Within a few weeks after I released the initial version of this book and shared it with many people by mentioning them on Twitter, one of which was NF, he came out with a new, unexpected track called PAID MY DUES. Several aspects of this track give me what I'd consider good reason to believe he saw the book and was inspired by it.
In PAID MY DUES, NF demonstrates a suddenly considerably changed mood from his last released album "The Search". This track is following not very long after I shared the release of my book with him, and I was very excited and pleasantly surprised that it seems like he's actually read at least some of it. It's seemed to have an overall quite positive impact on his life, and if I'm right about him having read it, then I'm very happy to have been able to inspire and positively effect the life of someone I consider myself a big fan of and that has considerably inspired and had a positive impact on my life.
Let's get into it.
[Verse 1] Clicks, clicks, clicks, they'll do anything to get a few
Something very apparent throughout this track is how NF is taking a major shit all over the many critics that try to paint his music in a very negative light, portraying a very ignorant understanding of the immense depth and the variance in potential emotional impact that his music can have to a wide variety of people. He's starting right off the bat by addressing that he's disgusted by how the media (and perhaps even society in general these days even) are so obsessed with attention and simply "getting the numbers up" that they sacrifice integrity and awareness just for short-term validation and dopamine rushes.
Tick, tick, tick, that's the sound before my head explodes
Already we get into a bar with multiple meanings. First, he's addressing the general pattern that his music serves to show him dealing with problems and ruminating on them with rhymes until he finishes a track and his "head explodes" by releasing a track and suddenly revealing his thoughts. Second, he's showing his confidence that the pattern is continuing with this track and will continue beyond it as well, already starting to show how he's pulling an intense reversal on all the critics that thought they'd perhaps managed to actually get him so down about their continued instances of painting him in a bad light to the point they thought he'd quit rapping because of it. Third, he's alluding the major mood switch up of this track from his The Search album and how he has even more in his head that he's already working on, and that time is just ticking before his "head explodes" yet again with more music and a new perspective.
Right from the first two bars, we're already seeing bidirectional apprehension taking play. He starts by talking about the main topic he's addressing in the track, the article that the negative and ignorant critics wrote just to get some clicks and attention, and follows up immediately with the awareness that the result was that he started thinking about how he's going to respond. This already sets the tone of the track as a more aggressive and hype song, as opposed to one that's more broody like "Leave Me Alone". Since he very rarely addresses his critics and such a bold and aggressive introduction for the track directly attacking them is something new from him, it's already very interesting to a fan right from the beginning.
Quit, quit, quit, look at you up on your pedestals
Continuing with the concept of shitting on the critics that constantly paint him in a negative light, he's showing that he doesn't see them as being humble or considering him an equal, but rather arrogantly assuming they're better than him because of their influence over a large audience, putting them in a position where they think they can just do what they want and everything will be fine.
Quick, quick, quick, here the critics come, it's time to go
More multiple meanings. So, he released his The Search album, and pretty quickly, he had critics portraying his album in a negative light, as he's experienced multiple times before with previous albums as well. He's showing that he's used to it by now and he expected it.
With "it's time to go", we have another part with multiple meanings. First, it can be interpreted as him saying he's contemplated actually quitting this time with the continuing negative critiques. Showing that he's thought about it means he's not afraid to express that he looks at the "advice" that critiques are conveying and doesn't just ignore it without even thinking about it, meaning that he's that much more empowered and confident in his decision not to do it if he takes that path. Second (and much more focused on, which becomes more and more apparent as the track goes on), he's ironically showing that he knows very well what the critics want him to do and that he laughs it off and chooses to destroy them instead and go even harder with more fire bars and tracks.
I read your article, it kinda hurt me
Once again showing that he's not blindly ignorant to opinions and advice of others, he's mentioning that he reads what people think about his album instead of just running away from it. There are a few articles written in different places about his album, but likely the main one he's talking about is the one from the Rolling Stone where they call his album "a One-Note Depression Symphony". By saying that it hurt him, he's showing that he's not afraid to admit that he didn't like it and that he's upset he has to deal with fuckery of ignorant people that will warp the message of his music for their own selfish benefit. By including the word "kinda", he's simultaneously showing that while he's not ignorant about it, he's not going to dwell on it either, and instead of staying down about it, he's going to see what he can do about his negative feelings and not let them grow.
