Q. If you're a fan of EMINEM, you'll love this song. Here's why…
A. Though he despises the connotation, NF is this generation’s EMINEM. Whereas most make the comparison with the intention of noting his successful lyricism as a white rapper in a predominately black sphere of influence, the real parallels between the two actually come from their rhythmic force. NF channels aggression & mental instability with the same fervor of early-years EMINEM, desperate to be seen for his talent and not the colour of his skin, a sentiment shared by nearly every performer of colour, albeit for more tangible reasons. He attacks the mic, forcing his words into your ears on the off-chance you weren’t paying attention, determined to get a rise out of you one way or another. While his true potential isn’t fully realized in “Let You Down,” we’re still able to feel his innate hunger for a better life as he battles his inner demons in the most public of formats.
Q. Is the melody delivered expressively? What makes it stand out as special?
A. Nearly every time a rapper attempts singing in a song they’re inundated by a mouth full of jewelry, they’re inarticulate with melodic progression, or a slew of other factors. NF strikes a careful balance between his lyrical mastery and his melodic contributions, never attempting to reach notes he can’t while also providing an entertaining enough tune for listeners to enjoy; That’s not a level of restraint you see every day, testament to NF’s skill as not only a lyricist but a songwriter as well. Even his bars have varied rhythmic attunement to them, expressing a wide array of stylistic choices that play off each other in ways that showcase his knowledge of Hip Hop technique without going over the top.
Q. Can we glean any information on the Artist's lifestyle from this song?
A. Take a listen to any of NF’s tracks and you’ll find a man haunted by insecurity & depression, looking for an outlet for his feelings of angst & social awkwardness. “Let You Down” is the epitome of these disclosures, fixated on the one-sided nature of his relationship with his parents, the inability to cope with his mother’s untimely demise, and the issues that led him down this path in the first place. It’s a deeply personal account, more so than his other tracks, as you can feel the lasting guilt he holds in his voice, never letting go of the notion that he himself is the cause of his family’s deep-rooted complications. Revelations such as these are what draw his fanbase inward, as mental health & depression aren’t spoken of nearly as much as they should be in the Hip Hop atmosphere, and his ability to speak bluntly about this trauma becomes his strongest attribute.
Q. Does he have comparable talent to mega-popstars or will he inevitably fizzle out?
A. NF’s riding a massive wake left by EMINEM’s recent reclusion from the industry, without which there might not have been room for his talented musings. Among his recent releases he’s shown a preparedness to adapt as the industry changes, though with the high production values required in his songs it is unclear if he’ll be able to shift his focus quick enough to keep up with the rapidly evolving terrain of Hip Hop; He’s not conscious enough to inspire free thought, not hard enough to garner a long-lasting reputation, and he’s certainly not trendy enough to incite imitation, so what are we even left with? The next couple years will be an important period of growth for NF, a make it or break it trial period which will test his resolve & influence his staying power – If his next entries aren’t drastically different, we shouldn’t expect to see him 5 years down the road.
"Let You Down" is a song performed by American rapper and songwriter NF. It serves as the third single from his third studio album, Perception, and was released on September 14, 2017, for digital download and streaming, including an audio video.