An album like Yes Lawd! does not come around every year. It’s a collaboration between Anderson Paak and Knxwledge, two tirelessly creative musicians who, as Stones Throw puts it in the album’s liner notes, are no “stranger to the head-down hustle”. Both are in heavy demand right now, having worked with the likes of Kendrick Lamar and Dr Dre, and released their own solo work (Malibu, Hud Dreems) to great acclaim. So Yes Lawd! is a special bonus. Paak and Knx have put together a 19-track mix of songs, skits and snippets for you to kick back and chill.
A cheeky skit can do wonders for an album. Yes Lawd! has crackpot moments (‘HAN’), dirty and unfiltered as they are, with Paak playing a brash, exaggerated baller who fanciest himself as a Casanova. It’s funny stuff. But, if you aren’t feeling the characters, the mind can start to pine for an instrumental, or at least a skit-less, version.
Still, you won’t want to stop the music, because Knxwledge’s productions are grade-A gold. Whether it’s a sprinkling of Gil Scott-Heron (‘Suede’) or a dab of Ahmad Jamal (‘Wngs’), all of his productions radiate an energy similar to that of Prince Paul, Madlib and J Dilla. Meanwhile, Paak delivers a bite-sized history of a smooth-talking love machine (‘Best One’, ‘Get Bigger’, ‘Sidepiece’). It’s fitting that Paak and Knxwledge’s debut collaboration album should be released on Stones Throw, a label that has brought us classics by Jaylib, Madvillain and Tuxedo. With its stacks of rare grooves and sexy soul, Yes Lawd! feels destine to join these albums as a classic collab’ project that every R&B fan should hear.
Yes Lawd! is out now on Stones Throw Records.
Image: Stones Throw Records