REAL – STRUGGLES...REAL – FAITH...REAL - LIFE
NF’s story could have been much different! His talents could have thrust him into mainstream music along with all the money and fame that comes with it. But something happened, something that only happens when you’re confronted with the raw reality of living in this callused and darkened world, which desperately not only needs but requires a Savior. As you’ll discover while exploring the following paragraphs, the question is not a decision of whether or not the battle can be won. This life offers a conflict that you and I can never win! Surrender is required is our only option. The question we must answer is this….. Who will our surrender be to? For NF, the choice is clear and it's evident in the passion contained within the lyrics that pours from his heart and flows from his lips, delivering true Living Water to your soul! That you too can realize and scream from the top of your lungs: I’m Free!!!!!
NF’s Story (In his own words)
At age 5 my parents had divorced. This took more of a toll on my life then I realized. When you’re young, you don’t understand why bad things are happening. You just go along with it and ask a lot of questions. After the divorce, my two sisters and I went to live with our mom. This lasted for a very short period of time before we were forced to leave because I was being physically abused by one of my mother’s boyfriends. We then lived with our Dad after that and eventually began to have visitation with our Mom.
As a kid you don’t sit back and think about all of the facts surrounding a situation. You just think about what you want and for me what I wanted was to see my mom. I loved going to her house and spending time with her when I was young. I didn’t understand why we didn’t stay the night anymore which to me was hard to grasp as a kid. Kids need their parents, both of them! When that is taken from you, at a young age it’s confusing.
As I got older, I began to understand things more and I started noticing that my life was being impacted by these things from my past. During this time, I would have people tell me that I had anger problems. I didn’t think about where it came from and denied that it had anything to do with my past, or being abused. Not to mention that’s the last thing I wanted to think about or even believe. I became a very skeptical and defensive person in almost everything, it seemed. But there was always one thing that seemed to get me away from it all. One thing that allowed me to break from my reality and the things that were affecting me: music!
It started with listening to music and then grew into something much bigger. Around 12 to 13 years of age, I started free styling to basic instrumentals. Then I started recording tapes on an old karaoke machine that I had in my room. I found a studio not far from me and eventually started finding ways to create beats of my own. My mom, who seemed to always love my music from day one, got me a program for the computer to encourage me along. At first, it just seemed like something I really enjoyed, like playing ball or something. But then it grew into more than just a hobby. It became my escape, my way to cope with things. I’m not the type of person to just open up and start talking to people. But hand me a pen and paper and it’s a whole different story.
So I started writing songs about whatever rhymed. You know how it is when you’re young. It doesn’t have to make sense, it just has to rhyme. But as I continued to write, I started writing about my life, pain, struggles, and the things that bothered me. My lyrics began to minister to the parts of me that were impacted by my past and I found relief from it. I grew up in the church but just going to church wasn’t the answer, that didn’t make everything ok. Some people assume that growing up in a church means that you’ll be a better kid. From my perspective, that’s not always true. I saw church kids doing the same things everyone else did. Because of my past and the pain those things caused me, I hated drinking and smoking and never got into that even though I had been around people doing it. It seems like everyone in their teen years, has a point where they decide to be a rebel and go their own way. I know that because I was someone who went down that road.
I started writing songs that had no point to them, swearing and using perversion as a way to make people laugh. During this time I also went through a stage where I questioned my belief in God. I think I did it because I grew up in the church my whole life and was told these things and wanted to find out for myself. One day at my Grandpa’s church, a lady walked up to me, looked me in the face, and said, “God told me to tell you He is real and He’s here for you.” Needless to say, that was the huge smack in the face I needed. From that point my music progressed and I got better and started becoming more advanced as an artist.
It was during this time that my sisters and I went through a period when we didn’t talk to our mom for a long time. It’s crazy to me how I just pretended as if that didn’t bother me. I tried to put it in the back of my mind but it still impacted my everyday life on the outside. Suddenly, she started calling and I started seeing her again. I wanted to be there for her, as her son. I was older now, and wanted to protect her. I wanted to help her but I was still dealing with a lot of old memories and emotions that were hurting me. I began staying the night at her house and we would just hang out and watch movies and talk. Those are memories I’ll never forget! It was just two weeks after I had seen my mom and it came. It was a phone call from my Grandpa asking to speak with my Dad. After he got off the phone, he told us our Mother had died at her house because of an overdose. This was and still is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to deal with.
When something like that happens, no matter what anyone says to you, all you can think about is what you should’ve done to prevent it. What if I would’ve called? What if I would’ve told her I loved her more, knowing that I didn’t show it to her much? It was an extremely rough moment in my life in a lot of ways. Your senior year of high school is supposed to be like a new beginning. But for me, I just felt like I lost so much. Not having my mom at my graduation destroyed me and after that you think about everything else they can’t be a part of.
God used music to allow me to express my emotions, my pain, my anger, and guilt. My music was very affected by this and you could tell by the emotion in it. Since that time God has grown me, my music, and He has developed a passion in me for all the kids out there that might be going through some of the things I did. That’s why I rap and write the way I do, the reason my music is raw and real. I believe music should have real meaning, for real life problems. God has used some of the worst things in my life for good. By giving me the ability to express myself through music, He not only ministers to me but blesses me with the opportunity to minister to others as well. I pray that you find the One who gave me my comfort in my pain. I hope you develop a relationship with Him that is so tangible and REAL that you call Him by His name. His name is Jesus!
Be Real – Nate “NF” Feuerstein