NAV is a Punjabi-Canadian rapper who is signed to The Weeknd’s ‘XO’ label and gained major recognition after his red Hot feature on Travis Scott’s ‘Beibs In The Trap’ track which was followed by his breakout eponymous mixtape. I really enjoyed that mixtape and felt like the future was bright for NAV so was excited to see what’s next. This is the anticipated follow-up, a collaborative project with megastar hip-hop producer Metro Boomin so surely this will be full of bangers? Let’s find out with my review of NAV & Metro Boomin’s ‘Perfect Timing’ mixtape.
I’ll warn you now, this project is a million miles away from his debut mixtape in terms of talent and authenticity, it sounds like horrendous throwaways basically all the way through here, from the lacklustre beats to the brainless lyricism. One thing I took from NAV’s debut tape was his ability to make catchy hooks and get songs stuck in your head, there’s only a couple of examples of that on display here and the rest just suck the life out of you. ‘Call Me’ and ‘Did You See NAV?’ being my only truly enjoyable NAV hooks while the others are just painfully boring and poor quality. ‘A$AP Ferg’ is saved by Lil Uzi Vert’s hook but even then NAV manages to put his frustrating stamp on it.
The features suggested to me that this album would be a great listen, with some of the hottest artists around right now being listed, including 21 Savage and Lil Uzi Vert as well as Playboi Carti. In reality what we got was plain evidence that NAV is so far off these guys on every level imaginable and it’s made so obvious from their involvements compared to his. 21 is as cold as ever on ‘Both Sides’ while Carti brings some attitude and hype to an otherwise snoozer of a track in ‘Minute’ which also features Offset of Migos.
Now I love Metro Boomin, he has been the brains behind some of my favourite hip-hop beats over the last few years, including Future’s ‘Mask Off’, Kodak Black’s ‘Tunnel Vision’ and Migos’ ‘Bad & Boujee’; but here he does himself no favours whatsoever. The production is sleepy and dull from beginning to end with only one or two passable moments, it’s really disappointing to hear from such a bright and exuberant producer.
Let it be known that this was the tape which exposed NAV. His debut got a pass because that was clearly the best of his work, he put all his efforts into those songs and it came off for him. Here, there’s no hiding place, he had one of the best producers around making his beats and had the support from big featured artists to keep him relevant and afloat. Instead what we were given was an agonising listen with no character, no emotion and barely any talent. Lazy is the word that comes to mind here and I wouldn’t recommend this tape to anyone, I certainly won’t be rushing back to listen to it.