Hall 1101-351

Andy Huang


Dr. Carrie Hall


English 1101


December 1st, 2018


NF: Change of Perception


Have you ever been stuck in a situation where you need help, or some sort of guidance, and when you reach out to all your friends, suddenly your friends are busy or doesn’t show any interest in helping you? Almost everyone can relate to this because everybody has fake friends, friends who are jealous of what you have, friends who has grudges or even friends who have a very selfish personality. NF, Nathan Feuerstein, is an American rapper who raps about his life story and pain that many fans can relate to. In his recent album, ‘Perception’ which debuted at No.1 on iTunes overall charts and on The Billboard 200, he speaks deeply about how easily people can switch against you and motivates you to live for a reason. NF is different from many rappers today as the rappers today simply make songs to flex about their wealth or throw subs at people they dislike, but NF is unique. NF produces songs based from his life as a child and pain. Unlike the rappers today, NF doesn’t talk about wealth or fame, he simply makes his music to give a voice for the people who are weak, depressed or abused.

I first started to listen to NF when I was in my senior year of high school. I saw the world differently when my spotify played ‘Remember This’ by NF as I walked home from school. As the lyrics went through my ears, I felt like I was alone, as if the streets that was filled with kids and school security guards had suddenly disappeared. That’s the point of NF, his music isolates yourself from people that only brings your mentality and dreams down. In his first verse, he says, “Surround yourself with people that challenge how you think. Not people that nod their head and act like they agree”. NF is saying that the people around you are simply agreeing with you to create peace and not give any harmful opinions. Rather, NF would rather have those opinions and people that challenge you because that is the only way you can grow, being challenged. I can easily relate to this because everyone in high school are in school only to get average grades, but for me I would rather make my own path and argue in my course to achieve higher grades. NF doesn’t always speak about fake friends in our lives, he also questions about your happiness. He says, “If money’s where you find happiness, you’’ always be poor. If you don’t like the job you have, then what do you do it for?” From this, NF exposes the truth that if you’re working simply just to earn a lot of money but you’re not enjoying your life while doing so, you will never be happy. In fact, I use to believe in doing any kind of work to make a lot of money, but it damaged me instead. It made me feel empty that I am working like a tool, without a single emotion on my face as I am on duty. After that verse, NF leaves us wondering if we should keep working at a place that is not enjoyable, while losing a bit of yourself or to seek for happiness in another workplace.

NF as a child went through a lot of negativity and abuse. His parents went through a divorce and as a result, he lived with his mother and her boyfriend. His life got harder and more difficult when her boyfriend physically abused him and also when his mother died of drug overdose. He took the mic in 2008, putting his experience and pain into his lyrics. Not everyone that relates to his songs can relate to his abuse and the loss of a parent, but people get attached to his songs because he speaks the truth. NF’s lyrics snaps you out of your fantasy world that you dream about when you listen to other rappers today, instead he opens your mind into the horrible truth of humanity.

In his song, ‘Remember This’, he talks about growing and telling us to live with a reason. NF lived a terrifying childhood with his mother’s death and her abusive boyfriend, with the verses in this song, he is trying to motivate us in being the better version of yourself the best way you can. He says, “These people gon’ tell you that you will never make it. Then when you do, they gon’ say they knew you were goin’ places”. In this verse, NF is describing how your friends would shatter your dreams when you were young, but when you outgrow them and become successful in a way, they’d immediately ignore what they said about your dreams and suck up to you. This is everyday in my life and it could be to every other teen that has a big dream, a dream that seems almost impossible to reach but NF exposes the truth that no one ever pushes you to reach that dream, instead they’d tell you to give up on it. Speaking about friends, he continues towards the end of his last verse, “Say you want a drink, don’t wait for people to pour it on you. Cut out the liars, stay close to the people you know are loyal. Grab your own glass and fill it, don’t let your fear destroy you, woo!”. In this verse, NF is telling us to not wait for success to build while you hang out with people that negatively affect your life, instead go find your own success by hanging out with people that you trust. The metaphor with the empty glass representing your progress and success shows that if its still empty, you’re doing something wrong and NF is telling us to cut off the liars, or the people that are limiting you from your success.

With each lyric and verse that NF raps, he raps it so passionately with anger and sadness which makes him a very unique artist. Many people would confuse NF with Eminem. From Genius, an American digital media company, an anonymous said, While listening to the raw emotion he displayed in each track I got an Eminem vibe from him”. Yes, when listening to a few songs from NF, you can definitely feel some sort of Eminem vibe from it. Maybe it is because they both are white American artists that suffered the loss of someone they love in the past. For Eminem, it was his wife that left him and for NF, his mother passed away from drug overdose. While Eminem is producing great work for his fans, NF is unique in his own way of his music production where he produces motivational and inspirational songs that moves his fans into following their dreams.

Unlike other artists today where all you can hear are mumble raps and songs without meaning, NF is one of the few artists today that produces music in the thought of giving a voice for the weak, motivating them to push forward, telling them to strive for yourself. But music itself, simply brings you to a world that you never knew existed. It can help you escape your depression, your fears, your negative thoughts or even boost up your mood. In my opinion, I think NF plays a huge role in producing one of the greatest influential music in the industry and he sure did motivated me. You just have to find your own song, plug in your headphones and press play.