by Navi

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From the darkest recesses of the homebrew laboratory comes GRAYSCALE, the debut album of Maryland hip hop artist Navi.


released January 19, 2010

executive produced by navid azeez and callan holderbaum
all tracks written by navid azeez
additional production by oscar martinez
cover art by navid azeez




Navi Washington, D.C.

Known for his eccentric stage energy and stream of consciousness lyrics, Navi creates verbal pastiche by employing a variety of influences to combine his personal experiences with pulp imagery. His lyrics tell stories of his own ethnic narrative and personal relationships through themes of internet culture, pop culture, classic science fiction, horror, and surrealism. ... more

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Track Name: Soundcheck
Ok, check one two
been gnawing off the edges of the fu man chu
bad nerves brewing got me off my blue man groove
plus a slew of nicotte to make an MC stew
Don't puke, deep breath now, man you got this
god it's hot, whole room is toxic
aushwitz cigarette stink obnoxious and this flegm up
in the tip of my throat, i might choke but ah
mic checkachecka, split the fader
aviator shades looking AC slater hide a
nervous narrator late doors all ages
but i'm waiting on the crowd, checkin texts, calling favors
dialing up the old neighbours, facebook show creators
98 attending but only eight waiting
they're all flaking man i'm shaking, can't take another
venue looking vacent from the stage, floors naked

(mic check) cover all bases
Eyes on faces, not the shoelaces
Hydrate, stand straight, voice can't waver so we
Soundcheck now or we sound wrecked later

ok, the mic is hot, ready or not,
i'm penciled in the opening slot, i got a
merch box stickers, CDs going to rot in
the car, keys locked in, spare forgotten
blame it on old murph, ancient prophet,
when things go sour patch inside the cockpit
Backlit stage, wet pits, mop the turban cause the
Sweat drip glaze till they drop the curtain
shits not working, ipod got nicked
cool j faux pas with the white speed stick
and i'm in the mirror freaking like that glee chick
Double checking set times every three to five ticks
How's the mix, need more? Need a puh need a roar?
God, I'm geeking, it's a weekend, and it's seconds to doors
And only ten on the floor, close my eyes, it's a stadium
Jam packed, cue track, see em, now you play to em

(mic check) cover all bases
Eyes on faces, not the shoelaces
Hydrate, stand straight, voice can't waver so we
Soundcheck now or we sound wrecked later
Track Name: Grab Bag
it's been a long time...and I should not have left you

there's been some downtime i can hear em saying oh how he's comatose
Overdosed, on Craig's List stalking a vocal coach
None of those. back again and unopposed, navi
Self crowned homebrew coppertone swami
the laughing buddah break beats on computer formula
one producer plus stone rap medusa, why wait?
Act now and you can grab it sooner
Brand new tunes from the brown baraccuda
man, who woulda thunk that
the local brown recluse he could be pumpin out funk
some tracks give flashback to old school addicts, got them
dustin afros out the trunk in the attic
I flipped the handle, hope ya'll forgive me
Tall talking rappers only translating pygmy
King me, I'm in the sky tripping off the litmus
Passed out dry heaving at a local business
Easy money scheme piling high, no piss test
Snakeskin scheming with razorback fishnets,
Beat a beat senseless from DC to Memphis
Word bank, endless, retoric, effortless
I burn wax like a candlestick, lighting up a limerick
more complex than sex to oedipus
Oh my word, spits so absurd
Flametongue hit attacks the nerve centers, it's
Lock, load blast first ask at the funeral
Daydream life like it's Nuke 'Em high musical
grayscale detailed in superfly packages
A grab bag guarenteed to stupify amatuers

Fragfests go ahead and blast to this
Tiedye hippies smoke grass to this
DJs scratch to this
If you're in a cubicle, fuck it, fax to this
I'm not a pacifist, I got active spits that drop
daily on the reg like a laxative, I got
nouns adverbs and adjectives, you could say
I fucking mastered this craft I spit
Track Name: The Swami Interluude
i spent the last night in the lab in my boxers
stacking up boxes, scrubbing cloroxes
before I packed up the doctor, pulled up
one last canvas, my ink and some toxins
I got brushes with delicate touches
Thick hair for bass, kick, snares so luscious
Dutches on the table, cables bunches on the easel
Fabers in the mason, tips chopped down to needles

