The “Brown Boy” NAV is back with a feature lineup of close friends to deliver Good Intentions, the second side to his last album Bad Habits. This is his most confident release yet because there’s plenty of stratospheric sounds contained that Nav has unlocked and there’s less toxicity in his upgrading life. With frequent collaborators Gunna, Travis Scott, Future, Lil Uzi Vert and more, expect beats of hazy trap and melodious journeys.
Navraj Singh Goraya, the Indian-Canadian rapper and producer, knows how to shoot his shot through the charts and keep quite the credible friendships. His previous album Bad Habits went No.1 following a deluxe version and he continued to do features or production credits with megastars like The Weeknd or Young Thug. His highest charting release “Turks” from late March from a vacation in Turks & Caicos islands previewed a nirvana relief of how the album’s would sound.
Right off the intro, Nav reminds that “I got bad habits but I still got Good Intentions.” He sees a positive future with new challenges for himself and his XO team/label. Crazy energy and a time warping beat made a favorite track and one of Nav’s best collabs yet in “My Business” feat. Future. They flex their wealth and ignore their haters but the
astronaut Future slays his verse with sky-scraping energy. Luckily before the pandemic erupted, Goraya had this new collection mostly finished with cunning promotion.
“I'm a boss, I’m minding my business, Open up the box, got bales in the kitchen / Owe me a bag and I'm coming to get it, Catch another flight and I change the aesthetic,” NAV raps.
There are other tracks relating to the conversing of their fame and continuous riches in “Status” and “Spend It” with close friends Lil Uzi Vert and Young Thug. Although the same theme, there’s a unique, catchy melody to NAV’s beats that hits you different. He also adapts to today’s flows that climbs the charts or airplay that’s evident on “No Ice” with Lil Durk. He mimics the drill flow or the emo rap of Uzi Vert accompanied with his alternative trap instrumentals.
NAV is an innovator because of his ethnic background and musical style. “Everybody sayin' they want the old NAV, but they already stole my sound (My sound) /I did a lot for my people, I made it cooler to be brown (Brown Boy).” There aren’t too many Indian rappers in hip-hop but Navraj is making it possible for other producers embracing the memes. A surprise guest on the LP is the late Pop Smoke and the melodic switch in his aggressive Brooklyn drill. When you collaborate with NAV, he’ll bring out versatile sounds rare for the artist.
The second best collab has to be with Don Tolliver simply for being in uber demand for his crepitated vocals. Where Tolliver’s voice fits on the melodic minor scale is beyond many but future hits are possible between the two. The “beibs in the trap” producer still has poisoning habits for common drugs evident in “Codeine” feat. Gunna or Xanax in “Overdose.” Where I'm from, they shootin' s**t up odee , Probably 'cause we ain't got no OGs / Don't start judgin' if you don't know me, Had a bad relationship with codeine (Lean).” Along with these coping methods, many know NAV’s music associated with drug use, heavy materialism and exotic experiences.
Behind the passion, there’s an affable being that knows our vices’ strings. “Brown Boy” is the most honest song because he’s not shying away from his heritage nor taking a backseat of the minor racism in the industry. He references his nickname throughout the album and his position will be hard to replace when he’s gone. Good Intentions is Navraj’s most honest and chill album to date for his XO label and frequent collaborator list with refreshing anti-rap cadences. With a deluxe version (Brown Boy 2) looming, there’s more experiments and charts to take for NAV’s intention.
This album gets 4 out of 5 stars.