The Big Ticket Concert is almost here, ladies and gentlemen. The event is always one of the biggest of O-Week and a huge part of many Badgers’ first impression of Brock’s social side and nightlife. Last week, the Brock University Student’s Union announced that Toronto-based rapper NAV would be headlining the event.
With a Juno nomination and collaborations with some of the biggest names in hip-hop, NAV is one of the most acclaimed artists to take the stage at Brock. His career, while short, has been explosive, both in terms of his own original music and his work with other established acts.
Between his mother bringing him home a boombox when he was younger and an uncle who was a popular singer in India, NAV’s interest in music was inevitable. He started out as an amateur producer, spending his high school days creating mash-ups before going on to produce beats for underground Toronto artists. Even with a thriving solo career well underway, NAV continues to rack up production and co-writing credits with everyone from Metro Boomin to Travis Scott to Drake. No big deal, you know?
NAV made his first big splash in 2015, when he released the song ‘Take Me Simple’ to Soundcloud. As of now, the song has over 10 million hits on the site, and has been played by Drake on his personal Beats 1 Radio show; Drake would eventually invite him to help produce his 2015 album Back to Back.
From here, his career has been a whirlwind, especially considering it’s short span of just four years. Alongside his production work with Drake, he was also one of the producers on Travis Scott’s 2016 album Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight and appears as a guest on the track ‘Beibs in the Trap’. Since being signed to XO and Republic Records, NAV has released his first two commercial mixtapes. The first in 2017 was self titled, and the lead single ‘Some Way’ was graced by a guest appearance from The Weeknd. Then, a collaborative mixtape, titled ‘Perfect Timing’ was released. This mixtape was an incredibly fortuotous collaboration with producer Metro Boomin, a partnership which Metro Boomin himself must have enjoyed a great deal. Although Boomin announced his retirement from this line of work some time after the project, NAV announced in April that the two would be working together to create Perfect Timing Part 2, to be released sometime soon. What’s more, a debut album, currently titled Reckless, is in the works.
So, plenty of exciting things have happened already, and exciting things are on the horizon, for NAV as well as his fans. But what can the Badgers expect from his headline slot at the Big Ticket Concert? While NAV’s history of live performances is somewhat short, it seems his live sets span his production career as well as his rap career. Fans can expect tracks from both NAV and Perfect Timing to make up the bulk of the performance, but solo performances of his collaborative efforts are also to be expected. ‘Beibs in the Trap’ is a regular staple of his live performances, for instance. Interestingly, ‘Take Me Simple’, one of the tracks that got his name out there, seems to appear only rarely, if ever.
It seems that NAV spares no expense with his performances, either. Expect an extensive barrage of lights and a showcase of the rapper’s eccentric fashion sense. NAV’s career has truly embodied the collaborative spirit that has kept hip-hop such a vibrant and rapidly developing genre. His live performances carry on this tradition by involving the crowd as much as possible, so if you’re expecting to get away with just enjoying the show from afar, think again: you are going to get very involved and you’re going to love it.
In short: you’re in for a treat, Badgers. BUSU really knocked it out of the park on this one.