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This week in hip-hop: It’s sophomore season for Nav and Rich the Kid

Both rappers dropped new albums this week. Here’s how they held up to A&E.

Nav’s “Bad Habits”

Still riding the waves of his international hit “Champion” with Travis Scott, Nav released his second studio album on Friday. Its title, “Bad Habits,” is appropriate.  

While we wouldn’t classify this release as a sophomore slump, the Canadian melody rapper fails to stir up new sound. Nav seems to be going with what he knows — smooth, creamy, autotune-heavy bars that are perfect for nighttime city driving.

But that’s about it. 

The quick tit-tat flow of “I’m Ready” grooves with its accompanying bass-heavy beat. Claiming “don’t know why they doubt me, what’s the game without me” on the track, Nav seems to be defending himself rather than affirming his greatness. 

This lack of confidence reflects an album-wide theme, preventing the disc from taking off. 

The Punjabi rapper seems to shy away on every track, with a laid-back energy that’s hallmark to some artists’ sounds — say Kid Cudi. Here, it’s not well executed. 

Enlisting some of the era’s go-to feature artists like Meek Mill, Gunna, Young Thug and Lil Durk, the tracks gain some life, but more for a change of voice than sound.  

It’s only on The Weeknd’s featured track, “Price on My Head,” that the duo-work shines. The waves created by both artists are perfectly complementary and create a techno-luminous vibe. 

The album peaks about halfway through with this song before turning oddly trap after track nine, “Snap.”

The potential is there, but sorry Nav — the memes will probably continue after this one. 

Grade: C

Rich the Kid’s “The World is Yours 2”

Bass, bass, bass.

Make sure you have some good headphones for this EP. Every track on Rich the Kid’s second album, “The World is Yours 2,” hits heavy with bass-doused tracks.  

Normally this would be a reason to flip the off switch, but it works here. The rapper uses his bouncy flow and unique voice to contrast the deep instrumentals, and the result is a head-bobbing good time. 

Does this album hold the clout to be a Nas single namesake? Absolutely not. But for some good springtime vibes, it does the trick.  

On “Save That,” the Kid utilizes a jazz flute and really gets the beat bumping. His words groove. Whether it’s the beat or the lyrics that do it for you, the D. A. Doman-produced track imitates the beat-maker’s smash “Zeze”and has the makings to be a summer hit.  

No less than 14 features are present on the disc, a staple of Rich the Kid’s style. The record label owner utilizes these features to try new flow and create sounds that feel good.  

Most notably, the goon employs Miguel and Ty Dolla $ign for the straight-up sing-heavy track “Woah.” No joke. You may laugh or you may groove, but respect has to be given to the artists giving this soft feel a shot.  

Other than this track, while it’s nothing groundbreaking, Rich the Kid has spun up an album that has good vibes and emanates his personality.

But seriously, you’re not Nas, nor Scarface. Chill with the associations. 

Grade: B 

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