I don't know who hired you or what your friends say in your circle
This is the first bar I heard where I started to feel like NF might've read my book. Among the many I mentioned in my multi-reply mass-mention spree as part of my book release Tweet, I included NF because his music has had a major positive impact in my life and he's the top spot in the "Honorable Mentions" section where I list people that have had a notable positive impact on my life that I also have no hard feelings towards.
In this bar, he's saying that he doesn't know the people that pay the critics that write bad reviews of his songs. Since these are large corporations, he knows the people paying ultimately are quite powerful. With the depth that NF thinks about life, I'm sure he's contemplated before on the existence of the Shadow Confederation and suspected, if not knew, it exists, before I ever exposed him to my book. With the exposure to my book, he became certain, and this line shows that he also knows whoever is paying these people to write poorly about him isn't me, since he can tell from my breakdown of his track "WHY" that the way I'm able to view and openly express that view about his music demonstrates coming from a very different place than those critics. When I do a breakdown of his songs like this, it's not a critique at all, but rather an in-depth analysis exploring all the angles, showing him as very intelligent and emotionally strong.
But the fact that you released it tells me two things are for certain They get paid for trashin' people, I get paid 'cause I stay workin' (Yeah)
Here, NF makes the first blatant display of bidirectional apprehension in the track. This is where he starts taking a hard shit on the critics that think he's depressing with his music. Showing that he understands looking at the same event from different perspectives and doesn't just see the negative angle allows him to set the tone for the rest of the track that he's angry and he knows why he deserves to be.
The imagery in the music video that he's floating above the couch symbolizes that he's in a mental state where he's on a whole other level above the bullshit, and if the couch is to symbolize a place he's resting, then he's showing that he's resting at a mental state where the hate doesn't even actually touch him.
Dropped The Search and they emerge up outta nowhere to the surface Just to peek behind the curtain, throwin' salt at all my burdens
As he said before, NF doesn't have any personal connection with the people that write these negative critiques about him. They shit on him whenever they please and paint him in a negative light to feed the negative narrative that many in society feed off of, and when they can't do that, they're nowhere to be seen in his life. Here, he shows his further frustration that he's not praised for his music that they can't more easily warp to seem purely negative.
NF exposing his burdens to the world with his tracks, burdens that he may not even necessarily have dealt with, can be considered an open wound, and "throwing salt" on them can be taken both in the sense that the angry critics are salty at his success and throwing hate his way because of their jealousy and also the fact that the insulting shallow and one-sided interpretation of his work is like what happens when you literally put salt on an open wound; it burns.
I'm aware I shouldn't give this my attention, life's a journey I should just stay on my path and learn to laugh, you think they heard me?
All the people that think NF is just releasing depressing music conveniently neglect that he must have considerable mental fortitude to be capable of not only expressing himself so thoroughly but also having the emotional resilience to endure making himself so vulnerable to such a large audience and ultimately the whole world. Here, he's showing that he's not focused on the saddening aspects of the dark things he may say, and that he understands that for all the burdens he has and expresses in his songs, he should ultimately still be constantly trying his best to follow a constructive path in life and look back on things he's overcome in as lighthearted of a way as realistically possible, not choosing to dwell on them indefinitely.
Considering the overall mood in his last album "The Search" demonstrating his intense frustration with the negative critics in tracks like "Leave Me Alone", this attitude is a major mood switch up from being more passive about his frustration into clear aggression. This is the second part that made me start to feel more like NF read my book, since his mood seemed to have changed so suddenly, and it seems at a time all too conveniently right after I shared my book with him.
