What is the meaning of NF rapper?

NF, whose real name is Nathan John Feuerstein, is an American hip hop artist known for his introspective and vulnerable lyrical style. He tackles deeper themes like mental health struggles, faith, and overcoming adversity through his music. NF’s rise has been fueled by a loyal fanbase drawn to his authenticity and relatability. Key elements that define NF’s unique brand and style include:

Honest and raw lyricism

NF is known for confronting difficult emotions and experiences through raw, introspective bars. He’s often described as an “emotionally honest” rapper, unafraid to express vulnerability in his music. This sets him apart from mainstream rap’s focus on braggadocio and machismo. Fans connect deeply with NF’s willingness to be transparent about mental health, self-doubt, childhood trauma, and his Christian faith.

Wordplay and lyrical flows

In addition to vulnerable themes, NF is lauded for his technical lyrical skills. He uses wordplay, double entendres, internal rhymes, and rapid-fire flows to showcase his abilities as an MC. NF cites rappers like Eminem, Hopsin, and Logic as influences on his intricate rhyme schemes and delivery. His chops have earned praise even from critics who pan his emo-rap style.

Dark, cinematic beats

NF’s introspective lyricism is matched by moody, atmospheric production. He often uses dark, distorted beats and cinematic melodies to heighten the emotional intensity of his songs. NF collaborates frequently with producers like Tommee Profitt to craft a haunting sonic landscape for his vocals. The production provides a rich backdrop for NF’s introspection and adds depth to his messages.

Transparency about mental health

One of the defining aspects of NF’s music is how he opens up about his mental health struggles. He shares personal experiences like childhood trauma, depression, OCD, and suicidal thoughts through his lyrics. On songs like “How Could You Leave Us,” he details the pain of his mother overdosing. NF’s candor about these issues has resonated with many listeners facing similar battles. Fans praise him for helping combat stigma around mental illness in the hip-hop community.

Vulnerability and emotional resonance

By opening up about intimate struggles, NF forges deep emotional connections with listeners. His music provides an outlet for fans grappling with loneliness, anxiety, family dysfunction, or trauma. NF captures this shared vulnerability in tracks like “Let You Down,” his first mainstream hit single. The raw emotion in his vocals and delivery make his lyrics even more powerful and resonant. This ability to translate inner pain into art is central to NF’s appeal.

Relatable underdog narrative

Another aspect of NF’s persona that draws fans in is his underdog story. He has built his career independently after years of industry rejection. NF embodies the struggles of an everyday person trying to overcome odds stacked against them. His rise from a high school dropout to Billboard chart topper resonates with listeners who identify with that narrative. NF captures this in anthems like “WHY” that deal with fighting self-doubt to reach one’s potential.

Early Life and Career

NF was born Nathan John Feuerstein in 1991 and raised in Gladwin, Michigan. He endured a turbulent childhood as his parents divorced and his mother struggled with drugs. Music became an escape for Feuerstein, who taught himself to rap and sing. He adopted the stage name NF (an abbreviation for Nate Feuerstein) and self-released an album called Moments under his real name in 2010.

NF’s big break came when he was discovered on YouTube by Michigan producer Tommee Profitt. They collaborated on NF’s conceptual album Mansion in 2015. It peaked at #62 on the Billboard 200, gaining NF notice. After years of obscurity, NF’s intense, introspective rapping was finding an audience. He built on that success with Therapy Session (2016) and Perception (2017). The latter debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, cementing NF’s arrival.

Despite this indie ascent, NF still faced difficulty breaking into the mainstream hip-hop world. He was criticized as an “Eminem clone” trying to mimic rap’s biggest star. But NF’s tireless touring earned him a grassroots following drawn to the emotion and vulnerability in his music. This fanbase powered his ascent, not radio hits or hype.

Breakthrough with The Search (2019)

NF broke through to the hip-hop mainstream with his fourth album The Search. It also debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 thanks to songs like “When I Grow Up” and “Time.” He earned new listeners by opening for rappers like Logic and collaborating with artists like Hopsin. But NF’s hallmark honest lyrical style remained on raw tracks like “Trauma” and “Returns.”

