Navy Blue Unleashes Personal Major Label Debut “Ways of Knowing” Produced by Budgie (Album Review)
Navy Blue is a 26 year old skateboarder, MC, producer, songwriter, visual artist & model from Brooklyn, New York who came up in 2015 off his debut EP According to the Waterbearer. He has since continued to turn heads in the underground scene by dropping 9 more EPs & 6 full-lengths before signing to Def Jam Recordings about a month ago. With that in mind, it was only a matter of time until he dropped his 7th album albeit major label debut fully produced by Budgie.
“The Medium” is a drumless opener with some pianos & choir vocals as Navy admitting that learning patience has made sense for him as of late whereas “Chosen” has a more abstract, jazzy approach to it talking about being a prodigy. “The One” seeks eternal love with a silky yet sensual beat until “To Fall in Love” takes a more tropical route instrumentally talking about fucking up a real blessing like his significant other.
Zeroh comes into the picture on “Life’s Terms” to let it be known that all it takes for them just to be in love & that simply being the way it goes just before “Phases” dives into more soulful turf talking about being unable to stay the same with gratitude & living day to day. “Kill Switch” has a more dejecting sound to it as Navy acknowledges that he ain’t self righteous leading into the Kelly Moonstone-assisted “Window to the Soul” declaring themselves as ballroom stars returning to the boom bap.
“Freehold” opens up about despising his opponents & being unable to do this shit by his lonely on top of a slow yet syrupy beat while “Embers” with Liv.e delivers some jazzy piano chords as they talk about where they wanna be in life. The song “Pillars” is wavy ode to his family while the groovy penultimate track “Look in My Eyes” talks about seeing the pain he’s lived through. “Shadow’s Shield” however comes through with a drumless closer being unable to complain & thinking that everything will be straight in the end.
Between this & Maxo’s latest Def Jam debut Even God Has a Sense of Humor that just came out last month, it seems as if one of the most iconic labels in the history of our culture is continuing to help bring the underground to the mainstream by giving these artists the push they deserve. The lyrics are more personal which is great for those who’re new to him with the batch of instrumentals that Budgie whips up being amongst his strongest to date pulling from jazz rap, drumless & chipmunk soul.