Navy Blue, also known as Sage Elsesser, a Los Angeles-born rapper, producer, professional skateboarder, and creative, has released his highly anticipated debut album Ways of Knowing on Def Jam Recordings.
The 13-track record explores various emotions, from insecurity to infatuation and introspection. Navy Blue’s friend and longtime collaborator, Budgie, produced the entire album, which features immersive, soulful beats that harken back to an earlier era. On “The Medium,” for example, Navy Blue’s lyrics cut through choir-style samples, admitting, “Bro, I wasn’t scared. I learned patience, cuz it made sense,” while the piano rings out in the background.
“To Fall In Love” has an island-style sway, creating a nostalgic lovestruck groove as Navy Blue admits, “I’m ready to learn how to be the man you trust.” “Freehold” features an airy soundscape that enhances the impact of Navy Blue’s delivery as he ponders, “What’s the sum of all this damage done?” The album closes with “Shadow’s Shield,” where a message from his mother sets the tone for one final, thought-provoking verbal crescendo.
“I don’t really want to be remembered as this stoic guy who’s perpetually reflecting on my trauma and Black plight, you know? I want to make something that makes people smile out of joy rather than smile in grief.”
Experience Ways of Knowing here.