Perception Album Review

Nate Feuerstein, better known as NF, is a Michigan rapper that just dropped his third studio project, Perception. I’ve never listened to this artist before, but he definitely made a good first impression on me. Every song on the album has content in it, however, that saturation of food for thought can sometimes be the demise of an album like this: it’s an hour long, and when the artist is talking about so many different topics that require attention over a long play time, it can be hard to captivate the listeners after a few songs. I don’t find that to be the case with Perception because not only does NF provide such a concentrated amount of substance, he makes all 16 tracks at least somewhat catchy or pop-inspired at some point of the song. Whether that’s a nice hook or a good flow, he manages to make one memorable factor on each song. Again, that’s 16 note worthy songs. I don’t really have time and you don’t really have the interest to read an analysis on all of them, so I’ll just highlight a few of the best.

The first is the intro, Intro III, a song NF himself described as “one of the best songs [he’s] ever written,” probably feeling that way because of the sheer aggression and passion he uses in his tone while delivering bar after bar of vigorous lyrics about conquering his fears. This song is actually represented on the album cover where we see NF standing inside of a prison to which he is holding the keys. The jail cell represents his fears, and the keys represent willpower to set himself free of fear.

The next significant track is Let You Down, a personal and emotional piece about his father. The first verse introduces the theme of being a disappointment to his untrustworthy dad who was never supportive of his son. In the second verse, the uncooperative nature of his father was too overwhelming, so Nate was forced to leave. This relationship is clearly unstable. His father proceeds to drink and act like nothing happened. The third verse is the resolution to the problem, even though there is still a prevalent issue. Nate moved out, and due to his commercial success, his dad wants to be friends again and pretend like he was the perfect father. It seems like Nate let’s him have the satisfaction in the line “at least you’re happy.” He’s being the bigger man, letting a negative influence ride his wave of success just to be happy, and that’s respectable.

On My Life, NF talks to his sister through the song, expressing his love and support for her despite their differences, which is all you really can do for someone that you want to do well but can’t relate to you.

You’re Special is a catchy love song to his girlfriend, Bridgette Doremus. Nothing super original here, but it’s a nice cut so that NF’s not just preaching a pessimistic album about all the woes in his life. It’s also a transition to If You Want Love which talks about how sacrifice is necessary to achieve happiness and, as the title suggests, love.

3 A.M. is another love song, kind of. Okay it’s not, it’s the opposite of love. It’s about an relationship that went sour because his partner said she loved him but he didn’t say it back. Now there’s resentment, but he still wishes her well.

Enough with the conscious rap, it’s time for a banger, and that’s what come from One Hundred. NF truly keeps it One Hundred which is just what this song is about, keeping it real in his music and not talking about all the fake distractions in life.

On the Outro, NF talks about his rise to success and fame, but then tells his fans that after his three albums, he’s only just beginning.

After listening to this through several times, there’s only one thing on my mind. Is this the next Slim Shady? No; however, there are a lot of comparisons, and “no” is not a bad thing. They’re both white, both from Michigan, both had mothers with drug problems, bad father (well, or no father), and their voices sound quite similar. The main difference is Eminem had already kind of taken off by his third album but NF still isn’t a big name. Who’s to say why not? No matter his success, his music is great and meaningful.