The Search marked a new level of commercial success and critical appreciation for NF’s talents. While he was no longer underground, NF remained dedicated to his grassroots fanbase. He also became an advocate for mental health, partnering with organizations like the National Alliance on Mental Illness. NF proved he could succeed in the mainstream without compromising his message.

Continued Success with Clouds (2020) and Therapy Sessions

NF’s momentum continued with his fifth album, Clouds, released in 2020. It became his third straight album to reach #1 on the Billboard 200. Singles like “Lost” and “Clouds” illustrated NF’s talent for blending vulnerable lyrics with catchy melodies. He also showed growth by experimenting with singing more on the album.

Clouds was supported by NF’s 14-date The Clouds Mixtape Tour in 2021. Performing live has always been a cornerstone of his connection with fans. During the pandemic shutdown of touring, NF began releasing Therapy Sessions. These informal conversations between songs helped him stay engaged with his audience. The Therapy Sessions series provided a window into NF’s thoughts and creative process in the studio.

Musical Style and Influences


As examined earlier, honest and emotionally transparent lyrics are at the core of NF’s style. He raps frequently about his struggles with depression, anger issues, childhood wounds, and relationship troubles. NF’s lyrics reject typical rap boasting in favor of vulnerable self-reflection. His technical prowess with wordplay and rhyme schemes allows him to turn this deep introspection into compelling songs. NF cites the personal lyrics of Eminem as a major influence on his writing.


NF’s vocal delivery mirrors the intensity of his lyrics. He raps with an urgent, emotive flow that adds power to what he’s expressing. NF alternates between rapid-fire spitting, melodic singing, and raw shouting. His dynamic delivery captures the artistic potential of hip-hop to embody raw emotion. The passion in his voice resonates with fans seeking that kind of catharsis through music.


While NF handles the deeply personal lyrics, producers like Tommee Profitt craft the sonic atmosphere. NF’s albums feature dark, intense beats with moody melodies and heavy bass. This cinematic production provides the tone for his introspective themes. The granular textures and distorted sounds mirror the “gritty” feeling of NF’s mindset and past struggles. NF and his producers have carved out a unique lane in “emo-rap” and film score-inspired hip-hop.


NF has cited Eminem, Linkin Park, Hopsin, and Nate Dogg as musical influences. From Eminem, he adopts the blueprint of channeling inner turmoil into raw, honest lyrics. Linkin Park’s blending of hip-hop and dark rock resonates with NF’s cinematic beats. He collaborates frequently with Hopsin and praises the MC’s authenticity. And Nate Dogg’s melodic hooks inspire NF’s own catchy choruses. Beyond music, NF draws creative influence from filmmakers like Christopher Nolan.

Themes and Subject Matter

NF’s albums are tied together by his consistent themes and ideas:

Mental health

NF confronts his lifelong struggles with depression, OCD, and suicidal thoughts candidly in songs like “Therapy Session” and “How Could You Leave Us.” His music aims to help fans dealing with similar issues feel less alone. NF hopes to play a role in destigmatizing conversations about mental illness.

Overcoming adversity

Tracks like “WHY” and “Returns” deal with NF’s underdog story of rising above a unstable childhood. He uses his tribulations growing up and being underestimated in the industry as fuel to keep persevering. NF’s songs about resilience and defying the odds resonate with listeners who see themselves as underdogs.

Introspection and vulnerability

By honestly sharing his insecurities and trauma, NF creates a remarkable level of intimacy with listeners. Songs like “Let You Down” and “Only” illustrate his willingness to be emotionally vulnerable in his music. NF rejecting rap’s typical machismo makes his self-reflection feel bold and powerful.

Faith and spirituality

While not exclusively faith-based, NF’s music often deals with his Christian beliefs. Tracks like “Paid My Dues” reference God, prayer, and the Bible as sources of strength during difficult times. NF grapples openly with his faith providing meaning in the face of life’s pain and uncertainties.

