Born and raised in the Dirty Jerz, now hailing from the City of Brotherly Love, N.ave is an artist that I had no choice but to give some attention to. Those familiar with me know I was also a Jersey boy in my youth before relocating to the Philly area circa Y2K. I’ve loved living in the Philly area for the past 18 years, falling in love with the city and calling it my own. His hometown of New Brunswick is the home of Rutgers University and, more importantly, the home of a few venues I used to go see many punk rock shows at in the 90s. Suffice it to say, I felt a camaraderie with N.ave before pressing play. The NJ/Philly connection was real.
Then… I pressed play… and…
As that first track played, I was immediately under the spell of N.ave’s particular brand of Philly hoodoo – aka Black Magic. This opening track, “Dead Roses” begins with a great piano that is soon joined by the backbeat. The flow is tight and the beat is infectious. When T. Nayah’s hook comes in, there’s no turning back. The track is hot and there are more to follow.
“Gravity” is the second track and has an awesome music video to go with it. The music video (above) is awesome and the track is one of my fave’s on the EP. The acoustic guitar and sirens in the beat accent the vocal track perfectly. N.ave goes hard from the time he breaks in. Not unlike “Dead Roses”, the track has a very catchy hook that’ll cause the track will be stuck in your head for days.
The EP keeps moving from there with “Dosumdiffrint”, the third track, another solid one. Produced by NOSHADOWBEATS, the track is a bit less in your face than something like “Gravity” but has equal power. Something about is reminiscent of Kanye and the deep and druggy vocal on the bridge sounds like something off of a D12 record. The song feels a bit like a change of pace from the first two tracks, but it feels like the perfect segway track into the fourth and final song on the EP.
The EP closes with the title track. This closer, “Black Magic (City of Dreams)”, has a very J.Cole vibe and seems most focused on the lyrical content. A powerful track, it’s a perfect closer for this stellar EP.
The Philly hip hop community should be proud of this young buck and how well he’s repping the 215. Pair this with the new Black Thought and it’s pretty clear that Philly hip hop is alive and well. The old guard and new guard of Philly rap are holding it down and as the torch is passed, we can rest assured that the scene is in good hands with N.ave.
Fans of Lupe Fiasco, Kanye West, J.Cole would be doing themselves a disservice to not check this EP out as soon as possible. Listen for yourself on his Soundcloud and check him out on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.