NF is a growing, intense presence in the rap game. Priding himself on real music, NF (real name Nate Feuerstein) is a lyricist with darker themes about dealing with internal struggles. His debut album, Mansion, was met with raves as a dark and gritty look into the mind of NF. Therapy Session is his return and serves as a second voyage into the thoughts and mind of NF and won the 2016 Dove Award for Best Hip-Hop/Rap Album, beating out the likes of Andy Mineo (Uncomfortable), Lecrae (Church Clothes 3), Tedashii (This Time Around), and Flame (Forward).

1. Intro 2

The sequel to his award winning “Intro” from Mansion was an inevitability. NF comes out hard and fast in Intro 2, featuring a piano and chorus driven beat to ride. The intense opener sets the stage for what’s to come, and warns fans that if you’re looking for happy songs you’re in the wrong place. This album is full of personal songs and how music is his therapist. The production is intense and instills both a sense of excitement and dread. NF rides this beat like a bull and tames the beast and he comes out hard.

Track Rating: 8/10

Grade: A

2. Therapy Session

Therapy Session takes the beat we last heard and slows it down and polishes. NF raps about how music is therapeutic to him and how it’s not just entertaining, it’s real life. He talks about the pressure and real stories that happen after shows. The rant is solidly produced. NF is a lyricist who couples words together in unexpected ways. Therapy Session is a downer, but it’s a rant song that is intriguing to those who are looking for a window into NF’s life.

Track Rating: 7/10

Grade: A-

3. I Just Wanna Know

The second single off of Therapy Session is faster and features some faster-paced raps and poppies production. NF rides the beat expertly and masterly controls the track. The song talks about people changing and losing trust.

Track Rating: 7/10

Grade: A-

4. How Could You Leave Us

This piano driven ballad is the most heartbreaking song you will hear for a long time. NF opens up his pure grief and anger and pours it into this song about his mother’s death by drug overdose. The emotional rap is overwhelming and will bring you to tears. The words land just right and the crying in the track only solidify the emotional response. It’s gut wrenching blow that moves the listeners to tears.

Track Rating: 10/10

Grade: A+

5. Breathe

This slower song has echo-y production and some solid, unique stylistic choices. NF is a good vocalist as well. The slow track talks about everything he gave up to chase his dreams. The industry’s treatment of NF is called into question in this song. Despite some stylistic choices and interesting production, NF doesn’t ride the beat as well as he does in other tracks.

Track Rating: 7/10

Grade: B+

6. Real

The piano driven style that NF excels in returns in this one. The bells and electronic vocal production is really good. NF hits this beat quickly and moves fast. This track flows quickly and NF goes near supersonic. He really speeds up what otherwise was a depressed first half. The song is pitch for him and his skill. He has some fun with this one and it’s refreshing.

Track Rating: 8/10

Grade: A

7. Oh Lord

This song is a wake-up call to Christians and people who claim a faith in God. The track calls out how two-faced and backstabbing humans are to God. He himself confesses that he’s guilty of it too but he really goes in with his wake up call. A fantastic song with great production, the song uses acoustic guitars for the beat, something NF does once an album. The song has very similar feel to “In The Air Tonight” by Phil Collins. The song is an anthem and a song everyone needs to listen to. Like NF says, “ain’t nobody wanna pray until they got something to pray for.”

Track Rating: 10/10

Grade: A+

8. I Can Feel It

Starting out with pianos, NF shifts his focus on a more pop-influenced beat similar to Oh Lord. The vocally driven track features a simple hook and some medium-paced raps and talks about his reality. The song is an anthem for change and how to remain positive when the situation seems unfair.

Track Rating: 9/10

Grade: A+

9. Got You On My Mind

This is NF’s very first love song and it is one for the books. The song goes slow and features vocals more than rap. The Hip-Hop song demonstrates NF’s more human side and talks about how he and his girl met and how much he cares about her. The song is a pretty track that is also soothing, relieving the intensity of the album and NF’s general mantra.

Track Rating: 8/10

Grade: A

10. Grindin’ (ft. Marty)

The album picks up big time and presents some work out tracks that are the real bangers of the album. This is the first of three. NF kills his beat and goes in, rapping about how hard he works and how the reason why he’s a top ten rapper is because he works harder at this than anyone else. He really rides this beat and gets his audience hyped. The song is well produced, featuring pianos, bells, and a choir and give some dramatic intensity. Marty’s verse is great and the comedy relief this album has been missing.

Track Rating: 9/10

Grade: A+

11. Wish You Wouldn’t

Things slow down again and serves as a breakup song, driven by NF’s solid vocals. The raps aren’t here much, it’s just reliant NF and his singing voice. The song is pretty and understated, something NF doesn’t do often, but when he does it, he does it well.

Track Rating: 8/10

Grade: A-

12. Statement

This is the second banger and is the one where NF gets to show off his speed and lyricism. There’s always one of these towards the end of every NF album. Taking a page from “Motivated” from Mansion, Statement sees him show off his speed and lyricism. He focuses more on the couplets and rhymes and puts to fast tracks. He really goes in on reminding his fans why he’s elite in their eyes.

Track Rating: 10/10

Grade: A+

13. All I Do

The third banger on this album is more of a fun anthem. Taking the gritty style beat that NF thrives in and applying it to a bigger song, NF raps about how he’s proud of what he’s doing and why he likes it and one of the best. Production doesn’t really stand out from the rest of the album.

Track Rating: 9/10

Grade: A+

14. Lost In The Moment (ft. Jonathan Thulin)

The closer of the album is one of the highlight in terms of production. Jonathan’s vocals are meshed with gentle and piano driven beat. NF raps gently about how life shouldn’t be taken so seriously, especially because it’s so short. The song is beautiful ballad telling us how hard life can be. The song is told from the perspective from God who real talks with him about how he’s feeling and how he can’t lie to him and the circle they’ve been stuck. The song is a beautiful song about being honest with yourself.

Track Rating: 10/10

Grade: A+

 

Conclusion

Overall, NF delivers a less diverse version of Mansion with some bangers and a lot of raw and honest emotion. There a lot of emotional ballads and some fun joints that mesh together to make a pretty advanced package that is better than most rap musicians out there. NF is skilled and elite, but, in terms of production, this album has some highlights, but is ultimately a step down from the diverse package of MansionTherapy Session has some emotional and raw songs that are well written, some more so than the best of Mansion, but the production is pretty much steady repetition throughout, with some obvious exceptions.

Album Rating: 8/10

Grade: A-

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