Impact and Legacy

Though still early in his career, NF has already made an impact as an unconventional voice in the hip-hop landscape:

Helping push emo-rap mainstream

NF’s brand of deep introspection and raw emotion has been crucial to establishing “emo-rap” in the mainstream. Along with artists like Juice WRLD and Lil Uzi Vert, NF has carved out space in the rap game for vulnerability. He helped pioneer a more punk rock-inspired, melancholy sound that diverges from traditional hip-hop machismo.

Destigmatizing discussions about mental health

By boldly addressing his struggles, NF has fostered more open conversations about mental health, especially in the hip-hop community. He’s collaborated with organizations like the National Alliance on Mental Illness to advocate for destigmatization. NF has inspired more artists to be transparent about dealing with issues like depression and anxiety.

Proving an independent artist can find mainstream success

NF’s rise from a high school dropout to the top of the Billboard charts serves as an inspirational model for indie artists. He broke through via grassroots fan connections and great music, not industry hype. NF demonstrates that with determination, authenticity, and talent, an independent musician can make it.

Fostering a deeply dedicated fanbase

The foundation of NF’s success is his uniquely passionate fanbase, drawn to the honesty in his work. They identify deeply with his openness and emotion. NF has built real community among his fans by being so personable at concerts and in social media interactions. That loyalty has fueled his viral ascent.

Pioneering a new take on faith-based hip-hop

While NF doesn’t proselytize directly, he has brought faith-based themes into mainstream rap. His reflections on God, prayer, and Christianity come from an authentic place of questioning and struggle. NF’s nuanced take has helped expand faith-based rap beyond just inspirational music.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does NF wear a hood and hat?

NF often performs in a hoodie, hat, and bandana covering his face. This look is about minimizing distractions and letting the music speak for itself. NF wants his appearance to be low-key so his lyrics take center stage. The hood also represents his introverted personality.

What mental health issues does NF struggle with?

In his music and interviews, NF has discussed battling depression, OCD, anger issues, suicidal thoughts, and childhood trauma related to family dysfunction. His honesty about these struggles has helped endear him to fans dealing with similar issues.

Is NF a Christian rapper?

While NF is a practicing Christian, he hesitates to be pigeonholed as just a “Christian rapper.” His faith influences his music but does not completely define it. NF believes his honest reflections on spirituality resonate with both religious and non-religious fans seeking meaning.

Why doesn’t NF curse in his songs?

NF chooses to avoid swearing in his music, partly due to his faith background and desire for his songs to be relatable to all listeners. He relies on raw emotion, not profanity, to express himself. NF views his no-cursing policy as a creative challenge, forcing him to come up with more inventive lyrics.

NF Album Release Year Billboard 200 Peak
Mansion 2015 62
Therapy Session 2016 12
Perception 2017 1
The Search 2019 1
Clouds 2020 1

What artists has NF collaborated with?

Some of NF’s key collaborations include:

– Hopsin – Fellow emo-rap pioneer, NF collaborator on “Lost”
– Futuristic – Rapper who’s toured with NF, collab on “Epiphany”
– Jeremy Zucker – Singer/songwriter featured on NF’s “Time”
– Sasha Sloan – Pop artist who sings on NF’s “Only”
– Eminem – NF has named him as biggest influence though no official collab yet


NF has become one of music’s most unlikely success stories of the past decade. His atypical style of introspective, emotionally raw rap resonates with listeners looking for authenticity. By opening up about mental health, trauma, and faith, NF forges profound connections with fans who relate to those themes. He represents a shift in hip-hop away from superficial flexing and toward vulnerable self-reflection. NF manages to blend dark, personal lyrics with catchy melodies and skilled rapping. His passion and work ethic inspire listeners to persevere as underdogs. Above all, NF remains dedicated to his loyal fanbase as he continues to overcome industry doubts and take hip-hop in bold new directions.

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