MUSIC

In honor of NAV's debut album, an easy recipe to make your own Canadian Rapper at home!

The rapper fuses rap, pop, and R&B for his debut. We'll be fusing JPEGs and... that's about it, mostly.

Today marks the release date of NAV's debut album NAV, coming in fresh for fans of the Toronto rapper who found themselves obsessed after his put on of a feature for Travis Scott's "Biebs In The Trap," where we first heard your boy kill the chorus and take over the speaker at your local frat party.

We here at Popdust just listened to the album, and we're ready to supply you with those necessary hot takes, so let's dive in to NAV's self-titled debut album.

First things first, just to clarify that last part, his name is NAV, and the album is also called NAV. Also, the second song on the album is called, you guessed it, "NAV." The chorus is about how he doesn't have to pay for things anymore because you know, he's NAV! Who doesn't love NAV? But enough about that NAV guy, for as we all know every good rap album is an even toss up between the rapper spitting, and the producer behind the general sound of the track, and whoever's produced this is definitely bound to blow. Really, a lot of the songs just pop in a way-

Almost every song is produced by NAV? Is this a special brand of Canadian hell? Goddamn, I can already picture the "Who's On First?"-type conversations I'm going to have requesting this music at parties. The lights are going to be too dim, the music too loud, and right after pushing through countless weird drunk people, I'm gonna have to shout over the speaker that the AUX cord guy is no doubt going to be sitting on top of.

Me: Hey (louder) HEY!
AUX Guy: Hey!
Me: ARE YOU PLAYING MUSIC?
AUX Guy: HUH? YEAH!
Me: COOL! CAN YOU PLAY NAV?
AUX Guy: WHAT? SURE! WHAT SONG?
Me: NAV!
AUX Guy: I SAID, WHAT SONG?!
Me: NAV!
AUX Guy: I F*CK WITH NAV! WHICH SONG THOUGH?
Me: PLAY NAV!
AUX Guy: YEAH, I GOTCHU. WHAT'S THE ALBUM?

Ad infinitum, gang.

That aside, album's pretty good! He's got a nice voice, and it's clear that he can jump on a beat and definitely make a poppin' hook for it in no time. Only downside is, in the other parts of songs that aren't the hook, like the verse, or the beginning, or the ending, NAV reveals himself to be a little too generic in content and writing. Most verses should either have a main idea behind them, or at least some hot lines to stick out in people's ears. NAV's doing drugs, bedding women, he's never going to be broke again. So possibly every other mainstream rap album we've heard these days? Not to knock it, obviously I wouldn't be writing this if I didn't like the album, but do not expect the formula to be greatly improved upon.

Personal favorite track so far: "Some Way" ft. The Weeknd


But let's end this review on a good note: as promised, I'm going to be giving y'all a recipe on how to make your very own NAV at home, following these 5 easy steps!

Step 1: Find a photo of DJ Khaled. Any photo will do, I'll be using this one I was able to pick up at Costco in bulk for a low, low price.


Step 2
: Import that photo of DJ Khaled into Photoshop. It doesn't have to be Photoshop, any picture editing software will do, as these will be basic transformations.


Step 3
: Once you have DJ Khaled, you're going to want to transform the image (meaning change the dimensions of the photo). We're going to be making the photo slimmer by about 50% percent.


Step 4
: For this next step, you're going to need a photo of the Canadian flag, importing it into the project you're working on. It doesn't matter where you put it, just plop that sucker right on there! I was able to find mine at a local pharmacy.


Step 5
: Now that we've got a skinnier DJ Khaled in touch with his new Canadian roots, we're going to get out a medium sized saucepan, and put it on the stove over medium-low heat. Leaving our laptop in the saucepan overnight for about 9 hours, we'll be pouring eights in a liter in no time! Once you wake up in the morning, you'll be in for a sweet treat.

And… voila! Look at that, our very own NAV! All with these simple instructions, too!


