Ian Shank, Staff Writer

Let’s be honest; there are a lot of rappers out there. It’s no mystery why certain rappers just happen to fly under the radar and stay out of the public’s view. What drives me insane is when a person who is extremely talented gets very little attention. That rapper would have to be NF.  What makes him stand out from other rappers such as Lil’ Wayne and 2 Chainz is that instead of rapping about drugs, women, money, or other materialistic pursuits, he sings about dark thematic elements that have made a huge impact on his life and influenced him greatly, such as the pain from having an abusive father or his mom dying from a pill overdose when he was a senior in high school.  All of this leads to complex and emotional albums that could possibly make even the most emotionally dead person shed a tear. Remember Eminem’s song “Headlights” and how real the feels were in that song? That’s the style NF goes for in a lot of his songs. For example, on the song “How Could You Leave US” he raps “Where you at Mom? We’re too young to understand where you at huh? Yeah, I know those drugs got you held captive. I can see it in your eyes; they got your mind captured. Some say it’s fun to get the high, but I am not laughing. What you don’t realize and what you not grasping. That I was nothing but a kid who couldn’t understand. I ain’t gon’ say that I forgive you cause it hasn’t happened. I thought that maybe I feel better as time passes. If you really cared for me, then where you at then?”  Wow, I almost shed a tear there.

What also makes him stand out is his reluctance to use technology. Instead of using techno music, he relies solely on a bass that will catch your attention instantly. He also uses his guests sparingly and in the most effective way possible. For example, on the song “Mansion” guest artist Fleurie gives a very subdued performance but is eerily used in a good way. It makes his work even better than it already was.  On top of everything, his vocal talent is consistently good. He’s not like Drake where he sounds like talent in one song and in the next sound like a dying mule in the middle of the Sahara desert. He never falters to bring it on every single song, don’t believe? Then listen to “Intro” and try to tell me that he is not a music machine.  In conclusion, NF is a quintessential representation of what music and rap should be.