Release Date: Feb 24, 2017
Record label: XO
Consistent with the popular XO motifs, NAV sing-raps mostly about drug use. While he's not shy to share his predilection for narcotic cough syrups and tablets, the native of Toronto district Rexdale speaks of drug use unglamorously. NAV highlights the culture of excess, dependency and even escapism that drugs bring. Whole NAV doesn't make profound music by a long shot, he suggests something more substantive than typical hip-hop materialism, especially with lines like "When I'm sober I just don't like who I am" ("Myself").
Haters gonna say, "this shit is wack." It's amazing to think that a little over six months ago, Nav's presence on Travi$ Scott's undercooked Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight was something of a saving grace. "beibs in the trap," a thinly veiled Justin Bieber-as-cocaine allusion, provided Scott the sort of interplay that made his better songs- "Oh My Dis Side," "Through the Late Night"- well, better. Alas, such skills do not appear to be transferable, and the allure of dropping something quickly ahead of a (presumably superior) Metro Boomin collaborative effort proved too much for the Brown Boy.
The Weeknd had a major hit in Can't Feel My Face, a song about "face numbing off a bag of blow," as he put it in the lyrics of recent song Reminder. Although the bright production on his latest album, Starboy, largely obscures his darker inclinations with a glossy retro-pop facade, he continues to go into full bender mode in his guest features for artists signed to his XO imprint, the latest of whom is NAV. The Toronto rapper/producer has been making noise behind the scenes for the past couple of years thanks to production credits on songs by Belly, Travis Scott and Drake.