Unless you’ve been living under the proverbial rock, you’ve probably heard of the rapper Nate Feuerstein, more commonly known as NF. He’s been on the scene since 2014, but has recently made it big with his 2017 hits Let You Down and Green Lights. NF is a Christian who is a rapper, but not necessarily a “Christian rapper.” His lyrics are not explicit, but they hit just as hard as others like Eminem or Kendrick. His whole business is about “real music.” He writes deeply and passionately about his own struggles with mental health, abuse, and loss.
Since his songs are so personal and packed with emotion, I thought it would be interesting to pair some of his songs with the different Enneagram types. If you’ve never heard NF before, give these a listen. They also happen to be some of my favorite tracks.
Type 1: Let You Down
Type 2: I’ll Keep On
Type 3: Motivated
Type 4: Outcast
Type 5: The Search
Type 6: Intro III
Type 7: Turn the Music Up
Type 8: Why
Type 9: Oh Lord
Again, Let You Down is probably one of NF’s most popular releases. He even mocks his own success in a later song (“Let You Down‘s the only song you’ve heard of, well then you’re behind”). As I listen to the song, it’s about the struggle we face to live up to others’ expectations. Sometimes it feels like we can never be good enough, we will never measure up. Unspoken expectation and unreasonably high standards only lead to feelings of disappointment and resentment. Left unaddressed, these feelings can shatter relationships beyond repair. In the song he feels helpless, realizing the endless cycle of hope and disillusionment.
But what if the person you’re letting down the most is yourself? Type ONES have a tendency to be their own worst critic. That inner voice won’t shut up. It’s always there pointing out what they’ve done wrong or could have done better. It’s relentless. ONES need to learn to listen to that inner voice but not be governed by it. ONES need to come to terms with their inner critic, learning when to heed to criticism and when to smile, nod, and move on with life. Easier said than done.
All these voices in my head get loud
I wish that I could shut them out
I’m sorry that I let you down
The opening line of another song, Two by Sleeping At Last, begins with the line, “Sweetheart you look a little tired. When did you last rest?” That speaks directly to the heart of many TWOS that I know. TWOS are the Helpers, they need to be needed. They will give you everything just to feel like they are loved and valued. Their serving can come from a place of pride. It feels good to know that people rely on them and. But that pride can also lead to resentment and bitterness if they are feel unappreciated for all the things they do. A classic tale to illustrate the life of a TWO is “The Giving Tree.” That proverbial tree gives and gives until there is virtually noting left of itself. That’s the caution for TWOS.
But TWOS can also be stubborn in accepting help. They want others to depend on them, but they don’t like having to depend on others in return. Accepting gifts or service from others (or even from God) can be a big step of maturity for a TWO. That’s why this song, I’ll Keep On, speaks so strongly to TWOS. Just check out some of these lines.
Oh these hands are tired / Oh this heart is tired / Oh this soul is tired / But I’ll keep on
It’s like I’m standing in the rain and you offer me a raincoat / But I would rather stand there being wet than take the handout / What’s wrong with me? / You said, you’ve always got your hands out / And I can’t continue on my own so take my hands now / I give you everything, God, not just a little bit / Take it from me, I am nothing but a hypocrite
THREES are…. motivated. They are known as the performer or achiever because they do and do and do. THREES desire to be, or at least appear to be, successful in whatever they do. They dress to impress. They can work a room and win people over. They have vision and goals and dreams. THREES can often accomplish more before lunch than others do for the whole day. No one has to tell a THREE what to do. They already have a to-do list a mile long in their heads. If there’s a task to do, they’ll get it done. They may come off as competitive, but their biggest competition is themselves. THRES don’t necessarily need to be the best. They just need to be the best version of themselves they can be.
This song choice is pretty obvious for THREES. The chorus of the song is very repetitive, as you will hear. But most THREES love routines and efficiency. The verses are almost a freestyle rap, which also connects with THREES who are really good at thinking on their feet and coming up with solutions to problems on the fly. This song can be a little off-putting to some, it might be a little much, a little over the top. But again…THREES. Think Leslie Knope from Parks and Rec.
I put work in this music, you think I’m making this up?
If the songs ain’t sharp, trust me they ain’t making the cut
You don’t like it?
I’m no teacher, but you’ll learn to adjust
I’m my own worst critic, so critics step your hate game up
I’m high off the music, my head’s in the clouds
I kinda like it up here, I am not comin’ down
I’d rather be alone, I am not good in crowds
Which is kinda confusin’, I’ve not been that way since I was a child
They laughin’, they tell me I’ll never get out
I’m just tryna be me, I am nobody else
I don’t care what you think, I’m just bein’ myself
So I guess for now
I’ll just be the outcast
In NF’s song The Search he raps about the journey he has been on. It’s about learning to cope with mental health struggles (like OCD, which is probably common among FIVES) and broken relationships. He has to learn how to be real with his emotions and open up to people even though he would much rather just pretend like everything is ok. FIVES need to learn to embrace the search. It’s part of life. Emotions can be intimidating for FIVES because they seem unknowable, but they are really infinitely knowable. The more you learn, the more you become aware of what you don’t know.
It’s that time again
Better grab your balloons and invite your friends
Seatbelts back on yeah strap ’em in
Look at me everybody I’m smilin’ big
On a road right now that I can’t predict
Tell me tone that down, but I can’t resist
Y’all know that sound better raise your fist
The search begins
I’m back so enjoy the trip
Don’t sleep on the intro tracks to NF’s records. They hit just as hard as any other. This is my favorite intro. It’s framed as a conversation between Nate and Fear. NF raps a lot about letting fear control his actions and derail his relationships. Fear can be a helpful advisor but a lousy boss. That’s a lesson all SIXES need to learn.
SIXES are known as Loyalists. They can be ride-or-die loyal to any family, relationship, company, or organization. However, they are inherently distrusting of those in authority. SIXES can be either your greatest champion or your strongest critic. They naturally play “Devil’s advocate,” pointing out all the what-ifs. Since they are primarily driven by fear, they fixate on worst-case-scenarios. They can be prepared for anything and everything, but they can also let that fear hold them back from stepping out in faith.
What I’m sayin’ is me without you doesn’t make any sense
I know I’m intense in controlling, but you need to learn how to cope with it
That’s just the way that it is
If you didn’t want me to live in your house, you shouldn’t have let me move in
It’s comfortable here and I like it, I got my own room and everything
It don’t get better than this!
You say you wanna own your life, then wake up and take your own advice
You just mad ’cause you know I’m right
I push away the people that I love the most; why?
I don’t want no one to know I’m vulnerable; why?
That makes me feel weak and so uncomfortable; why?
Stop askin’ me questions, I just wanna feel alive
Until I die—this isn’t Nate’s flow (woo)
Just let me rhyme; I’m in disguise
I’m a busy person, got no time for lies; one of a kind
Don’t nobody wanna change though
Don’t nobody wanna pray
Till they got something to pray for
Now everybody’s gon’ die
But don’t everybody live though
Sometimes I look up to the sky
And wonder do you see us down here?