Rapper Navraj Goraya, better known as Nav, recently dropped his newest project "Emergency Tsunami," making it his third release of the year. The 14-track album features collaborations with acclaimed producer Wheezy and rappers Young Thug and Lil Baby.
While most rappers focus on animated deliveries and flow switches to demonstrate their versatility on the mic, the 31-year-old rapper is infamous for his incredibly monotone delivery, and made no attempt to change that for this album.
Autotune is a staple in rap today and many esteemed hip-hop artists, like Don Toliver and Young Thug, know how to utilize it to transform their voice into both an instrument and a device for storytelling. But for Nav, it achieves just the opposite.
Nav lacks the flair and spunk that rap is known for, and between his lyrics focused on flexing and jewelry combined with stale delivery, many of the tracks sound like he's desperately trying to convince you that he's accomplished, instead of letting the music convey that for him.
Wheezy, who has worked with the likes of Travis Scott and Gunna, is one of the most influential producers in the rap game and has made a powerful impact on the genre. Primarily working with trap artists, Wheezy is known for his ability to mix melodic trap beats with sound effects to keep a sense of momentum and cohesion in a song.
And while this formula is used extensively on "Emergency Tsunami," it's achieved varying degrees of success.
For example, the album's second track, “Friends & Family,” contains some of the best production on the project. Wheezy masterfully combines high octane flutes and fresh sound effects to develop momentum within the track.
But Nav bragging about clothes and money throughout the song seemed slightly off-kilter, as many musicians have been struggling throughout the pandemic due to their inability to go on tour. Nonetheless, the track is a highlight on the album and exhibits Wheezy’s skill at production and sound selection.
The fifth track, “Repercussions,” features a stellar verse from rapper Young Thug and marks their fifth time collaborating together. While Young Thug overtly outperforms Nav on this track, it does go to show that Nav can land some solid features and is excellent at bringing talent together. Wheezy’s production holds a concise grip on the energy of this song, making it both controlled and memorable.
But despite Wheezy's admirable attempts to keep the production interesting throughout the track list, most of the beats are generic. This is especially evident on the album's more mellow tracks, such as "Vetement Socks."
Nav’s uninspiring and repetitive lyrical content convey a sense of boredom and a constant search for validation. Wheezy’s production skills are what carried Nav throughout most of the project, but for the tracks with lackluster beats, they just further highlight Nav’s inability to maintain an interesting flow. With such surface level, unoriginal lyricism on an album like this, attention can only be maintained for so long.
"Emergency Tsunami" is an example of a trap album trying to be too many things at once and failing to be any of them. While the features offer refreshing breaks in the track list, ultimately Nav’s lyrics and tone aren't versatile enough to keep listeners engaged.
While Nav has had an impressive year with the release of three projects, this latest one neither plays on his strengths nor offers anything new or refreshing. Fans of Nav will likely be happy with this album, but overall it falls short on its potential.