Contributor’s Note:  I’ve had a good chunk of time to listen through this album before putting this review together, but I will do my best to stay as subjective as I can and keep it brief. This is a track by track album review and grading for the newest album, The Search, from midwestern rapper NF.  Fans can find NF at the following locations:

The Search

In the opening track, we peel back the first layer into the psyche of NF dealing with his fame from his previous album and begin to get an idea of what the search really is. The one flaw for me in this song is there is no hook. This is pretty typical for an NF intro song so I get it, but I’m just a sucker sometimes for a catchy chorus to sing along to. Grade: 9/10


Leave Me Alone

A prime example of how NF ties his songs together. A previously released single, “No Name” will fit in with this song, and I’ll leave you to put those pieces together. A great beat, a catchy hook, flawless flow changes, some amazing double entendres, an entertaining (if even confusing) music video to go along with, and this is a pretty much perfect track. Grade: 10/10



I have a hard time listening to this song and not thinking it’s a Timbaland beat and that Justin Timberlake should be singing the hook (have a listen and let me know what YOU think). And then listen to verse three and try to tell me there’s not some sort of emotional connection that you feel. This song is hard not to love. Grade: 10/10


My Stress

Who doesn’t want relief from whatever stress they’re carrying? NF really hits the battle of stress in this track; how sometimes it can be good and how sometimes it can be crippling. Another solid track starting this album. Grade: 8/10



Probably the realest track on the album. Nate talks us through the different stages of his life and it is a masterpiece of a story even if it’s a bit difficult to listen to. I’m not a huge fan of the chorus on this track which takes a little bit away from the overall of the song. Grade: 8/10



This track is the “Let You Down” of this album. The radio song that you will hear everywhere. I don’t think it will top “Let You Down” (I’ll be surprised if any other NF song does), but that definitely does not take away from how good this song is. Like I said, expect to hear it everywhere. Grade: 8/10



Does NF take shots at Eminem on this track? No, not in my opinion, it’s just a play on words if you look closely. One thing I noticed in this track that I’m not sure I paid much attention to prior is his rhyme scheme, especially at the beginning of the song. Maybe my favorite part of this entire album is at the 1:07 mark of the track. Overall, a good song with a hard hitting beat, but I was kind of left wanting a little more out of it. Grade: 7/10


When I Grow Up

To me, this is probably the most fun track on the album. A song pretty much about proving all the doubters wrong, staying true to yourself, and achieving your own dreams. “The underdog, yeah, you probably think you know what I mean/ But what I’m saying is they ever push me, I’m gonna swing.” One of the best lines probably of the whole album. Ohh yeah. Grade: 10/10



“They’ll write checks to me/But don’t check on me/By myself.” What a powerful line. I love the sound of the flow switch at 1:00 and at 2:09. The sample of Sasha Sloan’s “Only” in the beat is remarkable (be sure to check out that song, as well as other songs from Sasha). I can pretty easily see this song as being one of the final singles from the album and getting some radio play. Grade: 8/10


Let Me Go

Step one. Close your eyes. Step two. Play this song. Step three. Try not to think it belongs in a movie. I always find myself thinking it should be played at some really sad or emotional part of a movie (I usually wind up imagining of a funeral). I love how the beat starts with just strings and gradually builds through the verses and then strips everything back to just the strings again at the chorus. The worst part of this song is that there are only two verses. One of my favorites of the album. Grade: 9/10



When it comes to grading, I’ll be throwing this track out since it is just a spoken interlude. It does, however, flow really well into the next track. Huge kudos go to NF tho for being open and talking about his issues. Grade: N/A


Hate Myself

If NF ever plays this song live, I think he should play it with Josh Dunn playing the drums. This entire song has a Twenty-One Pilots vibe to me. The previous track (Interlude) ties in perfectly with this song talking about how he had everything he wanted but was still unfulfilled. A song where the lyrics really save it from being a typical filler track. Grade: 8/10


I Miss the Days

I find it oddly fitting that a Christian rapper has a track with a gospel sound to it. It really adds to the depth of the album. And who doesn’t miss the days when things were better and easier? Grade: 7/10


No Excuses

Definitely a filler track. Nothing too special about this one. The biggest redeeming feature of it is when he says the verse is getting boring and switches the flow two more times in that verse. Grade: 6/10


Like This

Another track that delves deep into the soul of NF. He really pours his emotions into every one of his lines in every one of his verses and you can really tell that here. Getting towards the end of the album be sure not to skip over this track. Grade: 7/10