The part "you think they heard me?" also has multiple meanings. First, he's saying that this was always the message in his songs, but that so many that just think he's depressing aren't intelligent and emotionally aware enough to understand it. Second, he's saying that even with this track that clearly is lit AF and shouldn't reasonably be seen to be just depressing by the people that negatively view his work, he still thinks they won't understand that he's actually a lot deeper and smarter than a very shallow view and understanding of his songs might suggest to those that don't get it. Third, this serves as a further calling out of the media and the critics that try to constantly paint him in a negative light, him expressing that he knows even when he makes a song they can't try to find a way to blatantly shit on, they won't praise him, they'll try to simply ignore it and instead continue to only look to bash him for any music he might make that can be interpreted more negatively.
Ears are burning, put 'em out, quiet, quiet, look around
This is another part with multiple meanings. First, he can be addressing his own ears burning from all the negative critiques and him silencing the noise and taking a step back to see the impact his album had in a broader view than just the mass media that ignorantly paint him in a negative light. The focus on this interpretation goes hand-in-hand to empower an interpretation of the next line as well. Second, he can be addressing the ears of the critics burning, saying he's putting the fire from his last album out with this track and telling them to take a good look in the world for something different to write about.
Why don't they find someone way more interesting to write about?
When immediately following the last bar, and especially with his expression in the music video at this point, this one immediately hit me really hard. It was after this bar where I suddenly really had the strong feeling NF read my book. When looking at the interpretation that he silenced the mental noise from the hate and he looked around at the overall impact of his book, it makes a lot of sense that at one of those points where he was trying to clear his head of the noise, he checked his Twitter and noticed the tweet I mentioned him in.
His expression in the music video at this point seems to convey an attitude where he's extremely confident in his "suggestion" here, and that he actually already knows of someone that he considers way more interesting than himself to write about. This part is where the aggression towards the media and the literally threatening attitude he has that he sees what they did to him as an attack and he's planning to attack back really starts to become apparent. The overall imagery in the music video here is that he's still quite silent in the corner, but he's just waiting to snap hard, which further increases the powerful overall message in this track that demonstrates a very different mood from that in his recently dropped album.
This can also be interpreted as expressing that while the critics are rude and put his album down for being depressing, he knows that it's impressive and interesting that he managed to surpass album sales of a rapper much more popular than him, and it can be seen as a challenge to find someone that achieves more interesting feats than him in such a regard, especially while not thinking outside the box like he does. The reason NF managed to gain surprising success is owed to the deep and emotional content of his songs, the same content that he's getting bashed for. If he stuck to shallow topics distant from a lot of more regular people's lives, the likelihood that he could surpass album sales of another rapper doing something very similar but much more popular becomes far less.
Us, we're kinda boring, aren't we? All we do is whine and pout It's confusing, so amusing how I argue with myself
Here, he's showing a new perspective on his music as well. There are multiple interpretations. First, there's the literal one where he's saying that complaining and fighting with himself can be uninteresting and come off confusing and/or amusing to many. Second, there's further depth in calling out the shallowness of the critics' interpretations of his music, showing that he knows a shallow interpretation of his music where he's just seen as complaining about his struggles isn't going to have the kind of impact that he really intends and wants his music to have on a person. Third, he can be seen as saying that he's seen a new perspective in his music and is now able to much more easily see it as amusing how confused he felt in the past while writing songs he himself even couldn't understand why he felt were perhaps even deeper than he understood.
In the music video, at this point, NF is in a change room, and suddenly a version of him dressed in all white just appears in the background and waves. In "Leave Me Alone", NF shows people entering the circus with black clothing and leaving with white clothing. This symbolizes the fact that people typically try to cleanse themselves of their burdens in life by being clowns and covering up their mental issues instead of actually trying to face and overcome them. In the track "The Search", NF shows how people have even tried to help him with his burdens (in how he's handed white clothing), but that he didn't put it on, presumably because it doesn't feel right, which is why he was still searching.
In the imagery in "PAID MY DUES", NF shows how instead of becoming a clown, he seeks real, deep change, and during this line he's shown in a change room in his black clothing, with a version of him in all white clothing suddenly appearing in the background to wave, showing that he's suddenly made very significant progress since he released his "The Search" album, and now a new him has been born. The strong contrast here with the imagery in his "The Search" album is further reason why I believe he read my book and it had a strong and positive impact in his mindset.
