NAV is back to represent all of Toronto and show everyone that he is still “the first brown boy to get it poppin”. I haven’t really been keeping up with NAV so I was surprised when this album popped up on my Spotify. Last summer when he dropped his mixtape collaboration with Metro Boomin’, Perfect Timing, I was playing it everywhere I went for a solid month. I really couldn’t help myself because of the fact that he had superstar features every third track. This man really got Gucci, Lil Uzi, Carti, Offset and 21 Savage on the project! Anyways, high expectations were definitely set as I entered his first official studio album, Reckless. Unfortunately I came to the realization that without the help of others, NAV’s music is relatable to taking a Xanax…I don’t really remember a lot of it.
The good songs on this album are the ones that have already been released as singles including “Wanted You (feat. Lil Uzi Vert)” and “Freshman List”, with the exception of “Champion (feat. Travis Scott)” which was definitely a pleasant surprise. “Wanted You (feat. Lil Uzi Vert)” is a catchy duet of ad libs, bitches and money, that is pleasing to the ears and actually has different production compared to the rest of NAV’s tracks. “Freshman List” is a phenomenal track honestly because we get to hear a rare side of NAV: emotion. This track is a ballad about how NAV is not a fan of XXL and that he doesn’t really care that he never made their Freshman List, in a more aggressive fashion. He seems to have started the wave for this movement, as XXL is catching extreme amounts of backlash currently. I think it’s safe to say that acquiring a Travis Scott verse is automatically a W, so there isn’t much explanation needed for that. Plus, The Matrix is my favorite movie so I love when it is acknowledged.
“Finna take off on spaceship (spaceship)
Dodgin’ these hoes like Matrix (Matrix)”
It is interesting that NAV’s best work comes from a place of emotional discomfort or struggle. This is USUALLY (not always) a great source for quality music creation, so I am not sure why he doesn’t tap into his emotions or share his past more often. Maybe it’s the drug suppression, or the fact that NAV’s life wasn’t too interesting before his Hollywood nights existed. He takes a whole lot of drugs too, that in turn provide him with problems and relief simultaneously in case you missed that. This is what drugs typically do. He should try J Cole’s advice and meditate or something. However, at the end of “Hold Your Hand”, he manages to fit the names of songs and projects from all of his previous work into the outro. I can’t really tell if this is corny or impressive but it definitely is notable and took some brain power.
There isn’t really much else to say about this bland album besides the fact that the Travis Scott track is flames. Surely I am not the only one that expects a little growth in an artist after each project, I mean that is what the whole process is about. It feels like NAV is going backwards and can’t really do much without features. He is really good at making songs about how much it sucks to be rich and have money though. If I ever get an urge to listen to NAV, I’ll be going back to Perfect Timing.