Music is a way people can cope with stress and talk about their life. Nathan Feuerstein, also known as NF, is a Christian rapper who produces music talking about his life and his mistakes. Feuerstein produces “clean” rap music while also using verses from the bible blending the Christian genre with the rap genre. Specifically, his song “Remember This”, from arguably the peak album of his musical career called Perception, uses Jericho Brown’s “alive” style of writing. NF engages in effective Kairos using vitality and mirroring his own life. Topos is extremely effective in this song. “Who you are is up to you, don’t leave it up to them // Grab your own glass and fill it, don’t let your fear destroy you.” This song’s theme is clearly to show the reader that they should follow their own path and not the path that everyone else is going. NF talks about his personal life on how fear is keeping him from following his musical career and doesn’t want his follows to follow the path he is heading toward. He uses empowerment to talk about how he worked “Hard days, and cold nights” to follow his musical career and how he is filling his glass with his own achievements, not just cowering behind the achievements of other’s.
This song has very effective Ethos. “You’ll understand when your older.” Older people always tell the younger generation this. Using one of Brown’s poetic characteristics, confession, Feuerstein talks about how he told his younger fans just this. That they are just children and aren’t expected to understand what adults are going through. He explains how he was wrong to just give a simple “Don’t worry about it” and it would benefit the younger generation it they were to understand adult problems, so they as better prepared in the future. Children can relate to being told this by the older generation and clearing “adult problems” can help build trust between the listener and the writer.
On the other hand, in the verse, “You want something in life, then why don’t you go and get it” NF targets adults saying that they just expect their dreams to be handed to them. That people aren’t willing to put in the effort to make their dreams come true, instead they just sit back on their cushioned couch and binge watch movies judging other people and their mistakes without looking at their own. Earlier generations can still relate to this song. “And perfect people don’t exist so don’t try to be one.” Everyone has made mistakes that they wish they could take back.
Mirroring his own life, NF explains that you need to stop looking in the past and look toward your future. He talks about how he made the mistake of trying to impress everyone in his life that he was looking sight on his career. Once he realized he couldn’t impress everyone, he was being attacked by those near him saying he changed and didn’t care for them anymore. From there, NF turned to alcohol to calm his mind which lead to saying hurtful things to those he loved and turned down the help of those who cared for him. He uses vitality to grow from his mistake of turning to alcohol to cure his pain and learns that music is his way to get the stress off his mind. In the verse “Anyone can take your life, but not what you believe in,” he paints a picture in the back of the admirers’ head to look back to historical heroes whose cause continued long after they were 6 feet under. He wants the audience to stand up for what is right, no matter the consequences making Kairos effective in this song.
Logos is cloudy in this song. He exclaims “Those people will cut you open and watch you bleed,” but doesn’t explain how this in relevant in the song. He also seems to be emotion heavy by going against Brown’s poet characteristic, structure. He seems to be creating images all over the place that his spectators cannot follow along with. In the verse “Guess I’m just a kid”, NF leaves some unclear thoughts on what was going on when he was told this making the song a lot less “like breathing”. It creates a gap in his song that leaves the public confused onto what is going on. Pathos is immediately shown effective in this song, where NF expresses his emotions, Regret and Joy, that he dealt with pursuing his music career. “I fell in love with pain and slept with my regrets // Joy called me a cheater, said she ain’t coming back.” Feuerstein risks his reputation as a Christian by talking about infidelity with his regrets and how he lost interest in joyful things in his life, becoming obsessed with both physical and emotion pain while still looking back on his past mistakes. “The cure to pain isn’t something you buy at liquor stores.”
NF talks about how he would follow his drug addict mother to see where she would get her would get her drugs from. In this verse, NF talks about how his mother wouldn’t go to the liquor store to buy chips and soda, but instead would go there to meet her drug dealer that was waiting at the corner of the parking lot where there was nothing but darkness other that the lit-up liquor store sign. Feuerstein explains that seeing his mother rely on drugs to be happy made him resent her instead of helping her seek counseling. This comes as a surprise because in the verse “Think twice before you’re bitin’ on the hand that made you”, he talks about thinking twice before turning the other way against the person who brought you into this world.
After listening and breaking down the song, listeners become aware of the rapper’s situation he was put in and how he managed to overcome using Jericho Brown’s poetic characteristics. Listeners like music that empowers and motivates them to go and pursue their passion. Rap has recently been repetitive using the same beats and song appear to be popular based on how many slang and derogative words can be fit into three minutes. NF, by combining the Christian and rap genre, creates a whole new style of lyrics and verses. Understanding Brown’s poetic characteristics allows the general listener to dig deeper into NF’s music and helps understand and interpret his lyrics by how he sees them. Using Brown’s “alive” poetic structure, the audience can expand their analysis of music by looking at the lyrics the way the artist looks at them.