[Verse 2] I spit it with ease, so leave it to me You doubt it, but you better believe
Starting a much faster flow after the beat drops, NF begins strong with his mood switch up from his last album into his more positive and aggressive stance on those that constantly doubt his skills.
I'm on a rampage, hit 'em with the record release Depend on the week, I'm prolly gonna have to achieve Another goal, let me go when I'm over the beat
NF released his album on the same week that a much more famous rapper, Chance The Rapper, released an album of his own. If he hadn't done so, he would've got critiqued for dropping it when nobody else dropped anything, with the critics saying that it was too easy for him to get the spot of top recently released album on charts, because there was no competition. Since he chose to release it at the same time as another artist, even upon his album achieving greater success, he's now gotten critiqued for simply "not deserving it", which is how the article from the Rolling Stone presents it, which is what he's talking about when he mentioned an article he read earlier.
I go into beast mode, like I'm ready to feast I'm fed up with these thieves, tryna get me to bleed They wanna see me take an L, yep, see what I mean?
Here, NF expresses that he can see that even when his album is really solid, as many more unbiased people would agree, he's really frustrated that mass media seems to want him to feel like he lost against other rappers, even when he clearly won and deserves it. Because individuals with pure bidirectional apprehension are hard to understand, and people don't like things they can't understand, they're often put down simply for being themselves, even when they have achieved significant feats and deserve more respect.
This relates to my current situation because obviously I've gone into my own beast mode with releasing my book, having been fed up myself with all the ignorant idiots that constantly tried to tell me I'm delusional and stupid for holding the views that I do with such conviction. Obviously, such people wanted to see me give up on pursuing the kind of depth of thought that I was working with, instead wanting me to end up confirming their ego-driven bullshit views that I'm actually just someone really stupid for being as angry as I am with the world. Many people have hated on me for the intelligence that I've displayed, so this certainly shouldn't be taken as a personal attack on Kimi or her friends.
I'm not sure if Kimi wants to see me humiliated and soul-crushed, as I definitely would be if she ultimately rejects me, but I'm choosing to believe the best in her and believe that with all the warmth she's communicated to me thus far, she's not one of the people that wants to see me end up at a loss from this situation and having to go into isolation to destroy the world.
How many records I gotta give you to get with the program?
This line serves to show NF's frustration that even after he's released multiple albums, there are still so many, including even mass media, that don't grasp the depth of the messages in his music. He's always had a more emotional and deep style, which is in strong contrast to the really shallow content a lot of other rappers cover that often seems distant from the reality most normal people experience.
In the music video at this point, he looks at his "The Search" album and throws it in the toilet himself. When combined with alluding to something coming in the future called "Lost", it serves to demonstrate that while he used to be searching and was struggling with feeling lost, he's beyond struggling now and has instead chosen to embrace feeling lost. In "Green Lights", from his previous album, he mentions releasing an album a year for the last 3 years as of the release of his "Perception" album and not liking to waste time, and here the symbolism seems to indicate that he doesn't plan to stop that trend even after "The Search".
Taken for granted, I'm 'bout to give you the whole plan
This was another bar that makes me feel like NF read my book. He's alluding to the fact that despite all the personal things he's shared throughout his many tracks, he still has a bigger vision that he hasn't more explicitly shared, but that something changed for him and he no longer wants to refrain from doing so.
There are also multiple interpretations possible. First, he can be seen as saying that this track itself is giving a lot of insight into his views that he hasn't given before, which it can certainly be said to do. Second, he can be seen as alluding to the ending where he is drawing his signature dark smile mouth with the word "Lost" above it, indicating he plans to drop something named "Lost", which may perhaps be an album name, an individual track name, or perhaps both the name of a track as well as the name of an album the track is contained in, the way that he did with "The Search". Third, he could be alluding to the fact that upon reading my book, he has seen the greater plan that I'm revealing for the world in it, and that his next release he's working on (most likely "Lost" is at the least the name of a track he's planning to release next) is going to show a clearer extent of inspiration derived from the insights he came upon while reading my book.