Start it with a quick sketch, turn it to a drumset
Shade a bit of texture but it doesn't quite bump yet
I don't fret, I got a pallette like a salad
And I mix color with sound like a tropical parrot
with quick flicks inherit of a rennaisance
visionary, behold baroque bass line funk theory
smearing all the paint and the ink build substance
etching out rhythm from the chaos and the nonsense

and all of a sudden there's a blackout moment
the ghosts and the elements controlling my movements
i lose it and pass out lucid
wake up somehow i've fleshed out this music
and even on the day I die, I'll remember that I
sat and watched the paint dry on that last line
and on the day I die, I'll remember that that moment
transcended hobbies or pasttimes into meditation music

this is medication music
this is meditation music
Track Name: Flametongue
I can just rap head tight flow straight from the turban
this strain of hip hop it kills off the vermin
gettin rich biting off of cold cutting sermons
see the flametongue just burning burnin

so keep a safe distance, my fists go dhalsim and
saltine rappers get fried like jimmy dean
it's the high speed hot pursuit zooming at the scene of the
rhyme, machine man model cyberdyne,
thanks for trying, here's the consolation prize
spiting solar flare writtens, listen, shield your eyes
or go blind, you can't match me, kid, you're lying
i got kerosene duraflame strike anytime, online
virtually glowing, i shine, i hope you know whose
paper thin paitence you're trying,
navi sim salabim more than hadji
and beatslice into deli-style wine salami
check the vocal EQ, dr BQ,
We need to reboot rap from blue screens of doom
Radio spinnin off spewing the seethrough
Preheated pea soup and all you need is me to

rap head tight flow straight from the turban
this strain of hip hop it kills off the vermin
gettin rich biting off of cold cutting sermons
see the flametongue just burning burnin

I'm at the gas station, location dante's inferno
Keep a ashtray close , I sautee my words slow but
when i go popping it's suddenly hot like
sun spots and you get to watch the
flies drop like you're in the urinal spillin it all on your high tops
My god, i'm sick of these icons
Top forty pop recording shit without the lights on
And signing these vitamin deficient type anakins
Shenanigans forced on track like the chinamen
I'm biting off match heads and chasing em with heinekin
Breathin in my bowl hits, I'll never need a light again,
Igniting on short fuse titans, thats my specialty
I make em pop, eyeballs drop like tex avery

rap head tight flow straight from the turban
this strain of hip hop it kills off the vermin
gettin rich biting off of cold cutting sermons
see the flametongue just burning burnin
Track Name: Eyegore
doc disease phd
peruse a people magazine, he'll be seeing you in three
between you and me, it's gonna be a long stay so
i'll take that copay, sign here, ok? do you agree to
x-rays with minor microwaves? designer dose candy coats
to lessen all the pain? just saying sometimes, he can get
a little loopy with procedure, cleavers and twelve inch needles
needless to say, kid, it's perfectly safe, now
strip down, put this gown on and lie on this draped
sheet of newspaper, i'll get the tape, oh the tight grippin
limb strap buckle? thats for your sake, don't shake,
doc'll wanna keep you awake, he takes
pride in demonstrating live amputation
you're doing fine, stop crying a lake
can't move? that's immobilon mixed down with ace
injected in that iv saline base, you'll lose muscle
control of hands knees and face
in a second, whoops, there it goes, a quick pinch of
ketamine tickling your toes, i suppose i should go
incinerate your clothes, first lemme swab blood trickle
bursting out your nose,
doc, he's all yours, prepped up and hopped up, this time
please leave less of a mess for me to mop up
so long and veidersen, it's lights out
can't have you screaming out loud now so bite down,
i'd be lying if I said this won't hurt much
doc disease likes to see em squirming when he chop chop
Track Name: Don't Call Me
Don't try to call me, don't leave a message
It's three in the morning and you're drunk dialing questions
Banging on the ear drums, guess whos listenin to you get
through another jabber jaw session
I hit the pillow kinda high feeling mellow
Worked all day body obviously jello, but
Hello, can't even roll into the REM state
Cell phone resonate, you need a friend to ventilate
Fuck, can't it wait? I just got comfortable
Just got the pillows how I like it and it's wonderful
I lied, there's only one obstacle, to make it all
Justified in my eyes accountable, so...

You call me in the daytime
I'll laugh and nod and smile and shake my head
But don't call me at three in the morning
Unless you're dealin with the living dead, I said
Don't call unless it's zombies
Don't wake me up unless it's finally true
You wanna talk about your boyfriend and his friends, that's cool
If they're not scratching at your door, then save it for the afternoon

I wanna hear you say you need me around
I wanna hear the chainsaws in the background
I wanna hear you saying that the dead are alive,
You need me to survive, I'll come along for the ride
Really, it better be a full on invasion,
damn cutes not a valid open invitation to
anytime minutes to moan, bitch, and cuss
I need dead tissue and guts, infected cuts
It's not much, but I do have my reasons
Been pretty damn busy all evening
I'm not talking feelings, I'm gonna lay low
unless skin's peeling off like it's play doh...

