When it comes to the modern rap game, there are plenty of names that come to mind first. One underrated gem within today’s rap world however is the American artist NF, who, despite gathering over a million listens on one track alone, is still fairly unknown.
I’m here to change that as I dive into this talented musician’s discography to search for his best love songs.
As always, love can be up and it can be down, so not all of the songs on this list will have a happy ending!
1. You’re Special
If you’re looking for a loving, simple love song from NF, look no further than “You’re Special”. Coming off his most popular record, Perception, “You’re Special” is a doting letter to a girl NF has his eyes on. In this track, he recognizes that she has something most people don’t and that nobody sees that special something within her.
I think the simplistic beats and empty spaces in between NF’s captivating vocals make this an alluring listen, and one of his strongest tracks.
2. Got You On My Mind
Album: Therapy Session
Therapy Session was a wonderful album from NF. Building on from the introspective, melodic chimes of his previous releases, we see him develop further as a musician in this record and understand more of his personality throughout. “Got You On My Mind” is a beautiful track dedicated to his girlfriend Bridgette Feuerstein, and explores the difficulties of being in a long-distance relationship.
The background vocals behind NF’s doting lyrics add a level of depth to the track which makes it stand out as a simple but golden addition to his repertoire.
3. If You Want Love
As I’m sure most of us know, love isn’t all about its good times. Good, strong relationships take a lot of hard work and can sometimes come with their downs as well as their ups. In “If You Want Love”, NF delicately explores this issue as he explains how love is hard and the pain which comes with it is sometimes necessary to build a stronger relationship.
The simple acoustic chimes behind a marching beat are entrancing to me. There’s something special about how this track is built in a vulnerable, raw way which makes it a consistent repeat for me.
4. Only One
Not all of NF’s love songs are strictly about relationships. “Only One” can be taken in a few different ways, but I think it’s a note on NF wanting to have someone there for him when life gets difficult.
He also explores the difficulty of rising to fame with few people around him to support him as he began his new journey as a musician.
Album: The Search
The first thing that captivated me about “Time” is the powerful string section at the beginning which sounds like it’s come straight off a Lana Del Rey album. It has that melancholic pull that works incredibly well with the introspective rap of NF and is something I’d love to see in more of his releases.
“Time” talks about a relationship’s issues reaching a breaking point, with the instrumentals presenting a warm glow that suggests hope for overcoming these obstacles.
6. Can You Hold Me
“Can You Hold Me” is the only release on this list from Nf’s Mansion record, and as a closer for the album, it’s incredibly powerful. Made more so by guest vocalist Britt Nicole, the track can be interpreted as a cry for help from either God or a lover.
I think the lyrics lead more towards the latter, with Nicole’s vocals adding a back-and-forth between two people that further adds to the song being about NF’s need for love during a lonely time. As the track builds in momentum and power, it feels like NF is becoming stronger within himself and maybe even discovering self-love.
As I said at the start of the article, not all NF songs are about the positives of love. “Lie” is very much in the opposite category. In a solemn piano passage, NF raps and sings about a failed relationship wherein she lied to people about how he treated her.
The harmonizing vocals in this track help add to the weight of the line “How you gonna lie like that?”, which leads to one of my favorite things about NF. His music isn’t thick with effects or many instrumentals; most of his work is exposed, with subtle additions here and there to add significance.
8. Thing Called Love
“Thing Called Love” delves into slightly different territories for NF. While his rapping is consistent with other releases, the melancholic guitar tone which runs through the track reminds me of Lil’ Peep.
This borderline depressive undertone adds to the message of the track: love can be wonderful, or it could be the worst thing you’ll ever experience.
9. I Just Wanna Know
Album: Therapy Session
“I Just Wanna Know” is another of NF’s songs that could have multiple interpretations, but I take it as a song about unrequited love. If the lyrics are read in the context of love, NF is crying out for understanding as to why someone doesn’t love him the way he loves them.
The simple piano passage mixed with the powerful drum beats and samples makes it an uplifting track overall, despite the lyrical content.
10. Wish You Wouldn’t
Album: Therapy Session
Lastly, we have “Wish You Wouldn’t”, which I think is one of NF’s most heartwrenching tracks. There are barely any instrumentals on this song, except for a lulling, melancholic piano accompanying NF’s lyrical exploration of a loving relationship turning sour and breaking down.
I think the track explores the confusion that surrounds a relationship losing its love very well, and in a way that would be relatable to many people.
Justin is an audio engineer with years of experience in the field. He has been creating and playing music his entire life, but he really found his passion for engineering when he was introduced to Logic Pro at age 10. Justin has spent countless hours perfecting his craft and now works as a freelance engineer out of Boston, MA.