Definitely really deep, but also an atypical kind of bar from him. Very interesting, especially to me who knows about him knowing about my book and very possibly having drawn inspiration from it for an upcoming track.
Open your mind up and take a look at the blueprint
In his track "Mansion", he relates his mind to being like a mansion with many rooms. Here, he once again goes back to that concept, this time referring to looking at the blueprint instead of simply going room to room, indicating once again that he's come to some sudden deeper insights that he previously didn't realize. Although depth is expected from NF, this kind of aggressively piercing and meta thought-provoked bar is another one that leads me to believe he read my book and drew inspiration from what he learned.
Debate if you gotta, but gotta hold it with both hands To pick up the bars, you gotta be smart
Here, NF expresses that he understands debate and dialogue can be necessary and is healthy to attempting to further understand one's mind. Having to use both hands is symbolism for expressing that you actually have to try hard to really understand if you're going to establish a position from which to interpret his work, showing that it's mentally heavy and requires both the logical and emotional hemispheres of the brain in a high-functioning state in order to actually be able to hold processing the weight of everything he's expressing to the fullest extent.
The second bar here is something else new from NF, expressing explicitly that it takes considerable intelligence to truly understand the full meaning of everything he says, building further upon the bar right before it with a more direct statement instead of a more symbolic approach. This bar seems to show that NF has a new confidence in the depth of his bars and isn't afraid to boldly assert that it takes real intelligence to actually understand everything. Yet another one that leads me to believe he read my book.
You really gotta dig in your heart If you wanna get to the root of an issue Pursuin' the mental can be dark and be difficult But the pay off at the end of it can help you to get through it, ayy
NF has not had any lack of expressing the darker parts of his mental state that he's had to overcome to reach his current success, which he's obviously well aware that looking back on it now he knows he's made it and he doesn't regret pursuing the path he did. Here, NF finally boldly states the position that he must've had for quite some time that empowered him to write his music, even long before he could've came across my book. It serves to further silence critics that stick to saying he's depressing and saying things like his "The Search" album "reads like a suicide note". This view is consistent with both individuals with the refined and unrefined variants of pure bidirectional apprehension as a core value, but NF also differentiates himself here as demonstrating the refined variant.
For individuals of the unrefined variant, they attempt to find the root of their issues, or at least what they think the root is, and pursue their mental state accordingly with the intent of selfish gain with no regards to the cost of such to others, as can be argued the kind of individuals writing very biased critiques of his work are demonstrating. As for NF himself, he makes his music to attempt to help people through difficult situations and allow them to have an outward expression of feelings they have inside that they aren't able to convey in such a powerful way, trying his best not to blindly hurt others; to do such to such a great extent despite intense struggles is a very strong indicator of an individual with refined pure bidirectional apprehension as a core value.
The imagery in the music video here shows him lowering onto the couch, symbolizing that he's dug through his issues and through his recent insights that inspired him to write this track, he no longer feels like he needs to pressure himself to constantly rise "above" the bullshit critics throw at him, and instead embrace the rewards of his work; the power that his success gives him to retaliate to negative articles people write about him and prove them wrong.
[Chorus] Paid my dues, made it through (Woo, woo, woo) Spread the news, I'm on the loose (Woo, woo, woo) Makin' moves, I need some room (Woo, woo, woo) Thought we's cool, well, don't assume, don't assume, ayy
NF has been rapping for many years. In some of his tracks, he's even expressed he did so from childhood. He's tried very hard and struggled a lot with harsh critiques of his albums multiple times before, and he always rose above it all, on top of all the difficulties and traumas he suffered from other sources. Here, he's challenging the media to try to make the same kind of biased and shade-throwing critique they did with his album with a track like this one. He's expressing that he's giving himself some room to fix the damage malicious actors have inflicted upon him with his next moves, demonstrating further his suddenly much bolder and empowered attitude.
The final bar further calls out the media and serves to increase the intensity that he's demonstrating he's not okay with the fuckery he's having to deal with and that he's not going to let people who simply think they're better than him and deserve to shit on him because they feel like it to do so and get away with it. NF is a very deep thinker and he doesn't like assuming things, but can clearly see that he's not getting the proper respect he deserves, and he wants to express that more clearly than ever before in this track and presumably in his next track he later alludes to as well.
