NF, whose full name is Nathan Feuerstein, has dropped a brand new unapologetic single and music video to match. Titled “MOTTO” the song, out today (March 10) via NF Real Music/Virgin Music/EMI Records, was produced by NF.
“MOTTO” is an introspective track that finds the Michigan-based rapper being completely and brutally honest about the choices he has made in his career as he looks back at the options that he has turned down. The tune shows NF’s resistance toward the celebrity culture and the state of the music industry as he consciously decides to choose his own lane.
“I could write a record full of radio songs / Do a bunch of features that my label would love / Do a bunch of features that I don’t even like / Just to build up the hype, yeah/ I could sell my house and move out to L.A. / Get inside of rooms with the biggest of names / Hire fifty people just to give me advice on the way I should write / Oh, God,” NF sings the introduction of the song, providing an idea of where he’s about to go next.
“Yeah, sounds like a nightmare if you ask me / Yeah, went from my bedroom to the big leagues / You know how many times that I was told things wouldn’t work? / But worked out, havin’ cold feet,” NF happily reflects on how taking his own career path outside of Hollywood, despite hearing any naysayers, has paid off for him immensely. “Didn’t keep mе from success, but delayed it somе / I used to be the guy who’d kill to get a number one / I had to hear, “that song’s a hit” before I thought it was / But nowadays I don’t really give a— (What).”
By the chorus, NF is picking apart the Hollywood lifestyle, telling listeners that the glitz and glamour isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. He’s lost interest in the chase to fame and would rather focus on his craft from an authentic, outsider’s standpoint.
“Might catch me at the awards show / Eatin’ popcorn in the back row / Catchin’ Zs with my hat low / No nominations, but it’s cool though, oh, God,” he toggles between singing and speaking. “Tellin’ me to get a life, you should look at yours / Yup, congratulations, you can raise your voice / Hope you break both of your legs fallin’ off your horse / Got my feet propped up / Leave my shirts untucked / I’m the boss, so what? / I do what I want (Oh, God).”
As for the music video for the song, fans can find the multi-platinum rapper sporting an all-beige tracksuit paired with the same colored hat and shoes and showing his sense of humor. He seems to be poking fun at others while walking the red carpet at a mock awards show, bringing to life some of the lyrics from the song.
Shot in Nashville and co-directed with Patrick Tohill, the nearly four-minute cinematic clip also has NF making risky moves, running in circles around other attendees, stealing the mic from a reporter, and standing in the way of the camera lens. He’s unashamed as he props up his feet and chomps down on popcorn in the middle of the room while others appear buttoned up and wearing fancy suits at the formal event.
The video quickly amassed over nearly million views in just 24 hours.
Before releasing “MOTTO,” NF teased the track on Instagram. He posted a video that shows him signing countless autographs one by one.
“Motto” follows NF’s recent inspirational release “HOPE,” and appears as the second single from his upcoming fifth studio album of the same name.
“HOPE,” the lead single and title track for the forthcoming project, garnered 32M global streams in its first week. The track is a five-minute offering that highlights NF’s perception of fatherhood, faith, and personal demons as he wrestles with himself while trying to put his best foot forward and be the best version of himself he can be.
“I done did things that I regret / I done said things I can’t take back / Was a lost soul at a crossroad who had no hope, but I changed that / I spent years of my life holdin’ on to things I never should’ve kept, full of hatred / Years of my life carryin’ a lot of baggage that I should’ve walked away from,” NF explains in the first part of the song.
“Thirty years of running, thirty years of searching / Thirty years of hurting, thirty years of pain / Thirty years of fearful, thirty years of anger / Thirty years of empty, thirty years of shame,” he raps in the second half of the track. “You’ll never evolve, I know I can change / We are not enough, we are not the same / You don’t have the heart, you don’t have the strength / You don’t have the will, you don’t have the faith / You’ll never be loved, you’ll never be safe / Might as well give up, not running away / You don’t have the guts, you’re the one afraid / I’m the one in charge / I’m taking the— (No) / I’m taking the / Reins.”
HOPE, which will follow 2019’s platinum-selling The Search and 2021’s CLOUDS (THE MIXTAPE), is due out Friday (April 7). Fans can pre-save/pre-add HOPE here.