Photo Credit: Rapzilla
In a world where every artist is fighting to become number one on the music charts, Christian rapper NF, whose real name is Nate Feuerstein, has done the impossible. He transitioned from Christian to mainstream music. He contributes his success to God and being honest in his music about the personal struggles he faced throughout his life and how people whether Christian or not can relate.
His music isn’t what people typically think Christian music should sound like. In fact he’s upset many people, specifically parents, by not writing uplifting happy songs like other Christian rappers, such as Toby Mac. In fact, in his song “Therapy Session” he goes in-depth about the criticism he received for being too dark and angry.
In the lyrics of “Therapy Session” he says, “Hearing these parents, they telling their kids my music is violent, you gotta be kidding me I guess that your definition of violence and mine is something that we look at differently.”
Even with all the controversy over his music, he topped the charts in October with his third and latest album “Perception.” With this album he topped the charts as best selling artist in the U.S. in both mainstream and Christian markets.
NF pushes back as being labeled as a Christian rapper, even though he signed with Christian label, Capitol CMG. He questions what defines an artist as a Christian artist. In an interview with Idolator he said, “If you're a Christian and you're a plumber, are you a Christian plumber?" It’s true that he mentions God in his music lyrics; he wants to share that God helped him overcome his pain. Growing up, NF dealt with his mother’s drug addiction and her boyfriend physical abused him and his sisters. Through these struggles music became an escape. At one point in his life he questioned if God could even hear him and writes about these trails in his song “How Could You Leave Us.”
His music is for other young adults and teenagers who are struggling to overcome personal and family struggles. NF’s concerts is one of the few places you’ll see people connect through music over the pain in their lives. In his song “Therapy Sessions” he mentions about meeting fans and how they tell him about their pain. “These kids, they come to my shows With tears in they eyes imagine someone looking at you and saying your music's the reason that they are alive sometimes, I don't know how to handle it.”
Critics and fans compare NF to Eminem because his rap style follows that of the great Eminem’s. In the beginning of NF’s career Eminem was a huge inspiration on his music and many people are now declaring NF as the new Eminem. NF’s music is branded as dark, angry and brutally honest. Social media apps like Twitter and Instagram have helped NF promote his music and concerts. The greatest PR exposure for him came from YouTube. His latest song “Let You Down” has over 39 million views and it was only released four months ago. In today’s society the greatest help for artists comes from exposure on the internet. The controversy over his music has also helped NF gain exposure.
“I mean, I think sometimes people they confuse what I'm doing I write about life, I write about things that I'm actually dealing with something that I'm actually experiencing…Christian is not the definition of a perfect me,” NF said in his song “Therapy Session.”
Do you think NF’s music is too dark or not Christian enough?
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