When I think of the word Mansion I think of a big glorious house and all the things that people put in it. Sometimes though that mansion is really just that… a structure that people live in. The true test of character is what’s inside. What do we hold and hide in those Mansions? In NF’s first full-length debut he outlines those types of Mansions and the hard truth they sometime hold.
“Intro” begins the record with a bang. NF drops down heavy beats and even heavier lyrics. It’s a great introduction that this isn’t going to be your typical hip/hop record. It’s going to hit with hard questions about identity and struggles.
The title track is something that’ll stick with you. NF raps about the structure of his own mansion and how it represents him. He talks about sickness, trust and self-doubt. He talks about fear and how it got a hold of his own mansion. It is one of the most relatable tracks on the record as anyone can relate to life struggles and the baggage it sometimes brings.
NF is unique in the sense that not only can he rap (and rap well) but the dude can sing. Songs like “All I Have” and “Wait” are great examples of his vocal talent. (A rare feat in the rap world) The anthem track “Wake up” fuels the listener to seek purpose and to look internally for growth and satisfaction.
To make this record even sweeter is the last handful of tracks, which truly brings the record to a new level. “Paralyzed” walks through how one has changed… and not for the good. NF focuses again on identity struggles. The album closes with two-guest artists Jeremiah Carlson and Britt Nicole. “I’ll Keep On (feat. Jeremiah Carlson)” is a personal favorite with its upbeat vibe and again honest lyrics.
NF's debut is nothing but outstanding. Never have I seen such a debut hold such raw emotion and heartfelt lyrics. NF wears his heart on his sleeve… and he didn’t have to. But the fact that he did tells us how serious he is about this thing called music. Throughout this record we hear through the many struggles that we all can face. Out of the midst of that, NF proclaims something that stuck with me “I never knew what freedom was until I learned what prison means.”
Rating: 5 out of 5
Genre: Rap / Hip-Hop
Label: Capitol Christian
Release Date: March 31, 2015
Buy it: Amazon
Mansion feat. Fleurie
All I Have
Turn the Music Up
I'll Keep On feat. Jeremiah Carlson
Can You Hold Me feat. Britt Nicole
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ARTICLE Slightly Obsessed #227: Release the Beautiful
As we smiled at the people we met on our walk I wondered at the social custom that requires face-to-face congeniality on a bike path among strangers who would soon be in our respective cars fighting over a lane change. It’s easier to be mad at people when we can’t see their faces.