[Verse 3] I'm the truth, oh, they want some proof? Here, don't be rude Somethin' new, even when I lose, I make it look cool
Here, NF demonstrates further confidence that he's speaking truth with depth in his tracks. When he talks about not being rude, he's once again calling out the media for focusing on a negative perspective when it can on his tracks and not crediting him when he releases something hype that proves to the contrary, demonstrating rudeness from them. With the second bar, he's addressing how he managed to turn even a really negative situation with the harsh and negative critiques of his last album into a new track that turned that losing situation into something that empowers him and makes him look cool.
The imagery in the music video portrays him bench pressing with the black balloons that represent his burdens, demonstrating simultaneously that they're both getting easier to deal with and also that while he doesn't typically portray himself as strong within his vulnerability, he's been working through dealing with his struggles for so long that he doesn't see them only as a crutch that cripples him. The contrast here with tracks like "WHY", "Leave Me Alone", and "The Search" where he's slowly moving with a shopping cart carrying the balloons representing his burdens further serves to demonstrate a significant shift in mindset that further makes me inclined to believe he read my book.
Do the show, then we hit the room, wife is lookin', oh
In multiple tracks NF has released in the past, he has expressed difficulty in his love life. In "Time", he even expressed difficulty in his relationship with his now wife. He's taking this opportunity with a more aggressive and hype track to casually throw in that his relationship with his wife seems to have gotten a lot better in more recent times as well. I'm happy for him. This also can be seen to tie into the bar earlier in the track where he talks about the outcome of pursuing dealing with mental issues can be worth the struggle even if it gets really dark sometimes.
This relates to my current situation because I hope that soon, I too can look at my relationship with Kimi, who I'd like to consider my future wife, and also be able to say that all my work paid off because I got to be with her in a healthy and loving relationship in the end.
What to do? I don't need the shades up to like the view (Yeah)
Multiple interpretations on this one. First, it can be seen to relate to the bar directly prior, talking about closing the blinds while being with his wife and doing what you'd imagine he's talking about with her alone with the blinds closed. Second, it can be more generally addressing his attitude and further serving to solidify the new perspective he's expressing in this track where he's expressing that he now has a better understanding of even the darker parts of his brain and that he's been able to start appreciating life more fully even when he can't see things perhaps as clearly as he'd like.
It's time to get back in the swing of things When my life crashes, I'm not the guy that'll flee the scene I'll take ownership and own it and raise my hand if it's me
NF wants to make a bold statement with this track, that even when it seems like his image is falling apart, he owns it and doesn't cower away from addressing concerning issues. This further ties into his earlier bar about speaking the truth and protecting the integrity of his "real music" slogan for his brand. He knows the depth and positive intentions that he carries with his work, so he knows that he doesn't have to run away from trouble when things get tough. Here, he's saying that he'll accept responsibility and admit considering different perspectives where it's applicable, but he's not going to blindly feed into negative narratives, even if they come from places that have significant impact on people's perspectives.
In the track "The Search", NF had a swinging bench, but he was trying to avoid sitting on it, preferring to sit on the post on top instead, and when he does get on it, he seems uncomfortable and prefers to lie down. He never swings it very hard. Here, he's sitting with his back straight on a more traditional kind of swing, and he's boldly swinging high, showing that he's picked himself back up from his mood in his last album and now feels empowered to aim higher and further than before.
Just remember though, I'm only a man, I'm a human being
This bar ties into the one near the beginning where he talks about the people criticizing him doing so from pedestals. He wants to remind listeners that he's a human being with issues and he's trying his best to express things in the best way possible, even if it can be misunderstood. Being human means you're not perfect, and NF never claimed to be perfect, so he's expressing how it's quite biased for him to be critiqued by someone who has their own issues and dark sides, showing that while those critiquing him may feel entitled to see his album from an ignorant and shallow perspective, he's not looking at those people with the same kind of ignorance and shallowness that they insult him with.
