Tag Archives: NxWorries

The Best Albums of 2016: #20 – 1


Collage by Valentina Montagna.

If there’s one thing we learned since we launched Bandcamp Daily this past June, it’s that the world of Bandcamp is enormous—encompassing everything from emo in China to cumbia punk in Tucson, Arizona to just about everything in between. So narrowing our Best Albums of the Year down to 100 choices was a daunting task. Here, at last, are our Top 20 Albums of 2016.

More “Best of 2016”:
The Best Albums of 2016: #100 – 81
The Best Albums of 2016: #80 – 61
The Best Albums of 2016: #60 – 41
The Best Albums of 2016: #40 – 21

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Anderson .Paak and Knxwledge Are Co-MVPs on “Yes Lawd!”

Anderson .Paak and Knxwledge
Anderson .Paak and Knxwledge. Photo by Eric Coleman.

In February 2015, singer/rapper Anderson .Paak and producer Knxwledge released a song called “Suede,” a brash, shit-talking ode to good smoke and fine women, set atop a looping Gil Scott-Heron sample. At the time, it offered the best glimpse into what .Paak and Knxwledge were capable of doing together and apart: .Paak, the old soul with the strained voice, and Knxwledge, the proficient beatmaker with an array of cosmic funk instrumentals in his toolbox. “Suede” was profane, but it was also incredibly catchy, full of standout one-liners. “Now most of y’all can’t do shit, but all my chicks cook grits,” .Paak proudly declared. Their subsequent EP—Link Up & Suede—was passable but brief, leaving listeners with just a fleeting example of .Paak and Knxwledge’s work as a unit.

As it turned out, 2015 became a banner year for the two of them: Knxwledge landed a spot on rapper Kendrick Lamar’s acclaimed To Pimp A Butterfly, composing what might be the record’s best beat. Then he released his debut full-length, Hud Dreems, a 26-track collection of soul-sampling vignettes, on L.A.’s Stones Throw Records. .Paak—then a relative unknown—contributed heavily to Dr. Dre’s Compton LP, performing on six of 16 songs alongside luminaries like Jill Scott and Ice Cube. It was still hard to know what to make of .Paak as an artist, though from those features, it was clear he had the potential to be a headliner. On a song like “Animals,” which depicts the perils of inner-city blight, Dre gave .Paak space to shine, even allowing him to take the lead. In January, .Paak released his second album, Malibu, to critical praise, solidifying his newfound fame. He’s now signed to Dre’s Aftermath imprint.

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