You may not know Knxwledge by name, but you have heard his beats. His production credits include Omarion, Ghostface Killah, Curren$y, Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$$, Action Bronson, and Prodigy to name a few. In fact, he was even the man behind the boards on “Momma” from To Pimp a Butterfly. In other words, this dude isn’t someone to sleep on. Thankfully, on Friday (March 27), he dropped his second album titled 1988.
Reaganomics, crack era policing, and golden era hip hop are three things that were alive and well in 1988. It also happens to be the year that Knxwledge was born. The New-Jersey-to-Los-Angeles transplant is one half of NxWorries, a duo consisting of himself and Anderson Paak. Their album Yes Lawd! arrived back in 2016 and since then, Knxwledge has released a string of EPs and beat tapes.
His 1988 album’s lead singles are “Listen” and “Howtokope,” and both arrived late last month. It is a follow up to 2015’s Hud Dreams and according to a Stones Throw press release, 1988 is a concept album.
“As the story is told, little baby Knx was left alone by his mother for just a few moments and crawled to a family member’s vintage SP–12 sampler. When his mother returned, he had already produced his first beats and nearly mastered the machine. These tracks, all produced before nap time while rocking a Nike diaper, were stored over the years on floppy discs, then brought to his studio in recent months where they were finished up, mixed, and mastered,” it reads.
While this narrative seems like the work of a highly creative imagination, the beats themselves are very real. A prolific producer of countless mixes, Knxwledge narrowed his tracklist down to 22 beats that range from just under a minute to closer to the normal two or three minute songs people are used to.
Check out 1988 below.