Breaking Boundaries #2

Boundary: a line which marks the limits of an area; a dividing line.

Often boundaries serve a purpose, sometimes they are waiting to be transcended.
Every Friday, here at The Rhythm Section, we will explore the ocean of music using the latter as our lodestar: breaking of a boundary.


Music made without a soul yearning for connection – just cookie-cutter(ing) its way to the bank; yet it is plastered all around us like an ad desperate to become an earworm.

Music made from a soul transforming its inner struggles into a connection hub, using the currency of recognition, I see you, I know; yet it hardly gets any airplay.
It is this kind of music Nathan John Feuerstein creates.

Known as NF, he is an American rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer.

Despite the connotations rap music may have, this artist achieved a huge worldwide following without any promotion from major outlets, without any thug-life bravado, without a single swear word in his lyrics, still delivering with the energy of a Desert Eagle at point-blank.

Yes, he may be categorized as a rapper but listening to his songs and watching his videos can reveal a poetic voice echoing one’s darkest hour, extending a helping hand for us to fight the battle between our self-destructive part and our potential… the same battle he gives.

That, in my book, is far more valuable than flashing 100k golden chains.

Following is the title song from his latest album, “HOPE” – the last minute of the song is such a … well, see and hear for yourselves.
NF will be on tour with sold out concerts in USA and Europe (up until London, October 15th) – nearest date still open is July 20th, 2023 at the Prudential Center, Newark, NJ.

PS: two weeks ago NF was listed at Spotify as 292nd in the world…yesterday he was 276th
…at the epoch of little gods with all-knowing devices at the palm of their hands,
logos, word of mouth, still has power.


Thank you for joining us on this journey through the music of artists who defy conventions, inspiring, challenging and expanding our perspectives with their art.

Until next time, be kind to yourselves & take it easy.





  1. I don’t listen to a lot of rap, but I do notice how it tends to lack an edge. Its almost like rap has forgotten what it was, and became what it thought it should be. NF seems to have stripped that away. He’s not trying to emulate other artists, rather it seems like he’s giving voice to his internal thoughts. The monologue at the end, to me, seemed to define him as an individual, one who is not afraid to admit his faults as well as his strengths. Great choise Spira, really enjoyed it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Very well put, Deb.
      I don’t listen much either…but there is something raw, identifiable and unique about his art that took me by surprise, albeit a pleasant one.
      Yes, that monologue is exactly what you said. And that unpretentious communication of his inner conflicts is what people around the world identify with and draw strength from.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. I love this to bits. Everything about it. I’m going to explore more his work on Apple Music this afternoon. Thank you, Nick. (this will drive Mr Misky nuts hehe)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Why can’t I write just one simple line to get my point across? It must be in my storytelling DNA. Well, here goes!

    To say I’m not a fan of rap would be an understatement but I wasn’t going to dismiss anything out of hand. I took a different approach in dealing with this video. I listened to it three times; the first time I listened with eyes closed and the second time I watched.

    Hearing this song without watching was a mind-blowing experience. From the first utterance of the word ‘hope’, NF’s voice stunned me. This was not at all what I was expecting. The plaintive sound of Billie Holiday. The lament of an adagio on the lowest piano keys. Then suddenly the staccato piano chords began and this guy started singing. This was not the rap I knew. What the hell, Nick?

    Then the music changed to rap and this NF guy grabbed me and never let go. Listening to those last few minutes …. well, I didn’t know if I was going to be able to continue without opening my eyes but I did.

    When I listened again, this time with eyes open, I was shocked a second time. This was not at all what I was expecting. This rap was raw yet sophisticated with its unexpected time changes and surprising use of piano and stringed instruments. The message was powerful, sometimes overwhelming, dealing with turmoil and inner demons while clinging to the voice of strength and fairness and …. hope.

    This was not at all what I was expecting.

    Then I listened a third time …. with headphones …. but not this video. I found another version which was exactly the same except that one had the lyrics so I could hear and see every word. I’ve never experienced anything like this song.

    This was remarkable. This was epic. Did I mention this was not at all what I was expecting?

    I loved it.

    Well done, Nick!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Why should you? If we were sitting around a fire pit, what kind of discussion would we have if we were limiting our responses to one or two words?

      The approach you described towards this song is a prime example of a way to overcome the biases we all have.

      The musicbackground part of your brain took point.
      Its analysis became an entryway to the next step…”what the hell?!”
      Then, resonance took the reins of the experience in a deeper level, beyond any attempt of dichotomy.

      I have been trying to create to people around me that unexpected trip, from preconceived notions to surprise & appreciation, most of my adult/conscious music life.
      I Hope I will occasionally achieve this here @ Breaking Boundaries, too – under the generous hospitality you have provided.

      (To engage with something, first & foremost, requires attention…no? )

      Liked by 1 person

      1. In response to your parenthetical question I offer a resounding “YES!!”

        Your definition of my listening process was spot on, exactly why I didn’t want to see the video first. I will be checking out more of NF’s work but this, my friend, will be hard to top.

        Now, about that fire pit ….. I see it’s already roaring. Name the time and I’ll bring the S’mores! 😎 ❤︎

        Liked by 1 person

  4. What a wonderful song. I have listened to rap songs before and I will be honest. This is probably my very first time listening to this genre without any cuss and abusive language. Brilliant choice 👌🏽

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Sanjeet, as you have witnessed there is an alternative way to rap meaningfully without the abusive language.
      The Marketing apparatus of the industry tried to downgrade NF by assigning a certain label to his rap, as a desperate effort to maintain the rap- cow it is milking for so long.

      It didn’t had the effect it hoped for.
      And now, yeah… the industry is paying attention to what grew outside the established norms.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. Great opening sentence, Nick. Totally agree.
    I never could decide where NF fit on the musical genre spectrum. I suppose the closest could be called rap, but then, does it matter, he doesn’t “fit”? Hell, no.
    Looking forward to your next feature!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Would you believe when I say that I am not comfortable with gentrification of music? Never have been… even as I was typing rap as a tag for this post, I was feeling uncomfortable!

      I take your Hell, no and I double it wholeheartedly.

      Thank you, Denise!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. That is the true magic of music, Pete, isn’t it? To be able to reach each and every one of us in a unique way, beyond boundaries .🙂
      Isn’t that a corner stone of TRS, to try and provide an eclectic mix of music in a relaxed way?
      To be honest, that core principle is what made It an honor to participate in TRS.


    1. I have a very strong suspicion that he understands that power in music lies in the pauses and breaths of the inner rhythm…hence the change you pointed out, and a few other marks at this song.
      Cheers, Clark.

      Liked by 1 person

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