Check out NAV, by NAV on iTunes

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Popdust's Top Five Rap Songs of 2016

Pitchfork might make the list you want, but Popdust makes the list you NEED.

2016 was a rough year for most things, but art did not suffer. We've got a new new wave of top tier rappers. Trap, the little subgenre that could, totally eclipsed the mainstream when its creative, rhythmic flows merged with the danceable production of "internet rap" to create rappers like Lil Uzi Vert and Ugly God, who are equal parts Kanye West and Gucci Mane in influence.

Here are the top five rap songs of the year, for all of the good that they brought us.

5. Good Drank (feat. Gucci Mane and Quavo) -- 2 Chainz

Brrrrrrr! 2016 felt a little bit... colder. Our long lost love, Trap God, penguin-in-chief Gucci Mane has returned to us from prison. And like a Chilean miner risen from the darkness, he's better than ever. In this completely slept on hit from 2 Chainz's Hibachi for Lunch mixtape, Gucci drops an unparalleled verse alongside superb contributions from 2 Chainz and 2016's official feature king, Quavo. Switching flows left and right and playing absolutely zero games with his needlepoint wit, Gucci deserves verse of the year for this song.

4. Feel No Ways -- Drake

Views was a disappoint. There's no dancing around that. After Drake firmly established his credit as a rapper of many talents with the consecutive releases of If You're Reading This and WATTBA, expectations for Views were absurdly high. Mitigation out of the way, "Feel No Ways" is a perfect pop song. It's hard to argue that the traditional verse/chorus anthem from Drake is anything but rap-in-context. It's not that there weren't enough songs featuring rap elements that I had to pick a pop song, it's that this song is just so far ahead of its competitors. Here's to the best song on a decent album.

3. pick up the phone -- Travis $cott and Young Thug

It's hard to be the wild man on a track with Travis $cott, but not when you're the norm-shattering trap titan that is Young Thug. If you were unfamiliar with Young Thug before 2016, you might've just gotten away with it. But after Travis $cott's triumphant return on Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight, you couldn't have helped but to fall in love with Thugger's extravagant style. The intoxicating hook on "pick up the phone" and its complementary, high-energy verses make this one of the most enjoyable songs in years and certainly demonstrates the trap genre's ability to adapt to its mainstream status.

2. Ultralight Beam (feat. Chance the Rapper) -- Kanye West

"Foot on the devil's neck till it drifted Pangaea/I'm moving all my family from Chatham to Zambia." There are not words to describe the satisfaction of seeing the New Wave rap god Kanye West passing the torch to the next generation of Chicago rap by granting Chance the Rapper the first verse on his latest masterpiece. Chance conveys the perfect amount of sincere, divine gratitude for the recognition of his talents that blends perfectly with the god-complex braggadocio of Ye. It's truly a prayer for the hip-hop head.

1. Untitled 2 -- Kendrick Lamar

Where the f*ck would we be without Kendrick Lamar? After all the praise I've heaped on trap in this list, I would still give it all away for a generation of Kendrick Lamars. Not to say that this man is replaceable, because I'm sure that Kendrick is one of those rare combinations of genuine talent and opportunity mixing in the perfect way. So many are where they are because they were in the right place at the right time, but Kendrick Lamar is one of those few stars who, if the world were a total meritocracy and only those with the greatest potential for performance became rappers, would still be the greatest in any situation. untitled, unmastered was a demonstration of his pure, unadulterated ability. Kendrick not only had the single hardest flows of the year, but combined them with live music instrumentals and some of the most thoughtful, introspective lyrics of all time. Here's the song of the year. "Untitled 2" by Kendrick Lamar. This live performance takes it to a whole 'nother level.

Bonus: First act of Savage Mode by 21 Savage and Metro Boomin

Savage Mode contains the two most promising elements of trap: a dark, earned nihilism and beats that make you wanna move. The first three songs on this album "No Advance," "No Heart," and "X" (feat. Future) make for a dark, spanning introduction to the life and times of trap's most emotionally volatile star, 21 Savage.