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NxWorries are Back Like They Never Left with Sophomore LP “Why Lawd?” (Album Review)

NxWorries is an MC/producer duo consisting of Oxnard recording artist Anderson .Paak as well as Los Angeles producer Knxwledge. Signing to Stones Throw Records in 2015, their debut EP Link Up & Suede that same winter was an impressively lo-fi neo-soul outing & the full-length debut LP Yes Lawd! built upon those 2 sounds venturing out in contemporary R&B, west coast hip hop & smooth soul too. After an 8 year hiatus however, they’re linking back up for a highly anticipated sophomore effort.

Following the “ThankU” intro, the first song “86Sentra” is a jazzy lo-fi hip hop opener reminding that he did the Super Bowl LVI halftime show with some of the best to ever do it whereas “MoveOn” takes the smooth soul route to discuss being unable to do things that he used to. “KeepHer” featuring Thundercat brings the trio together singing about money being unable to keep their romantic interests over some funky guitar licks just before “Distractions” has a bit of a stripped-back feeling to it refusing to let anything slow him down.

H.E.R. joins NxWorries on “Where I Go” after the “Lookin’” interlude fusing neo-soul, smooth soul & contemporary R&B for a duet as to where .Paak & Knxwledge have been leading into “Daydreaming” crossing over psychedelic soul, neo-soul, smooth soul & hypnagogic pop to fantasize about meeting a woman he’s never met previously. “FromHere” featuring Snoop Dogg mixes neo-soul & west coast hip hop pondering where they go from this point forward, but then “Fall Thru” brings a contemporary R&B flare telling his partner she gon’ have to quit her job.

“Battlefield” sides with those who’re one of a kind or no one else like .Paak rapping his ass off over a slick beat to begin the 2nd half of Why Lawd? while “HereIAm” dabbles with gospel by incorporating organs admitting he ain’t doing shit when it seem like he might be doing things. “OutTheWay” featuring Rae Khalil is a syrupy-synth ballad about starting to think all they need is each other prior to “SheUsed” jumps over guitars singing about the pain taking it’s toll on his heart.

Meanwhile on “MoreOfIt”, we have NxWorries giving off an orchestral hip hop vibe paying off their mommas’ mortgages while the “NVR.RMX” featuring Charlie Wilson on the hook feels like a soulful passing of the torch if you will especially since they lock in near the end of the 2nd & final hook. “DistantSpace” sensually asks if it’s too late with a former partner & ahead of the “EvnMore” outro, the west coast hip hop/neo-soul hybrid “WalkOnBy” featuring Earl Sweatshirt ends the album perfectly showing vulnerability within them.

Almost a decade in & the MC/producer duo in those 2 styles of music mentioned in the final song return after an 8-year hiatus to prove that they haven’t lost a step whatsoever. Knxwledge & Anderson .Paak refine their distinctive combination of soul with the rhythmic percussion & groove of hip hop music that makes nu soul stand out expanding beyond that even on occasions in favor of jazz rap, contemporary R&B, west coast hip hop & smooth soul.

Score: 9/10



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