You call me in the daytime
I'll laugh and nod and smile and shake my head
But don't call me at three in the morning
Unless you're dealin with the living dead, I said
Don't call unless it's zombies
Don't wake me up unless it's finally true
You wanna talk about your girlfriend and her friends, that's cool
If they're not scratching at your door, then save it for the afternoon

Don't call late unless a blatent case of brain rot
Makes your dad grab your mom and bite until her veins pop
And don't call at a quarter to four unless
Tie die gore stains are dripping down your tanktop
Over lunch, we can talk about the issues,
Who you hate dating, table waiting in your new shoes
Rent due, plus science and the news, no
Voodoo, swine flu, radiated toxic goop,
Instead I'm up and it's the same old nonsense
Same old content, same old problems
Think twice if you're dialing my phone
If you can't see a zombie, then leave me the fuck alone

You call me in the daytime
I'll laugh and nod and smile and shake my head
But don't call me at three in the morning
Unless you're dealin with the living dead, I said
Don't call unless it's zombies
Don't wake me up unless it's finally true
You wanna talk about your boyfriend and girlfriends, that's cool
If they're not scratching at your door, then save it for the afternoon
Track Name: This Room
dreams get crushed like trash compactors
then it's back to paying taxes
from the same mattress, same address
all year round same point on the atlas
i keep drawing on a black hole canvas
color squeezed out, back down to kansas
it's not quite home, but all roads have to
lead to somewhere, right? just not tonight
god this room reeks of gitmo
bread and cheddar poems hint at stockholm syndrome
scrawled sheets hammered out like ball peens turn to
piling trash heaps filed away by alcoholic interns
wrote my story at the box office window
scratched so much, i scabbed up the skin tone
shades of pinto, blacklight, day glow
I'm bent out and snapped, spine cracked like a wishbone
and god i think i'm lost, this bed is too soft
these drugs don't make me cough, i used to write em off
now i just lie and talk, listen to others rock
microphones and dream about chipping off this writers block
i could just write a blog, i got this captains log
that i've been keeping trapped tight up in the mental fog
i feel so analog, watching the state of progress
while i'm still fucked up and half dressed
language, it's all i got left next to music and
i love em both, god I wish i wasn't so abusive
man this room reeks of alcatraz
staring down a shot glass, ricocheting through the past
I'm only sixteen, writing that first sixteen
verse astroturf green amatuer
then I'm twenty one, i got so many songs done
in a catalog i'm hiding from an editor
but now I'm twenty three, sometimes I look at me
and see a shadow of the atom that I used to be
see how it gets to me? see why I tend to see life in
jade shades and simulated extacy
thats all a part of me, you gotta pardon me
I wake up half vacent bathed in insanity
goddamn, that's unattractive,
i feel like a fraction of a man but that's subjective
same shit different day, i'm so unconnected
work so much just to keep my mind distracted
one more song to throw away into the twilight zone
highlights of a wasteland clone, erased out from the
formula of breeders and believers, celebrities
embedded with the pedigree of jesus
and so this room reeks of neither
but trust me, i'm not the keynote teacher
incense, soda cans, booze, smell is intense
dirty socks, smoke boxes, zip locks on speakers,
if this is detox beat box i'm leaving
I've danced with my demons and i'm still here breathing
staring at the ceiling, week after week after week
fuck this, i'm going back to sleep...
Track Name: Sameeha
Dear Sami, I'm workin on an album that's beyond me
Picking through my dirty laundry looking for some honesty
So here it is, sorry that I waited all these years
To come kinda face to face to tell you something serious
I'm no good at big brotherhood apparently
Back when we were kids I was dumb prone to tyranny
you look up to me, but I just saw a parody
Hated when you copied me, sincere in all your flattery
It had to be that I just couldn't stand to see the sight of me
reflected in your eyes idolizing me it frightened me
Ice cold to family, I saw you as an enemy, certain
situations I'd pretend to be friendly but
I might as well have been deceased or overseas, saw you on occasion
growing up, working busy bee
The deep rooted misery of people simultaneously in
between cultures, we end up being vultures
It's hopeless, that's why I wrote this
always be the oldest, Funny how things come to focus
Not making motions, I'm just trying to let you know,
I didn't mean to leave you out freezing in the snow
I've been through the same icy rain, you're not alone
But I closed the door and didn't even try to walk you home
-From the bus stop outside the pool where we
Used to laugh, cannonball splash just to stay cool
And always in and out of schools,
you slaving making straight a's and I'm just playing the fool
Even on birthdays, I was like a ghoul fading out before you
cut the cake, just a vacent stool
few things that I've regretted since
it's looking like you're doin fine without my influence,
I'm full of bullshit, spit and sin while you played to win
I just stole smokes in the audiorium gym
There's so much of me I want to try and tell you but I can't
not used to speaking truth, I just bury it in sand
Move somewhere else in Maryland to try and to be a man
End up living sloppy, while you formulate a plan
Graduating top class, building up defenses
If you find god and it appeals to your senses
I hope you get the answers, I bypassed the fenced path
Calculating mine when I'm useless at math
It happens that I'm at this point I have to learn to rap
About the lifestyle I've been leading not some agi-trash
With that in mind I'm hoping every line will slide tensions
Utilize the pen to try and mend digressions
And if I've never mentioned this to you remember
I'll always be there if you ever need a mentor,
A place to lay your head down when it downpours
if I have a front door and roof it's all yours
PS: the stress of the real world's a drag
I'm thinking on the old, freeze tag and goodie bags
reeses, kit kats you'd grab the sticker pad
I'd take the candy corn, split the twix in half
Now it's all tax and gas prices, time flies fast and
I'm growing up and hating how my life was
Wishin I'd been nicer, given out advice for
all the things that made you cry instead of trying to fight you
So that's why I write you a song and not an email
phone call, text messaging just lacks the details
I need to justify the reason why you need to know
I didn't mean to leave you out freezing in the snow
Track Name: Monsoon Season
Pulse stopping, jaw dropping, it's that Amity freak
That drafts more hot prose than your fantasy league
Its case closed, face it, flametongue? out of your reach
Like you trying out your mack game down at the beach
Homebrew round two, audio feast and
Who am I? The beast of metakrew unleashed
The beat splitter, pick of the litter, the home run hitter
right to Snyder in the nose bleed seats, it'sa
Flametongue the chain gun, mad labratory tech jabber wiz rapping
sensation, and you still
Will not win, what I write is like
Dynamite, gremlin eating mics after midnight
more than meets the eye, transform from an ordinary brown guy into
a scary round size, make the beat capsize and flood it with my
rap lines, flow homebrew deux write click and maximize

