Even if you were from Toronto, you’d be forgiven if Nav’s meteoric rise came as a huge surprise. Hailing from the west end borough, Rexdale, Nav’s cryptic image and top-tier production skills gained him notoriety on streaming platforms that seemed impossibly organic. The XO affiliate has managed to successfully transition from producer to rapper, and make a name for himself while doing it. While he may be focused on his rapper image these days, he's still giving out select production (seemingly more likely if he's also featured on the track). We're running through 10 of his best beats to get you more acquainted with his production style.


Harvey Stripes "Jokers" feat. Nav

Why so serious? Nav not only provided a hook for Harvey Stripes, but a beat for the big body from Ottawa, with comes complete with a ballin’ video to match the sound. Nav’s production on this song bumps like tracks from Toronto’s east and northwestern hoods, which compliments the gritty shots around Ottawa.

Vanilla the diamonds, like ice ice baby

The whip that I'm driving, like white rice and gravy

Your bitches, I'm robbin, they givin'

Like Mike Tyson lady

Forgets it

Porsche from a Lexus

Watch these bitches, and these bitches watch this fuckin' necklace

What a beautiful purchase

Trust me my goonies are lurkin'


Nav "The Man"

Nav shouts out French Montana, and talks about how great he is, at least from the perspective of an unnamed woman who’s wrapped around his finder, singing his praises. It’s a standard affair for hip-hop, but the laid-back self-produced beat makes this track a stand out. Nav’s not exactly flexing, he’s flossin’.


Belly "Re Up" feat. Nav

Melancholy is a staple in Canadian hip-hop, a notion which Belly and Nav do justice in “Re Up,” where both talk about struggles involving drugs. Whether it’s Belly outing friends who only hang around when he’s holding, or Nav, who fell in love with the sauce and never looked back, both acknowledge that, maybe, there’s more to life than popping Xans.

Born alone, die alone

I let the drugs take my soul

First time I bought some weed I was sold

If I get 40 thousand for a show

I'm scared I'll spend 20 thousand on some dope

Either RAF or Ricky on my toes

In high school I never made the honor roll


Travis Scott "Biebs in the Trap" feat. Nav

Beibs in the trap is a confusing track. If you close your eyes and strain you ears, it sounds like Nav’s verses are voiced by Justin Beiber himself. The cadence, tone of voice and accent all sound familiar, but it’s Nav doing the talking alongside Travis Scott.


Drake "Back to Back"

Who could forget the beat down Drake gave Meek in the summer of 2015? The meme-fueled deluge of disses culminated in the release of “Back to Back,” which found a way to diss Meek Mill and his hometown Philadelphia at the same time. Part of Drizzy’s campaign included a “Free Meek” t-shirt, which turned out to be a premonition of 2017. Is there anything The Boy can’t do?

But back to Nav (and Daxz, and 40! Both are instrumental to this song). The song slaps, thanks to a dizzying high-hat array laid on top of melodic, loopy bass notes. We’re sure you’ve heard it already, but give it another listen, paying special attention to the production. It’s well worth your ears’ time.


Nav "Up" 

Nav says he was never on his high school’s honour roll in “Re Up,” but it’s possible he studied Shakespeare’s use of iambic pentameter, which gives a distinctive lilt to his plays dialogue. If you break phrases from the song, such as:

Remember feeling broke as fuck

But now I'm pulling up in Rover trucks 

And listen to how he stresses the syllables in bold, you can hear polyrhythm as his flow interacts with the beat. It seems that’s how his fast-paced, sing-songy lyrics remain digestible and catchy. His words move around the beat on this track, not with it, and the song is better for it. Thank Metro Boomin for this offering while you’re at it, as it was a co-production effort.


88GLAM "Bali" feat. Nav 

88GLAM, a duo of Toronto rappers Derek Wise and 88 Camino, just dropped a self-titled joint album with Nav producing “Bali,” a track that perfectly accommodates three very different voices, considering tone and register. The beat’s arrangement makes each voice shine, whether it’s Wise’s gruffy baritone chest or 88 and Nav’s higher notes.


Nav "Some Way" feat. The Weeknd

This song was a highlight, and single, off the self-titled debut Nav released earlier this year. It's a light, airy production, featuring subtle distorted organ keys and the perfect melodic hook from The Weeknd. Paired together, and it's a beautiful listen.


Nav "TTD"

Sometimes less is more. “TTD” or “Ten Toes Down” captures the budding Toronto R&B sound, which is somber and minimalistic in nature. The delayed attack on his highest synth pattern keeps you just awake enough to listen to the songs. The rest is relaxing and out of the way. A case study in simplicity used to great effect in the production space.


A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie "Get to You"

Although it's Metro Boomin who gets the producer tag shout out at the outset, you can definitely hear Nav's influence on this co-production (additionally, Southside is also a co-producer).  It's one of the more deep cuts on A Boogie's debut album,The Bigger Artist, and a softened one at that, but the production itself sounds like something Nav might rap on as well, albeit less trappy. It's melodic, and dope.