Christian Rap. A stranger juxtaposition of words not yet popularized in our culture. Christian singer and rapper, Nathan John Feuerstein, is determined to change that. More popularly known by his stage name, NF, Nate has been gaining popularity over the last couple of years. His lyrics deal with very real issues in our society and in his own life, and his sound and presence on stage is very raw as I witnessed at his 10/17 show at the Newport.
I was surprised, walking in, at how young this crowd appeared. Not knowing much about NF before that night, I asked an eager audience member if he was excited for the show. He couldn’t have been older than 20 and stood waiting with a few friends. He kindly responded, “Yeah! He’s one of my favorite artists right now. His stuff is really good.” I explain that I’m not entirely familiar with his work and ask what he likes about NF’s music. “I mean, he raps about real stuff. You know? I like rap and it’s easier to relate to than like, guys rapping about pussy, I guess.” I let him get back to his friends and wander down into the pit to take some photos as NF’s opener, Fleurie, comes onstage to applause.
Fleurie, a long haired, bold-browed beauty, takes the stage and enchants the crowd with her edgy, indie sound. I snap a few photos of her at the microphone as blue-lit smoke begins to swirl around her. After her set, she leads into NF’s introduction, teasing the crowd with, “Have you heard of this guy??” to the loudest roar of applause we’d heard yet.
In the tour’s title song, Therapy Session, NF even raps about how his music has touched fans.
Yeah, I got to say like a month ago/ I was talking to fans/ And one of them pulled me aside and said/ “We never met but I swear that you know who I am.”
One thing is for sure, and that is that NF sets out to bring to light to the real issues that people are facing behind closed doors while encouraging a relationship with God. For those struggling to keep their faith while battling the trials of growing up and rolling with Life’s punches, NF’s music is, as he states, a Therapy Session.