Nathan John Feuerstein better known as NF is an American hip-hop rapper, singer, and songwriter. I am fairly sure many of us did not even know that his stage name NF was his name’s initials. Like many of us, during his childhood days, rap was an escape for him. As a growing artist, he did not have the exact and necessary equipment to record his originals. Born in 1991 in Gladwin, Michigan, Feuerstein endured a hardship-filled childhood in which his parents divorced, his mother's boyfriend physically abused him, and his mother died. Music was his escape, and he began recording songs on a karaoke machine, with instruments in one microphone and his rap in the other.
NF released his debut album “Moments” in 2010. It caught the attention of Xist Music who then partnered with NF for two years, by 2012 NF had gained a little stardom in the industry and had parted ways with Xist Music. The spark burnt the brightest during the release of his upcoming albums by 2015, 2016, and 2017. One could claim those years to be the beginning of something big. Mansion had reached #62 on the billboard and for the first time, NF was all over the globe. His third album on the list " The Search" was a massive success. It skyrocketed over the Billboard 200 charts all the way to #1. Dethroning Chance is the rapper's album " The Big Day."
This is how the story was covered by the media;
NF, the rapper from Michigan, made quite the noise nearly a month ago in the music industry with his latest album — The Search. NF (Nathan or “Nate” Feuerstein) gained even more attention when it was revealed that The Search beat Chance the Rapper’s The Big Day album, with the same release date of July 26th, as the №1 album on the Billboard 200 chart (Martin, 2020).
At this point, everyone started questioning who this new artist was suddenly popping off the charts. His "Let you down" peaked #12 on the Billboard hot 100 and went on to achieve triple platinum in 2018. The main reason "The search" achieved the starlight it deserved was because of its unparalleled vulnerability. NF is known for how much one can relate to his music. He considers it as "real music." He views making music as a therapeutic outlet, so he doesn’t shy away to utter any thought, no matter how dark. The Search felt as if it had been a personal album. It spoke of truths, inner demons, dark thoughts, facts, and reality check was ticked. His songs are considered to be more emotionally approachable than other artists. And his lyrics consist of burning arrows and healing potions altogether. No matter how dark the tunnel be, there always be an end awaiting a faultlessly illuminating hope. His lyrics contain a consistent, powerful, and passionate message. Many of his songs consist of philosophical and thought-provoking lyrics.
NF has come a long way in his journey, yet it is his beginning still, many communities and artists have started clubbing him with the herd of current generations rappers. Some of the big names are Eminem, JayZ, Tupac. The competition is invalid and inappropriate in many ways. You are comparing an artist who began his career in the early stages of 2010 to those artists who have been within the industry for more than 2 decades now. Moreover, NF has not ever considered cussing in his lyrics. Being from a Christian background many confuse his songs as Christian music. Yet, most of his songs are not overtly Christian. It is quite ironic how NF began taking a liking towards rapping through Eminem and today he is considered as his competitor.
Many would just disapprove of me here, as Eminem is ahead of NF in every aspect of rapping. Eminem has woven a long and rich tapestry of work during his decades of experience. Yet NF if we compare the growth chart of both artists, I believe NF has had a steep slope curve over the graph. And it is funny how Eminem has to produce songs to deprecate NF. His 2019 song The Ringer from the album "Kamikaze" had these lines "NFing recovery clone of me" which indicates NF being called as a clone of Eminem. I want to spit facts here. The main reason many popular artists and fans of different artists get agitated over the topic of NF is clearly that he delivers his music without cussing and yet he has achieved stardom. That is what truly draws the line between him and other rapping artists.
He explicitly conveys sadness and sorrow, love and hate, life and death, and philosophy without cussing and entirely relying upon modulation of beats and his vocals. There is no vulgar tone or cinematics, no cusses, no usage of drugs or alcohol, and yet, he delivers his lyrics as if they had always been a part of us. No matter how much hate one is reflected with when one achieves greatness and limelight, one must never forget their roots and composure. And NF is grateful for his success even though he feels a little discomfort. This competition is an endless loop, and I, being a fan of both the artists, feel like it will lead us nowhere but shilly-shally arguments. In the end, it is personal preference and your love for the artist and his creation. One listens to bare music, but I, on the other hand, listen to my therapist.
Here are a few of my personal favourites from NF -
Let You Down