Nathan Feuerstein, known as NF, is transcending the norms that come with being a Christian rapper, setting records, and beating out secular rappers on the charts.
Last week, shortly after NF released his album The Search, which skyrocketed to the top of the iTunes charts, beating out Chance the Rapper who released The Big Day on the same day.
NF, who has an old-school kind of rap feel to his music, is a Christian, and also a rapper, but keeps the titles separate.
In a 2016 interview with Idolator, NF was asked if he considered himself to be a Christian rapper, like Lecrae.
“Not at all,” he responded. “I mean, I’m a Christian, but I’m just an artist. I’m a musician. You know what I mean? To me, it’s like if you’re a Christian and you’re a plumber, are you a Christian plumber? That’s the easiest way for me to explain it. I just make music.”
“I talk about my life, I talk about my faith,” he added. “I talk about positive things that I’ve dealt with that have taught me things and I talk about negative things that I’m dealing with. I wouldn’t describe myself as that, but I am a Christian.”
His latest album, The Search, holds similar themes to this 2016 album Therapy Session in which NF rapped about hard things he has experienced, like his parent’s divorce and the death of his mother.
NF is not the only artist to be stepping away from the Christian artist label, as Lauren Daigle has been vocal about this topic over the past year as well.
In a January interview with 104.3 FM, Daigle explained that she does not consider herself a “Christian artist,” as her music is becoming received by believers and non-believers alike.
“I feel like those labels get put on you by other people,” Daigle explained to the host. “I was reading articles, I read them here in there, and one of them said Christian artist and the other ones said just artist. But I think part of me is just an artist because it encompasses everything. That’s kind of how I see myself.”
Daigle emphasized that she wanted to just make music that was authentic to her and that if people enjoyed it, then that was an added benefit.
“I remember talking so much about, ‘Let’s just make sure that we make music that we believe in that’s pure, true sound and something that we love, and it’ll transcend wherever it’s supposed to go. But let’s make sure that it’s pure authentic to who we are,’” she added.
NF made similar comments in his 2016 interview with Idolator, saying: “I don’t make music for Christians. I make music for everyone. I make music for the masses. I want people to listen to my music all over the world and relate to it and feel it the way I feel it.”
In his 2012 book “Every Good Endeavor,” Tim Keller argued that “it is a mistake to think that the Christian worldview is operating only when we are doing such overtly Christian activities.”
“Instead, think of the gospel as a set of glasses through which you ‘look’ at everything else in the world…” Keller wrote. “The Christian writer can constantly be showing the destructiveness of making something besides God into the central thing, even without mentioning God directly.”
NF’s comments are a good reminder to Christians that might not work in a field, or in a position that is deemed “Chrisitan” that their work still matters and that their work should still glorify God.