Perfect Timing

Perfect Timing

The concept of "perfect timing" usually involves a synergy of circumstance, talent, and intent. For Metro Boomin and NAV, their eventual collision seemed inevitable a couple years before they officially linked up. In 2015, NAV scored a breakthrough by producing Drake's "Back to Back," an epic Meek Mill diss that was played in clubs virtually everywhere. A year later, Metro Boomin crystallized his status as trap music's proverbial next up with Savage Mode, a 21 Savage joint EP embedded with the St. Louis producer's customary ambient menace. After connecting for NAV's 2017 song "Up," the two merged their abilities for Perfect Timing, an aptly titled joint mixtape that made the most of their mutual ascendance as rap luminaries. While muted violence is the fulcrum of 21 and Metro's collaborations, NAV operates as 21's calm stylistic cousin. His unaffected metallic melodies emit a similarly icy detachment, which, when blended with Metro's penchant for subdued ambience, situate the project in the realm of nocturnal cool. The opener, "Perfect Timing (Intro)," plays out like a cruise through Toronto, with NAV rattling off flexes and quips at doubters like smoke in the night air. For "I Don't Care," he continues coasting as he puts one ex in the wind. You can hear traces of hurt here, but how serious can things be when he says he'll spend her rent on boxers? NAV stretches his vocals a bit on "Bring It Back," but for the most part, he keeps things at room temperature to match the tranquil atmosphere of the sound beds, even if guest spots from Playboi Carti and Offset ("Minute") force him to up the tempo. NAV has mastered the distant-playboy act, but he can be powerful when he allows himself to revel in feeling. Leaning into a beat that sounds like a space void (“Call Me”), he reflects on fame and its pitfalls, two things he would find more of with the success of Perfect Timing.

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