Album Review: NAV — NAV

Written by: Danish Z

Nav is signed to The Weeknd’s XO label. His claims to fame are co-producing Drake’s famous Meek Mill diss “Back To Back” and producing/featuring on Travis Scott’s “Biebs In The Trap”.

Nav is a “vibe” artist. Every song here has the same theme: the depressed hedonism of a narcissistic antisocial celebrity douchebag drug addict. This an extremely narrow and shallow lyrical project. Nav focuses instead on creating a laid-back, spaced-out vibe, which is what he’s really good at. That’s mostly accomplished though the production, which is Nav’s strong suit.

All of Nav’s vocals are autotuned. Autotune’s constant presence makes the music even more impersonal, but does add some melody. Other autotune rappers like Future and Travis Scott will throw in some deeper lyrics, some feeling in the vocals that comes through despite being autotuned, or at least some cool ad-libs. Nav, with few exceptions, is emotionlessly monotone with minimal lyrical depth. And his ad-libs are equally dull. And he talks way too much shit about fucking other people’s bitches for someone who exudes such little style.

Every song on the album is essentially doing the same thing with minor variations. The flows are simple and repetitive, the same dazed mood is evoked. The production is solid throughout but unvaried. The Weeknd features on “Some Way”, blowing Nav out of the water with a pedestrian effort by Weeknd standards. “Mariah” is a nice lyrical exception, with Nav observing and calling out a gold digger who thinks she’s sly.

Nav, a Punjabi “Brown Boy”, uses “the N word” in his music. It’s in the hiphop “friends”, “people” etc context, not a racist context. Does that give him a pass? It’s a grey area, but it’s probably more appropriate that he not, as hiphop as he may be. Not a dealbreaker for me, but it will be for some.

2.5 out of 5.

Author: FTESWL

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