NxWorries had a splendid 2016 with their highly-praised, yet severely underrated debut album Yes Lawd!, a gorgeous and confident project full of rich beats and “mobile-to-noble” narration. The SoCal-duo, comprised of zany multi-genre-aficionado Anderson .Paak and loop beast Knxwledge, splashed with ritzy showmanship while still remaining faithful to their classy modesty. Despite this project being overshadowed by .Paak’s magnificent Malibu (2016), the follow-up to one of 2016’s most underappreciated projects is their recently-released Yes Lawd! Remixes.
Prior to the first go-around with the remix tape, it’s easy to expect the end result to mimic the original’s glorious and suave feel. However, Knxwledge flips the dial by producing an antithesis of YL!. Knxwledge substitutes the first project’s lush church-service production with moody and meditative instrumentals, creating a second spin and, ultimately, different album.
The ambition of giving the music industry a second look at NxWorries’ body of work is refreshing. In fact, more artists should create remixes of their work. However, there are times throughout YL!R where the new versions don’t live up to the original masterpieces. One of the best examples is “Wngs (Remix),” a shell of its parent. The track’s splendid string work is transfixing and memorable, however, the lack of other production elements makes it slightly stodgy. “Livvin (Remix)” has an overpowering bassline with faint drums in the background, but is too stagnant to create a rise in tension.
Two of the strongest tracks on this project are “Kutless (Remix) and “Lyk Dis (Remix).” “Kutless (Remix)” features a distorted, soft guitar with filtered kicks and clicks that accompany a reverbed edit of .Paak’s verb. The track encaptures the original’s smoothness while incorporating a tinge of a lonely sensation. “Lyk Dis (Remix)”’s hearty beat and chopped melody shows Knxwledge at his best. A fading flute and trap-inspired percussion patterns garnishes the song with swank.
“Bstwun (Chppd)” is the most reminiscent to the first album, simply because it contains autochthonous parts, such as the wavering melody and drum patterns. “Suede (Uptwnmixx)” is a fresh mixture of rapid, uncontrollable lyricism and a jazz-infused sound. Both songs deviate from the labeled remixes, but overall enhance the project’s enjoyment.
In addition to the plethora of remixes, Knxwledge pumped out three instrumentals to decal the project with his patented transitions that the first project didn’t have. Opener and closer “Alltypeofchnces” and “Reali(The)Nd” are creamy and cinematic, seeming to fit as soundtracks to everyday events. “Idntrememberwell” is a trancing track for late-night unwinding and turning-down.
While it is unclear whether Anderson .Paak had much influence on the second-coming of Yes Lawd! or not, it is apparent that NxWorries still has their touch within the greater music landscape. The future for the group is hazy and undetermined, but it would certainly come to the displeasure of many fans if the two decided to no longer collaborate or see some extended hiatus.