JYDN's "NAVYBLUE" Paints a New Shade of Innovation in the R&B Soundscape of Ottawa
by Cheng-En Yew
There’s some hot stuff coming out from the streets of Ottawa and it isn’t Tim Horton’s new bacon lunch sandwiches. With Canada’s up and coming rise in the R&B genre, headed by Drake and the Weeknd, JYDN (Jayden Henry) has already begun to ride the wave and establish an appreciable following of avid music goers with the release of his new album, “NAVYBLUE”. As an album, “NAVYBLUE” can be best described as the result of JYDN’s personal experience, with the complications and capriciousness of love, which reflects the entirety of JYDN’s past work in music. With the album exploring cliched, but dynamic topics, such as the uncertainties of love and the remnant emotions of a sour break up, JYDN’s voice alternates from a soft melodic tone in “Who Do You Love” to a harsh, fast-paced tirade in “IDNY”. The stark contrast between the pace of his songs allows JYDN to showcase his strong artistic talents in both rapping and singing, while treating his audience to a variety of rhythmic beats. These beats execute the role of a hook exceptionally well, drawing in the audience immediately, using a short sample of his intro beat.
Additionally, JYDN shines when it comes to quality lyrical brevity. JYDN’s concise lyrical dynamics allows the audience to further immerse themselves into themes of young love, with the meshing of contemporary references to pop and dating culture. For instance, JYDN succinctly combines references of materialistic women and Carmelo Anthony’s failure to attain a championship ring in his illustrious NBA career into a single bar, “So you know the gold on my neck bright yellow, now b*tches pull up on me saying hello, they be looking for a ring like Melo”.
To the delight of hardcore fans of DMG music, Maurice Moore returns to feature on JYDN’s album in the song “Be Mine” after a prior collaboration on one of his most popular songs, “Proof”, an absolute must-listen. Personally, I felt as though Maurice Moore’s contribution to the song was disappointingly unnecessary, as the voices and styles of both artists mirrored each other’s too closely in the song. This was not the case in “Proof” where Maurice spat out hot rap while JYDN soothingly sang with a broken heart in blatant contrasts to one another. The irrelevancy of the feature doesn’t necessarily mean the song was terrible, in fact, the song was a great listen as both artists flawlessly executed intonations and vibratos in their voices (a recurring quality throughout the album). If you enjoy listening to Perseus, “Be Mine” was an absolute beast of a remix of “Shadow of the Beast”. To many first time listeners of his work, JYDN may simply seem to be another poor man’s version of Bryson Tiller. Although it is undeniable that many obvious similarities exist, JYDN is able to separate his work from the likes of mainstream artists by constantly re-inventing the tone of his music and consistently aiming for innovation. For the final verdict, I’ve got to give “NAVYBLUE” a solid 8/10.