By Alisa Samadani, A&E Editor Originally published in Issue 11, Volume 33 of The University Register on April 9, 2021
While paying six dollars for an ad-free service can be taxing at times, I have come to seriously appreciate Spotify’s “New Releases” tab, especially with one particular release that I have been anticipating for months now. NF’s fourth album, “CLOUDS (THE MIXTAPE),” was dropped on March 26, 2021.
“CLOUDS (THE MIXTAPE) is a short project I wanted to put out while I work on my next full-length album. It’s really just something for the fans to have while they wait.” -NF via Apple Music
The album opens with the title track, “CLOUDS”, and a strange vocal introduction which is actually a reversed audio of someone saying “Head’s in the clouds”. Relating his success story and how he regards those who oppose him, NF continues with this message throughout the album, relaying the themes of staying strong through layers of conflict and betrayal. The next few songs feature a similar style and narrative, until we get to the fourth track, “STORY,” which goes into the story of how a roommate takes things too far and a regular drive to the gas station escalates in the blink of an eye. I highly recommend that people watch the music video for “STORY,” as it is beautifully shot and adds another layer of emotion to the song. After that rather gut wrenching song, we are awarded with “PRIDEFUL,” a mellowed out rest from the first half of the album, and a chance to soak in the real beauty of the simple yet powerful backing track. Personally, I found the title track to be the most catchy and easy to analyze, aside from “STORY,” which seems fairly straightforward. In true NF fashion, the album holds homogeneity in rhythm and backing track, with hard hitting, heartfelt stories spit in perfect time. The misunderstood rapper has done it again, and I encourage anyone who has been a fan of his work, or perhaps something he’s collaborated on, to take a good listen. All that we can do now is wait for the next monumental album to drop, while appreciating the masterpiece that is “CLOUDS (THE MIXTAPE).” A+
Image courtesy of Amazon