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Knxwledge - 1988
Stones Throw Records
Knxwledge (pronounced “knowledge”), aka Glen Boothe, is a producer raised in Philadelphia and New Jersey and now based in Los Angeles, where he is a pivotal figure in the city’s new generation of beat makers. Stones Throw will release his new album 1988 in March 2020.
Knx has long been a part of the Stones Throw Records family. As well as hundreds of remix collections beat tapes released on Bandcamp — collected in the album Anthology, released by Leaving Records in 2013 — he has released one official solo full-length on Stones Throw, Hud Dreems (2015). Since its release, Hud Dreems has won Knxwledge fans around the world and is widely as a modern classic of instrumental hip-hop — with a 2019 reissue testament to its continued popularity. Following Hud Dreems’ release, Knxwledge toured the world, bringing his eclectic DJ sets to fans in the USA, Asia, Europe and Australia.
An extremely active member of the fertile L.A. beat scene, Knx has long been a go-to producer for rappers after his unique, soulful sound. He’s made beats for artists including Joey Bada$$, Roc Marciano, Earl Sweatshirt and Kendrick Lamar, with his work on To Pimp A Butterfly earning him a Grammy nomination in 2015.
In 2014 Knx formed the duo NxWorries with R&B star Anderson .Paak. Their debut single “Suede” became a viral hit, and their album Yes Lawd!, a sprawling collection of R&B/hip-hop gems, followed through on that song’s immense promise. Named “Best New Music” by Pitchfork and widely praised for its contribution to the canon of albums made by a single rapper and producer — such as Madvillainy and Jaylib — Yes Lawd! Was an instant classic. Knx followed Yes Lawd! With a collection of remixes, in the tradition of producers such as Madlib remixing their own work. With more music due from NxWorries in the future, the duo remains both Knx and .Paak’s longest-standing collaboration.
While .Paak’s silken vocals feature twice on the album, 1988 is a definitive solo work. The influence of gospel music and his background in the church is felt more explicitly than ever. The album is quintessential Knxwledge; with its soulful vocals and expertly crafted beats that work samples into something far greater than the sum of their parts, it perfectly demonstrates why Knxwledge is so revered by his fellow musicians — Anderson .Paak describes NxWorries as “my best work”, while it was “Suede” that drew Dr Dre’s attention and ultimately led to his mentorship of the then-rising R&B artist.
But it’s not just among his peers that Knxwledge shines brightly. Although details of his personal life are relatively scarce, with the producer preferring to let the music rather than interviews do the talking, Knx has nevertheless long fostered direct communication with his fans, hosting AMA-style Q&As on production tips with his 125k Instagram followers, guesting on his peers’ radio and video shows, and taking part in live streaming events on the popular video game platform Twitch.