There are few artists with as sharp an ear as the LA-legend, Knxwledge. Today, Knxwledge is taking us on a journey and a half with the release of his long awaited sophomore album, 1988, via Stones Throw which also serves as a concept album follow up to his 2015 masterpiece, Hud Dreams.
With a library of 113 projects (yes you read that right 113 projects on his bandcamp), the man has grinded and perfected his craft over the course of 1,000+ tracks, leading him to produce for the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Joey Badass, Action Bronson and Anderson .Paak in their duo, NxWorries & more.
And in continuing upon his sonic mastery, this latest offering is not only loaded with 22 of the dopest beats you’ll hear this year, but is also stacked with unspoken meaning between the bars. To start, 1988 is the year Knxwledge was born, immediately hinting at a tone of self-reflection before the beat even starts. Upon further inspection, one also finds a message hidden in the track list:
“Don’t be afraid. Because tomorrow’s not promised. Do you. That’s all we can do. Listen. Learn how to cope with reality. You only get one, so live life. Be safe. Watch who you call your homie. They come and go. Don’t gotta be gangsta all the time, believe me. It can be so nice. Make use of the time. Make it live forever. A woman’s life is love. A man’s love is life. Keep on minding my business.” – Knxwledge
If this isn’t proof enough of the intention and passion behind this album, the proof is in the sweet sweet musical pudding. The songs on this project seamlessly flow from one to the next, entwining soulful instrumentation, sedated yet driving drums and pitched vocal samples into compact, entrancing loops of sonic gold.
The effortless transition from track to track, energy to energy, mood to mood, memory to memory is what makes this album just so damn good. By the time you get to the end of the 22 tracks, you’ll think you’re still on the opener.
The additional support on “itkanbe[sonice]” and the tongue-in-cheek “minding_my business” from NxWorries partner, Anderson .Paak – and the golden piped Durand Bernarr and RoseGold is the velvety icing on this masterfully complete cake.
The time, effort and thought that Knxwledge put into 1988 is a testament to his talent and the devotion to refining that talent. This project is loaded with feeling between every loop and every layer, and is an unbelievably pleasurable listening experience from start to stop. This isn’t just background music, if you give it the attention it deserves, you may just learn a little something about yourself in the process.
Stream Knxwledge’s 1988 below and enjoy!