Reviews

NF “HOPE” Album Review

HOPE: A Cathartic Journey Through Self-Doubt and Personal Growth

HOPE

NF

  • Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap
  • Date: 07 Apr, 2023
  • Content: Not-explicit
  • Region: NGA
  • Track(s): 13
  • ℗ 2023 NF Real Music, LLC

It’s a frequently exhilarating return as NF asserts his own identity by eschewing expectations on his new album, “HOPE.” The album wears its emotions on its sleeve and is plagued with self-doubt and the desire to confront your expectations. This is possibly his most intimate writing to date, one that dares to address feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness in front of the world. Whilst some songs are more impactful than others, it’s a commendable effort to embrace the light and see past the darkness as a sign of self-reliance and artistic independence.

Album Cover Art

Nf &Quot;Hope&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, April 13, 2024

If you know NF, then you know this album cover is kind of a big deal and we’ll explain. NF has been an artist who expresses his true emotions and sorrows through music and appearance. He has always been draped in black attires for his previous projects, which also show where he’s at mentally. But with this new change in outfit—black to white—it would only mean he has finally confronted his fears and has approached the light at the end of the dark, traumatic tunnel. The album cover shows that he is afloat and has somehow found a map of some sort to help him find his way home.

Tracks and Features

With the first single and album’s title track, which sets the mood with a big cinematic production of gloomy piano and soaring strings, the album is introduced. In this essay, NF discusses his challenging life history and how it shaped the person he is now.

The following song, “MOTTO,” serves as his personal cry against pop music. He criticizes musicians who make music that is more focused on commercial success than on quality. Once more, the instrumental is driven by a piano and string theme that is built upon by the snare and bottom drum. Rapper Cordae makes a cameo on the song “CAREFUL,” which features chanting driving the chorus and a strong bass groove. In their open boasting, Cordae and NF credit calculated risks for the money they have amassed over their careers.

The album’s heaviest track is unquestionably “MAMA.” In this passage, NF addresses his late mother, who died while he was a small boy. He questions her solemnly about the afterlife and her connections with God, then expresses his regret at losing her. The track “HAPPY” is a misnomer. It is the second-most sad song on the album. NF lets all of his unfavorable ideas to enter and surround him as he muses on how to be happy—and whether he is even capable of it—in a negative feedback loop.

The rapper then bounces back with “PANDEMONIUM,” where thumping electronic beats and warped tones give him new life. He enters the scene with a bang as he embraces a more assured version of himself, highlighting his abilities as a performer and writer. This heated run is maintained with “SUFFICE,” which has NF rapping over severely washed-out and echoing instrumentals.

“GONE” and “BULLET,” another set of songs by NF that interact with one another, are combined. On the former, NF considers a past broken romance in a breakup ballad. Julia Michaels gives a wonderful vocal performance in it. He affirms his affection for his wife and their child in the latter.

The album ends with NF singing over acoustic guitar and declaring he no longer wants to carry the burden of his depression in the form of the breakup song “RUNNING.” It’s a positive last note that effectively ties the album’s subject together. Perhaps this is a turning point in his development as an artist and a person. He appears to realize that tomorrow might still be better.

Tracklist

NO TITLE ARTIST TIME
1 HOPE NF 4:24
2 MOTTO NF 3:37
3 CAREFUL NF & Cordae 3:29
4 MAMA NF 3:28
5 HAPPY NF 4:02
6 PANDEMONIUM NF 3:17
7 SUFFICE NF 4:25
8 GONE NF & Julia Michaels 4:06
9 BULLET NF 3:42
10 TURN MY BACK NF 3:36
11 MISTAKE NF 3:35
12 LET EM PRAY NF 3:33
13 RUNNING NF 4:13

Album Theme

For the Michigan rapper, the album represents a change of pace. Following a lot of changes in his life, he begins to embrace a more active and optimistic viewpoint. NF divulges how his marriage and the birth of his child have caused him to experience an epiphany. Now, he is looking for a bright side—not for himself, but for others around him.

Production Credits

David Garcia, Jeff Sojka, NF, Saint X & Tommee Profitt produced the album.

Stream

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