Knxwledge made his debut on Stones Throw Records yesterday, May 5th, with his 26 track instrumental hip-hop collection named Hud Dreems. Raised in New Jersey and Philadelphia, Knxwledge now resides in Los Angeles, amongst other beat producers, and in addition to his previous mix-tapes, he has recently worked with Kendrick Lamar on his latest album, To Pimp a Butterfly. If you enjoyed Lamar’s album, this is a record that will also soothe your soul, and raises the anticipation for the future release of collaboration between him and MNDSGN, also of Stones Throw.
In addition to the release, yesterday Knxwledge hosted a Q&A on Reddit with fans, and encouraged people to “ask him anything.” People were not shy to take advantage of this, asking “why does he hate vowels so much,” to the alleged beef between Soulection (soul mentioning that Knx’s mixing and quality was terrible). Knxwledge laughed it off, and explained (in regards to soulection) that he respects another “n**** gettn $$. but fuk thm hoes,” not caring for his spelling brought up by other people. He also mentioned how blessed he was to work with Lamar, and thanked everyone for the praise that was posted. Answers that stood out seemed to revolve around his life experiences, as influences, his mind, as a favorite piece of gear to work with, and inspiration in general- all immediately felt in Knx’s work. Knxwledge’s overall theme was positivity, especially when a fan asked if there was ever a beat he couldn’t produce as he imagined, whereas Knxwledge simply replied “nah” and you can do anything.
From start to finish, the smoothness, simplicity and overall flow from track to track is a polished work of art. Knxwledge’s technique shines on this album, from his “crate digging” and jazz influences. The musical epitome of what Knxwlege encountererd, felt, and the talent to be able to capture this essence, and translate it through the universal language is the underlying true beauty of hip-hop. The opening track, “kometostai.aintreallynootherwaytoputitro,” is only a little over a minute and has become one of my favorite tracks on the album. Nostalgia, the loops of youth, and the music past, sums up this track with out gushing over the obvious.
“mylife” is a prime example of Knxwledge’s unique signature when it comes to the chopping, looping, and overall transition, also heard in “frmnowhere” and “letuleave.” The placement of any sample, and wording, is obvious to the listener of the care and craft Knxwledge took into consideration.
The exploration of being an instrumental hip-hop collection draws a lot of emotion and imagination of the listener, only focusing on the sound and the effect. An advantage to the minimalist point of view of music, being instrumental, like majority of music, is the interpretation, though some may be obvious, such as “thtbodi,” and it’s sexy jazz slowly swooning over the curves of a body. The longest song “trsh,” coming in over 3 minutes, compared to the average one minute tracks, is a polished mix which is another prime example of Knxwledge’s ability and small doses of his personality, that allows his beats to be memorable. “jstowee,” “nvrending” and “demskreets.fekts” are tracks that capture one unique sound built within, as the overlaying melodies blend in for a finer finish. There isn’t a flaw that can come to mind and this is definitely an album that should be heard from start to finish. Who knows what soulection was talking about because this album, and it’s transitions, were clean.