By Braxton Randolph
As a young buck, most of my musical influences, like many others, came from my parents. My parents were very much entertainers in their day, always having parties and family get-togethers at our house. Much of what I knew about music before my teenage years came from being around these parties and my parents. They played music like Marvin Gaye, Bloodstone, Stevie Wonder and other staples of the funk/R&B genre. I’ve always believed this is where my love for melody and soul in music came from. I say this because Yes Lawd!, released on October 21st, is like hopping in a DeLorean (or in this case, a convertible 1970 Chevy Impala) and revisiting these golden times of funk and soul.
Yes Lawd! Is a collaborative project by singer/songwriter Anderson Paak and groovy producer Knxweldge. Knxweldge’s stripped-down, old school, smooth vibes (which mainly come from samples), mixed with with Anderson Paak’s soulful, raspy-like voice make for a project that was simply meant to be. Together, the duo are known as NxWorries. Despite having started their collaboration last year, Yes Lawd! is the duo’s first studio album.
As for the content of the album, the first time I heard “Kutlass,” the album’s 6th track out of 19, I felt like I was in an actual 1972 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme floating down a street with no red lights on a cool night. “Sidepiece,” my personal favorite song from the album, should be performed with background singers swaying side-to-side with a lot of jheri curl juice in the air, like a concert from the 70’s. On this track, Paak sings about his willingness to ditch his mistress to make room for his main squeeze, while admitting his mistakes and promising not to break his girl’s heart if he doesn’t have to. This is something any man from the 70’s can probably relate to. Every song on this album has that 70’s swagger, and Paak brings it up to speed with modern lyrics, themes and flows.
This is not a typical album that you play on a night of going out to the bar with your buddies. You’re going to want to save this one for that special night when you stay in and cook your significant other a nice dinner. This’ll lead you to have some candles lit on the fireplace mantle while you two catch up on your day, possibly moving the coffee table to the side to make a little dance floor for yourselves. It’s your call. Overall, the mood of Yes Lawd! really takes on a great persona as Knxweldge’s far out beats mix with Paak’s soulful voice to pave the way for a fantastic tribute to 70’s soul.