There are good things about Big Zuu’s debut. The west London rapper, best known for TV shows such as Big Zuu’s Big Eats, proves an affable presence on record as well as screen. Navigate is pleasingly free of verses droning on about how much more money he has than (a) yesterday and (b) you. There’s talent in there, with Zuu’s serviceable flow at its best when he slows down – as on the Afropoppy Magical. Yet when he does, it exposes his unexceptional and sometimes cringey bars, earnest motivational chat interspersed with unrevealing biography.
It’s back to the days when MC truly meant “master of ceremonies”, the genial host who existed to big up the beats and the DJ playing them, rather than the attention-addicted star of the show. When Zuu’s cousin AJ Tracey pops up during Big Eats, his verse immediately lifts the bar somewhere that Zuu can’t go. Navigate is just another Big Zuu brand extension, which explains why you can buy copies of the CD bundled with a bottle of Big Zuu’s BBQUU sauce. Hopefully the sauce is spicier than this comforting but bland concoction.