NF talks about his next album, hit song ‘I’ll Keep On’ and heartless critics
NF wasn’t speaking hypothetically when he said, “I got some people that write me like, ‘I wish you’d die like your momma did,’” on Marty of Social Club’s song “The One with My Friends.”
“I wouldn’t say it if it didn’t happen,” NF told Rapzilla. “I go into more detail on my [new album]. Obviously on a feature, I only got a few lines. But yeah, that’s not even close to the worst thing that I’ve been written.”
NF is the fastest-growing artist affiliated with Christian hip hop. He just released his Capitol CMG Label Group debut album Mansion last March, and it finished 2015 the 25th highest-selling Christian project of the year — and the second highest-selling Christian rap project of the year.
A growing fan base comes with a growing troll pool, which NF has discovered as he’s risen. Understandably, he admits the trolls can get under his skin. But until he learns not to read the comments, NF said he’s been able to channel his frustration in to music.
“When I first see things like that, it makes me really angry because everybody’s 20-feet tall on Facebook,” he said. “It helps me as an artist, though, because that gave me a lot of energy for this next record because I am growing as a person. I still have a lot of issues I’m dealing with. On Mansion, I mention a lot of problems. I feel like this next record, I go in to detail about some things I’ve been mentioning along the way — a lot more detail.
“When I write a song called ‘Face It,’ that could mean anything; I don’t know how to face anything. I think on this next record, there are some songs that really give you what’s going on with me. And people writing me stuff like that, there are a lot of parts in songs that have been influenced from statements like that.”
NF said his sophomore album on Capitol CMG Label Group will release this year, although new music could come sooner rather than later.
NEW ALBUM COVER IS FINISHED!!! SO MUCH COMING!!!
— NF (@nfrealmusic) January 28, 2016
Below is an excerpt of Rapzilla’s interview with NF about his upcoming album and his song “I’ll Keep On” featuring Jeremiah Carlson — the only Christian hip-hop to land on Billboard’s year-end Hot Christian Songs chart based on radio airplay.
Rapzilla: What is the story behind “I’ll Keep On”?
NF: That song is basically me talking about how I think a lot of times Christians for some reason find it weird to talk about the struggle of reading your Bible. That kind of stuff I really struggle with personally because I’m a go-go-go person and I hate reading, but really that’s no excuse for not doing stuff like that.
But I struggle with it, so “I’ll Keep On” was more of like, trying to do something different, have a little break in the album, but also a song that came out because that’s how I really feel. I do have a Bible that sits next to my bed, and I feel like I don’t really do much with it.
RZ: As a Christian artist, were you hesitant to say that in a song? What kind of reactions did you expect from that?
NF: Honestly, I think it’s ridiculous what the Christian market is so sensitive about. If you’re too good or too scared to say that you struggle with reading your Bible, then you got other problems to worry about I feel like. That doesn’t bother me at all. This second album I said a lot more stuff. If that bothers you, I wouldn’t buy my second album.
RZ: I think that was one of the more moving songs on Mansion, so I’m sure you got many reactions to it, but was there one that stood out to you the most?
NF: Actually, most of my personal stuff that gets written to me is not about that song. I get tons from that song, but most of my stuff is “Mansion,” more of the harder stuff. That’s more of what I do. The really deep messages I get written are from songs like “Mansion” or, it’d surprise some people, but even songs like “Face It.”
“I’ll Keep On” is a little more out of the box. I think it’s easier for some people to listen to. It definitely has helped me a lot, and a lot of people relate to it and love it. That’s why the song I feel does so well, and I feel like sometimes we don’t talk about relatable things.
I don’t do it so it’s relatable. I do it because it’s real life. It’s what I’m dealing with, but it is relatable. When I started music when I was a kid. I didn’t write it for thousands of people to listen to. I didn’t even know what I was doing. I was just writing my life. And so it’s cool to see music impact people like that.
RZ: What can you say about your next album?
NF: I’m excited about it. If you’re an NF fan and you like the first record, I think you’re going to love this record. You might like it more. I don’t know. It’s really grimy. It’s really in your face, kind of like the first record. But it’s also very diverse. I like different styles of music. I’ll listen to Ed Sheeran, and then I’ll listen to Drake. I just want to make an album that represents me, but also is different from what people are doing, and I think that’s what I’m doing. I’m pumped about the record.