Nate Feuerstein, known to fans as NF, is back with a new track called “Clouds” from his forthcoming mixtape.
Like many of his previous songs, “Clouds” begins by letting listeners know that NF doesn’t conform to images that others have defined for him. He also makes it clear that he’s completely comfortable taking his place as the successful underdog while not compromising his work ethic or his character.
NF tells us he’s been waiting for a while now to release “Clouds,” (“Mixtapes aren’t my thing, but it’s been awfully exhausting/Hanging onto songs this long is daunting”), something he sees as an audacious move (“Which cause me to have to make a call I thought was ballsy/Resulting in what you see today, proceed indulging”).
It seems like his first goal is to set the record straight concerning his character (“Born efficient, got ambition, sorta vicious, yup, that’s me/Not artistic, unrealistic, chauvinistic, not those things”). His second desire is to define what he does want to do (“I don’t tend to take the easy road/That’s just not the way I like to roll”) and what he does not do (“I don’t rock no Rollies/I don’t hang around no phonies”).
Because, it appears, there have been false accusations (“Create the riddles, portrayed uncivil”) and rumors flying around that NF is selling out (“Hollywood, Hollywood/Hope Nate doesn’t go Hollywood”).
However, no matter what others think, he makes it clear that he’s not compromising (“You think that, you don’t know me good”), has no intention of conforming to others’ preconceptions of him (“Stick to my guns, I don’t even flinch/Can push all you want, ain’t movin’ an inch”) and plans to stay humble (“I don’t know why God chose me”).
A common theme throughout NF’s catalog is that he views himself as an underdog who has been highly discouraged and put down. But he won’t let that stop him. Here, he reassures us he wants to stay humble … even as he indulges in just a bit of low-key bragging.
But in this case, that’s not a bad thing at all, because NF’s strong work ethic and determination have obviously taken him far. Some may question his motivations, but NF seems rooted in a strong sense of who he is and how God sees him.
If the song lands in an ultimately redemptive place, the video artistically seems to vent some of the tension NF raps about. He keeps getting beamed into different situations where he’s not wanted or doesn’t really belong—one of which includes showing up in a family room and badly frightening a mom and her kids before the husband arrives to chase NF off. He also walks down the center line of an interstate highway, with cars swerving to avoid him.
We appreciate NF’s message in this song, but some young or impressionable viewers of the video might walk away uncertain about how to interpret the ambiguous and at times seemingly reckless situations NF walks through in the video.
Kristin Smith joined the Plugged In team in 2017. Formerly a Spanish and English teacher, Kristin loves reading literature and eating authentic Mexican tacos. She and her husband, Eddy, love raising their children Judah and Selah. Kristin also has a deep affection for coffee, music, her dog (Cali) and cat (Aslan).