In October, NF sealed his first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 with his third studio release Perception through NF Real Music/Capitol/Caroline. Despite reeling in 55,000 copies during its opening week — his first top 10 effort of his career — his feat proved to be an eye-opener for those unfamiliar with the Michigan upstart.
NF had previously recorded as a Christian rapper, under his real name Nathan Feuerstein. After releasing his debut album Moments in 2012, he gained traction in 2014 with his EP NF., as it entered No. 4 on the Top Gospel Albums charts. In spite of the No. 1 debut, his commercial appeal within mainstream hip-hop had yet to gain steam. Yet, the past two months have unlocked a new level for NF: He has a hit on rap radio.
Axing his background as a Christian rapper, NF changed his game plan and penned contemplative raps on his latest offering, most notably “Let You Down.” The somber record — which finds the rapper grappling with his past demons — became his first entry ever on the Billboard Hot 100 last October. Nine weeks later, “Let You Down” has been gaining momentum and sits at No. 16 on the Hot 100 chart dated Dec. 30. “Let You Down” is also trucking its way up the Top Hip-Hop/R&B charts, as the record currently checks in at No. 8, surpassing 21 Savage’s “Bank Account,” Kendrick Lamar’s “LOVE.” and Logic’s “1-800-273-8255.”
NF’s presence on the Hot 100 comes as a surprise, considering the lack of promotion and radio presence he’s faced throughout his career. His 2015 album Mansion entered at No. 62 on the Billboard 200. The following year, his album Therapy Sessions flirted with a top 10 debut and bowed at No. 12 during its opening week.
As “Let You Down” continues to flourish on the Hot 100, NF is setting to embark on his forthcoming Perception Tour, kicking off next year.