NF’s new album “Hope” is the breath of fresh air the music industry needs


Album cover for “HOPE”

Zach Eldred, Sports Team

Good albums are released all the time, but great albums are rare to come by.

NF’s newest project, “HOPE,” is a great album. What separates a good album from a great one is its ability to connect with the listener on an emotional level which is what “HOPE” does so well.

Released on Apr. 17 of 2023, “HOPE” consists of only 13 tracks spanning over 49 minutes. Upon its release, the album debuted at number two on the Billboard top 200 and sold over 120 thousand units in its first week. 

The album kicks off with the title track, “HOPE.” This song sets the tone for the project perfectly using a grand, cinematic sounding beat, a variety of different flows and thoughtful lyrics that help to tell the story. 

NF uses this song to introduce the album’s theme of battling against his inner demons. Throughout the song, NF can be heard struggling against  a distorted demonic-sounding version of himself. The song ends with NF saying that he is “taking the reins” signifying that he has finally decided to take control of his life, which is exactly what he spends the whole album doing. 

Throughout his career, NF can be seen carrying around a set of black balloons in many of his videos as a metaphor with each balloon being a trauma that has burdened him, carrying them around for everyone to see. NF addresses each of his balloons on the album and metaphorically pops each as the album progresses.

Songs like “MOMMA” and “BULLET” address issues in his personal life with “MOMMA” dealing with the loss of his mother through an overdose, and “BULLET” addressing his struggles through his wife’s postpartum depression following the birth of his son. 

The track “MOTTO”  tackles his struggle within the music industry and his lack of recognition, criticizing award shows for rewarding the same basic music year in year out.

Every track on this album serves a purpose, even songs like “LET EM PRAY” that sounds like it’s just a hype track on surface level. This one in particular addresses how he used to let his biggest critics get to him and how he has learned to ignore them and let their prayers fall on deaf ears. 

The closing track “RUNNING” rounds out the album perfectly. NF spends the song saying goodbye to his inner demons that he has spent his life running away from. While he acknowledges that it is his time to move on, NF also takes the time to admit that he is going to miss these balloons that he has grown comfortable with and built his career on. 

This song represents NF letting go of the balloons he has carried around his whole life and leaving his burdens behind. 

NF really shows off his versatility with this album making it easy to listen to and engaging throughout. The thoughtful lyrics, deep meaning and unique instrumentals are what sets this album apart from others and make this such a great listen.