The christian rapper signed by Capitol Records is renowned for his 2017 number one hit 'Let You Down'
In his second consecutive No.1 album, NF welcomes his fan's into an open support group through his solemn, vulnerable and dark mind as he therapeutically splurges his feelings and thoughts into 'The Search'.
NF draws from his traumatic childhood, and how this has impacted his present mental health. In an interview, the rapper commented
“Last year I felt suicidal, this year I might do something different like talking to God more,”
The album addresses themes of hopelessness, pain and dark thoughts that read almost like a suicide note, however, with his open discussion, many of his fans have expressed their ability to identify and connect to his music in a way they never were able to before, thus creating an argument that rap music is beneficial to mental health because it does not brush over serious and taboo conversations that need to be addressed.
Leave me alone addresses with NF's struggle in dealing with the idea of his fame, with lyrics like, “I went from nobody to kinda famous” and, “We don’t post enough on our socials to keep the buzz from fading.” bringing light to the struggles he faces with pressuring forces of social media and industry, themes many individuals can empathise with in everyday life.
This reccuring theme of NF's truggle with fame is a strong focus of “The Search,” as a result.
“My Stress” addresses NF's struggles with anxiety in his lyrics “Some days, I don’t wanna see or have a bunch of people to impress." highlighting that there is a pressure to produce a product that satisfy's all and show's your real potential in order to be taken seriously- Can anyone else relate to this in University? We are all searching for acceptance, acknowledgement and relief of pressures, therefore his music is a great outlet for anyone who needs that cathartic connection with others who feel the same way.
We all get asked 'What do you want to be when you grow up?' as a child, allowing us to express our wildest dreams.'When I grow up' addresses the anxieties and existential questions we all have and how these dreams change.
''When I grow up, I just want to pay my bills, Rappin' about the way I feel, oh yeah''
''Anybody wanna hear me rap? "No" // Come on, let me play a couple tracks, "No" //Come on, I can spit it really fast, "No"
These lyrics question what is the point of life when we are just a cog in a system that drives us into working till we die, and not being able to take control of our own destinies and be valued as an individual. These are anxieties and questions most of us have, no matter what social factors may divide us.
'Hate Myself' openly discusses poor self-esteem and anxiety about the rapper himself saying 'every mornin' I wake up and feel like I ain't my worth 'cause I'm at war with peace// Or go to Hell, welcome to the corpse of me// Look at the body like you ain't nothin' but poor and weak''.
'Hate myself' is a beautifully touching and heartbreaking song about NF's self-deprecation and feelings powerless and hopeless in his own healing journey. The honestly and vulnerability of this song is incredibly touching and hopeful as it encourages others to grab onto the hope and light, even if it is dim and barely visible. We are all our own worst critic and with NF's open truthfulness, he invites self-compassion to his fans dealing with related issues, offering them strength through his music as a platform to relate to others who does not have the opportunities he has been given.
The purpose for 'The Search' is to open a critical non-judgemental conversation about mental health, advising that and when you find that hope to keep walking and carrying on, hold onto it, embrace it and never let it go, always remembering why the hope is there and what is keeping you here.
Suicide prevention and mental health resources