Cause you know I'm on the next thing, blowing
brand name stars out the sky like an x-wing testing,
little league hot shots get your best swing,
Homebreu two no FX blue screen for the
king kong, bring on the digital hip hop
One shot'll put a patch of hair on your backdrop
Watch, I ping pong delay down your hallway
knock the yingling beer bong off your flat top
The homebrewmeister, cooking up a new type of
rhyme writer, crime fighter salting all these limelighters
wav files in glass vials on the bunsen
x file style shit cooking in the dungeon
Homebrew got you glued to your bluetooth
headset deadset on rocking in your new shoes,
I got good news, fresh batch brewing in the box
in the lab just for you

Mr Sky High, Mr. D I Y
N A V i drop fresh to clear eyes
here lies Mr. huh Why Buy It
Deep C drive em like a Somali pirate
check the slap chop twisted bottle cap pop
Sleeper cell brown ops grip you like a headlock
Cook in fine glassware from the headshop lab rocking
Science fair stuffers at your inbox
Deep peat moss, rocking like see saws, beat chop thick enough
for A1 meat sauce, tracks coughing smoke fumes in exhaust
in rickshaws I'm violating 3 kinds of traffic laws
added gauze to the swami just because, bachelors in scientific
written over fuzz, homebrew is love making music
but not smooth jazz, just bomb beats and bad ass flow
Track Name: Encore
and she dreams of being more
foot out the door with a deadset jaw
and we all got flaws, all want more
and he dreams of being more
foot out the door with a deadset jaw
cause we all got flaws, all want more

alright she bought two tickets but her boy's been wicked,
hitting bigger, drinking quicker, now he's dropping out the picture
so she slips the backstage threads on,
tube top, red thong, lip balm with glitter
hair colored like an out of whack tv
retuning channels every weekend repeatedly
for now she's all matching fashion model seemingly
battle dad heatedly lock horns repeatedly
cause he's a grown stoner, mom's the homeowner
thats never round to argue bout the clap or pneumonia
in the pontiac out the drive like a bullet with the
thirty some dollars that she snuck from out his wallet
on route, shooting up the stash of jack d
even though the fake IDs like a guarantee
when you're seventeen with the body of an amazon
booty getting more cat calls than an intercom

meanwhile he woke up, everyone was missing
toked up on the bus to clear the double vision
grabbed the backpack permanent pen stack,
notebooks old poems waiting for revision
dazed and confused on stage this conditioning of
no sleep all week, been a bad decision plus
he's always mauled by the haggling calls of his
long range long term tracking the position
still touring with the same old rap team
every year same dive scene, frat teens
old school pot fiends, hip hop nerdzines
ivy league rastas outliving the dream
and he wants more, sick of being the nice guy
on the road single always jacking to wifi
half the crew got pink eye but
still stuffing chickens like pot pies at popeyes