“Put down the whistle, I’m done with you referees/Y’all don’t know nothing, you think you ejected me/’Til I show up in the game, like, “Remember me?”” That’s a pretty slick couple lines right there. I am not a fan of the hook on this song though; I get what the point is, but the delivery just almost sounds garbled. The verses are strong and the beat is really good as well. Grade: 7/10



A question with no given answer. A search with no known outcome. Kind of seems like what’s going on in this song (the first single that was dropped for the album). The rhyme scheme of this song is crazy, and I’ll leave this link to back that up. Grade: 9/10



This is the one track I find myself skipping over the most, and I’m not totally sure why. The lyrics are good, the beat is good, I think there are just so many other great songs on this record that this one gets kind of cast out for me. Grade: 6/10



On previous tracks, we get a small glimpse of NF’s singing prowess, but on this track it is on full display. The beat is stripped down to just a beautiful piano and strings, and the cadence in his delivery of the lyrics is perfect. This is definitely a black sheep of the album and the perfect way to close it out. Grade: 10/10


Overall a VERY solid album, and I believe some credit needs to go to Tommee Profitt for producing the majority of it. The beats are amazing, the emotions and overall feelings that are construed all throughout this album are unreal. Is it a perfect album? Not quite, but that’s not to say it shouldn’t be one that you play over and over again. Overall Grade: 8.2/10

And there you have it!  Check out NF at the following tour dates on “The Search” tour:

Thu. 9/12- Stage AE in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Fri. 9/13- DeltaPlex Arena & Conference Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Sat. 9/14- Michigan Lottery Amphitheater at Freedom Hill in Sterling Heights, Michigan

Sun. 9/15- Express Live! in Columbus, Ohio

Tue. 9/17- The Met in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Wed. 9/18- Toyota Oakdale Theatre in Wallingford, Connecticut

Fri. 9/20- Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheater in Charlotte, North Carolina

Sat. 9/21- Red Hat Amphitheater in Raleigh, North Carolina

Mon. 9/23- Tue. 9/24- Marathon Music Works in Nashville, Tennessee

Thu. 9/26- Old Forester’s Paristown Hall in Louisville, Kentucky

Fri. 9/27- Clyde Theatre in Fort Wayne, Indiana

Sat. 9/28- The Armory in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Sun. 9/29- Burton Cummings Theatre in Winnipeg, Canada

Tue. 10/1- Edmonton Convention Centre in Edmonton, Canada

Wed. 10/2- Grey Eagle Event Centre in Calgary, Canada

Thu. 10/3- PNE Forum in Vancouver, Canada

Sat. 10/5- WaMu Theater in Seattle, Washington

Sun. 10/6- Toyota Center in Kennewick, Washington

Tue. 10/8- Moda Center in Portland, Oregon

Wed. 10/9- Revolution Concert House in Garden City, Idaho

Fri. 10/11- Sat. 10/12- The Great Saltair in Magna, Utah

Sun. 10/13- Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado

Tue. 10/15- Uptown Theatre in Kansas City, Missouri

Wed. 10/16- The Shrine Mosque in Springfield, Missouri

Fri. 10/18- Revention Music Center in Houston, Texas

Sat. 10/19- The Criterion in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Sun. 10/20- The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory in Irving, Texas

Tue. 10/22- Comerica Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona

Thu. 10/24- Fri. 10/25- House of Blues in Anaheim, California

Sat. 10/26- San Jose Civic in San Jose, California

European “The Search” tour 2020 dates are below:

Sun. 3/1- Palladium in Koln, Germany

Mon. 3/2- Columbiahalle in Berlin, Germany

Tue. 3/3- Docks in Hamburg, Germany

Thu. 3/5- Batschkapp in Frankfurt, Germany

Fri. 3/6- TONHALLE in Munich, Germany

Sun. 3/8- AB Main Hall in Brussels, Belgium

Mon. 3/9- Elysee Montmarte in Paris, France

Tue. 3/10- Melkweg in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Thu. 3/12- O2 Ritz in Manchester, United Kingdom

Fri. 3/13- O2 Academy in Bristol, United Kingdom

Sat. 3/14- O2 Academy in Leeds, United Kingdom

Mon. 3/16- SWG3 Studio Warehouse in Glasgow, United Kingdom

Wed. 3/18- O2 Institute in Birmingham, United Kingdom

Thu. 3/19- Roundhouse in London, United Kingdom

For tickets and further information on any of the gigs listed above, click here.

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