American rapper NF didn’t have the easiest of childhoods, but did he ever further his education?
From all available sources, the verdict appears to be that NF did not attend a college. It is known that he graduated from Gladwin High School in 2009, but this seems to be where the rapper’s formal educational journey ended.
For NF then, a college education was not essential. Let’s find out how the rapper managed to find success in music, and break away from his troubled upbringing.
What was NF’s childhood like?
NF, whose full name is Nathan John Feuerstein, was born in Gladwin, Michigan, on March 30, 1991, and grew up in the same town with his two sisters. His mother struggled with a drug addiction during his childhood.
His mother would often disappear or not show up to important events when NF was growing up, even his graduation from Gladwin High School.
His mom’s boyfriend began to physically abuse him and one of his sisters. Eventually his father stepped in and removed the three children.
Since the relationship was strained between NF’s mother and the family, he only occasionally saw her for the remainder of his childhood.
When he was in high school, he cut all contact with his mother after the court ordered that a social worker be present and monitor conversation between the mother and children.
Music was something that helped NF to get through his hardships. In his youth, he would record songs on a karaoke machine, using one microphone for his lyrics and the other to record instrumentals.
He commented, “[Music] really helped me get out of my malaise, to live something else apart from abandonment and failure, and yet those are the things that nourish it. When I hear my songs on the radio, I sometimes find them really depressing!”
In 2009, NF suffered a family tragedy. His mother died from an overdose. The song “How Could You Leave Us,” is dedicated to her.
Is NF a Christian Rapper?
NF grew up with a strong Christian belief and attended church regularly. When it comes to music, however, the rapper prefers to distance his religion from his raps.
He commented, “I mean, I’m a Christian, but I’m just an artist. I’m a musician. You know what I mean? To me, it’s like if you’re a Christian and you’re a plumber, are you a Christian plumber? That’s the easiest way for me to explain it. I just make music.”
Describing his lyrical content, NF said, “I talk about my life, I talk about my faith. I talk about positive things that I’ve dealt with that have taught me things and I talk about negative things that I’m dealing with. I wouldn’t describe myself as [a Chritsian rapper], but I am a Christian.”
Listen to NF as a featured artist in the Christian track “Start Over.”
One of the first gigs NF scored was the Fine Arts Festival organized by Connection Church in Canton, Michigan.
He later signed to Capitol Christian Music Group in 2014. NF released the EP NF with the label the same year. The EP charted at No. 12 on the Christian Albums chart, the Top Gospel Albums at No. 4, and on the Top Rap Albums at No. 15.
What inspired NF to become a musician?
NF revealed in an interview that, “At about 12 years old, I realised I didn’t have a choice. I started writing and rapping, opening my musical field towards other things that had nothing to do with rap, like Adele and Ed Sheeran.”
He went on, “They made me want to add the chords and keyboards—as you can hear on the album Perception, I put them wherever I could!”
NF gets compared to Eminem frequently. He acknowledged the influence by saying, “He was a major source of inspiration […] I’d listen to Eminem non-stop, I’d write out his texts in my school books, I’d watch his videos over and over… He’s the one who gave me the courage to think that I could do hip hop as well.”