Hold up, this line stretches for ages
across the porcelain chopped up with patience
bathroom stall locked up, someone's crying in the
next one coughing up vomit and dying
four shots at the bar, all these people
getting claustrophobia threading the needle
quarter past doors, already unsteady, but some
bumps in the night and she's ready to mingle
backstage, inbetween the roar of the crowd
he's hearing that he's now a daddy, wow and isn't he proud
it gets way too loud, gut roll, hit the trash can
reroll the marboro, refill the flask again
all these revelations racing in his mind
raising aviation questions, how he's thinking of flying
how he settles for lying, tells her everythings fine
end call, pitfall, showtime

there she is, front row, standing on her tiptoes
mid-pose, mouthing all the lyrics from the get go
even with his eyes closed, he could still see her
rack bounce slow every time he spit his coke rap flow
so he switched up the setlist
did the club banger just to watch the way her breasts dip
they locked eyes, perfection connected, he
pulled her on stage, now she's stripping by the drum kit
cause he was drunk and on some dumb shit, tripping over cables,
sipping soda mixed in rum drink
and she was wild and uninhibited, ridiculous
how tight her figure was, he knew this chick she wanted something
so last song then it's on to the aftershow
party like a rock star, bake like a casserole
one more shot, last words, it's my birthday
then she blacks out starts gagging in the worst way

let's be honest, coulda been a mess
cause young groupie girls get raped for less
Left in the ER on drip like a faucet
or found the next day in the utility closet
He coulda been phil spector or gary glitter
Or any musician putting the G back in sinner
coulda gotten up in her, signed his name on her guts and
been gone the next morning laughing on the tour bus
coulda been worse but that nice guy curse slapped
his ass back to sober so he checked her purse
found the address, licence, fake
saw the legal birthdate and then he did a double take
Hour later and she finally talks, apologizes in bulk
He says it wasn't her fault, he called a
cab, got her clothes back brought her some water
Said, life's changed now I gotta go and be a father
Track Name: Grayscale
let's deconstruct beyond line graphs and pie charts
get the last word in to eulogize this dying art
we can ride this roller coaster mine cart
bumping to the tell tale rhythym of a lying heart
so where's the lying start what's to gain?
readjust the mask so much, bruce wayne seems sane
the day's parade on to the next charade
another grade a bastard weaving the lanes
through the wasteland, lone wolf searching for the oracle
space man is amongst you, martian chronicle
with third eye monacle draped like a hindu
aside from these costumes not much i cling to
twenty three years still feigning through faces
fanned out like ravana in a ramayana painting
manyana i'll be changing, but for now i'll do the same thing
and flip my face cards just to deal with what today brings
never black or white, always modify the characters
one face for old friends, one face for managers
one face fitted for the asian family that
would never understand why i behave this badly
and sadly, it scares me to try and unpeel em
revealin nothing beneath em except the husk of a feeling
a fucking figment of breathing, somebody go grab sigmund,
i'm stuck on this couch with a shrink as my wingman
dad used to whip me and beat me to teach me
it only made the path i was on more seemly
no hard feelings, i smile when he greets me
and maybe one day, he will listen to my CD
and see me better than the faces i'm projecting
grab your gloves, dig deep, let's take em dissecting
deep in the bowels where the hydras waiting
hibernating in the soul of my fabrication
let's deconstruct beyond rough drafts and rewrites
and all this insight that i attribute to my windpipes
i'm getting so skintight, my skin might explode
from the overload of living in the shadows and the dim light
so i write poems just to understand my limits
and leave my own worst critic pale and livid
calling me a gimmick pushing me to stay aimless,
this wasteland is littered with the almost famous
i wanna find a safe place, start defacing
keep em all shelved in commemorative casing
i wanna stop pacing this ditch in the basement
erase off my debt, clean slate, new arrangement
cause most days i'd rather down brews than chase tail
playing all these roles got me biting off my fingernails
alone in my room's where these masks won't fail
i'll be checking hatemail from the castle of grayscale