, Teddy Pendergrass, Aaliyah and more were played for years of my life until my own taste developed. You all read a lot of my hip-hop stuff, but because of my upbringing I dip my toes in R&B and the like. I brought all this up because Yes Lawd, the debut LP from the duo NxWorries, is a time machine back to those days growing up on soul music.

Photo: stonesthrow.com

NxWorries is the collaboration between singer/songwriter/rapper(?) Anderson .Paak and prolific game changing producer Knxwledge. Put the duo with Stones Throw and we’re presented with Yes Lawd. Everything about this project screams the 1970s, from the samples Knxwledge uses to create the beats to .Paak’s melodic, entrancing voice that will have you repeating the album over and over again.

It can’t be overstated enough how talented these two musicians are. Both artists put out their own solo records and collaborations outside of NxWorries and Yes Lawd comes off as its own entity. Two geniuses coming together to give us wonderful music. I spoke on the ’70s vibe in this project, but Knxwledge still manages to progress the sound and bring his own taste to these beats. .Paak and Knxwledge are a perfect match, both underrated artists in their own right, who both dip their toes in a multitude of genres.

Joints like “Lyk Dis” have the ’70s vibe, but the lite and off-liter percussion provide the bridge between the ’70s and now. Another example is “H.A.N.,” one of my favorite tracks off the album. The gospel and church service inspiration, as evidenced by the skit at the end of “H.A.N.,” solidifies the versatility between these two. Peep the song below to know what H.A.N stands for, but combining the seriousness of church with a lighter more humorous (but still serious because “H.A.N.s” are no joke) tone adds to the music.

My favorite moments on the LP, however, are when the duo plays into the ’70s vibe. “Scared Money” sounds like it was ripped right off my mom’s tape deck (it also reminds me that I should probably clean my apartment), the harmonies and melodies that .Paak comes in with take you somewhere different. In this track, .Paak is singing about how precious time is and how we shouldn’t be wasting it, and if the money isn’t coming through on your end, you’re wasting his time and yours. Tracks such as “Kutless” and “Starlite” further drive home the environment they’re trying to create. The latter is one of many love songs on the album and one of my favorites. The last half of the song has .Paak repeating the chorus. The beat in these moments doesn’t overshadow .Paak, which gives him the freedom to belt out his soul and show love to his partner.

Yes Lawd is the album I’ve been waiting for from this duo since their EP dropped last year. I didn’t think they were going to commit to the old school soul funk feel, but I couldn’t be happier that they did. Anderson .Paak’s voice is perfectly suited for the production. 19 tracks at about 50 minutes is a bit short I think, but it fits the personality of the duo. NxWorries really showed up on this and we can only pray that we get a sequel to this some day.

What do you think of ‘Yes Lawd?’ Let us know in the commments!

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