What you need to know about Rexdale rapper Nav's sold out concert in Toronto
Whether you're a fan or not, there's no debate that Nav's presence has reached an all-time high in Toronto.
The Lemonade rapper is best known as a leading artist under The Weeknd's XO record label, producing two #1 Billboard Top 200 albums and four Top 10's in the last few years alone.
He's become recognized as an artist with a consistent output of music, having amassed billions of streams across four studio albums and a handful of projects.
One of Nav's greatest contributions to hip-hop might be his knack for collaboration. He has shared songs with some of the biggest artists in the world, including label-mate The Weeknd, Travis Scott, Metro Boomin, Future, and Lil Uzi Vert.
His affinity for production has also led him to working with artists like Gucci Mane, Jay-Z, and Beyonce. In fact, some people might be shocked to learn that Nav co-produced Back to Back, Drake's celebrated 2015 diss track aimed at rapper Meek Mill.
Ironically, as of this week, Nav became the first Canadian rapper to headline the Scotiabank Arena since Drake, accompanied by guest appearances by Meek Mill, Travis Scott, and Lola Brooks.
This week's sold out show was a culmination of his 22 date Never Sleep Tour taking place none other than in his hometown of Toronto.
I went to the biggest concert of his career to date. Witnessing the energy from the crowd first hand I can attest that Nav has reached a new peak in his artistry.
His consistency to hype up the crowd, frequently high-fiving fans in the audience, proved for a great stage presence.
Nav managed to pull off a performance that felt both cinematic and intimate at times.
"I got my mom and dad in the crowd tonight," said Nav as a choir of fans shrieked lyrics back at him.
Many of Nav's songs speak to a life he no longer has, having grown up in Rexdale and later moving to Brampton. One of three siblings, Nav grew up in an immigrant household with parents from Punjab, a northern region of India.
"They tell me, 'Don't forget where you came from,' I regret what I came from, in my old hood moving like I got a vest on me, I'ma keep on winning, you should place your bets on me," crooned the Toronto rapper during his live performance of the hit song Call Me.
Popularized as 'the first brown boy to get it poppin', it's no secret that Nav's success stems from a strong following by the Indian community. He's even made remarks in the past claiming he feels a responsibility when it comes to being one of the first popular Indian rappers.
Despite the weight that that might bring, Nav has made a career out of the loyalty from this fan base. It was beautiful to see an arena catered to fans of South Asian descent. It was also cool to see the crowd transcend race altogether at times, hosting fans of all walks of life.
To show his appreciation, Nav rewarded the city with an onslaught of guest appearances that created a music-festival-like energy to the evening.
The show climaxed with Nav bringing out Travis Scott, who blasted SICKO MODE, one of his biggest anthems featuring Drake.
"Toronto I f***ing love you, I'll see you soon," yelled Nav before closing out the show. The crowd went on to cheer: "We want Nav" for what soon became an unrequited encore.
Say what you want about the Rexdale-rapper, but the man can put on a show. You can find NAV's most recent release, "Lately" from his upcoming project NAV 2.
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