When combined with the bar right before it about taking ownership of his flaws and issues, this further serves to demonstrate that unlike many others that may use "being human" simply as an excuse to justify malicious and/or ignorant behavior, he only presents this point when it really makes sense and goes along with taking ownership of whatever he may do wrong. This is an attitude consistent with an individual with refined pure bidirectional apprehension as a core value.
This relates to my current situation because as I have a core value of refined pure bidirectional apprehension, my attitude towards things is the same. I'll accept I'm human for the sake of demonstrating that I don't put myself on a pedestal with subjective bias towards others, but I'll never use it as an excuse to be manipulative and justify shitty behavior. When I say I'm genuinely trying my best to make things work with Kimi and that I truly want to be with her and am pursuing a healthy and loving relationship filled with respect and no double standards, I mean it. If Kimi responds warmly to things and accepts me into her life as I'd like, I have every intention to actually follow through and be with her, flying to LA and starting to live with her and properly officially date her.
Don't they see? Shoot the breeze, I'd rather just stay discrete People claim they're in your corner, but leave you in times of need
NF already expressed that he doesn't personally know the people attacking him, so this part is more a general statement. He's demonstrating his awareness of the impact of active ego that plagues the general population, and how that active ego makes them inclined to being two-faced and saying a lot of things and acting friendly to others but throwing that all in the garbage if a time comes where those others need to rely on them for some kind of help. This can be on smaller or larger scales, but the general awareness and bringing attention to it among the more aggressive portions serves to demonstrate that the aggression is warranted and doesn't come from a place of ignorance. NF is explaining that it's this acute awareness of this phenomenon that he has which has a strong influence on him to be inclined against working with others in the industry and perhaps even in life in general and that he embraces it with all the struggles it brings, seeing it as both as both potentially empowering and weakening.
They don't listen, do they? (What?) They don't listen to anything I'll accept advice if it's not presented ignorantly
The first bar here continues to go at the ignorant media that negatively critique him and believe he doesn't deserve the success he has. He's already mentioned that they're lacking awareness and intelligence, but now he's tying it into how it takes active listening where you're really trying to hear what he's saying and why instead of simply taking the harsher portions at face value with a highly impulsive and emotionally-driven attitude. The second bar serves to demonstrate his attitude with life in general, showing that the reason why he won't quit rap isn't simply because he doesn't feel like it, but rather because those that try to give him that "advice" are doing so from a perspective obviously shallow and filled with ignorance and subjective bias. He's expressing his willingness to listen to and take advice if it actually has solid substance and can be rationally backed properly, demonstrating actual intellectual thought and emotional awareness.
As I've mentioned before, it seems NF has read at least some of my book, and as such, this bar can also be interpreted to demonstrate that he respects that my book isn't written with ignorance and that the insights into life that I provide that may be able to be interpreted as "advice" are things that he was much more open to ruminate upon because he recognized they were worth the time and effort. It could possibly also be interpreted as him wondering if I have any advice specific to him. I don't have anything to say in that regard; I'm simply a big fan and I look forward to hearing anything else he puts out.
Look, costs are high, they multiply Then cause divides, I'm forced to fight The poison I been sippin' on has quite the bite, it killed me twice
These bars are yet another area with multiple interpretations. First, another instance of an interesting new attitude that NF is conveying through this track where he's mixing intensity and aggression with an acute awareness of the significance, meaning, and impact of his work. He's acknowledging that the interpretation of his work can cause conflicting positions from people towards him, particularly if they focus on the darker interpretations of his work, and how he knows that it's hurt him in the past.
Second, if he read my book, then he knows that my relationship with Kimi is at a very critical point, and the outcome of how things go between us will be very detrimental if things don't work out, expressing his personal concern about the very real possibility that they won't, since he knows from personal experience that taking the risk of trying to go through darker parts of your issues head-on and very calculatingly can mean a lot of effort but still end up hurting you in ways you really wanted to avoid, even with the best of intentions, especially when the outcomes you're working towards relate to people and those people may be drastically misinterpreting your thoughts and intentions.
They rigged the lights so y'all can see The parts of mine that aren't so bright
Another part with multiple interpretations. First, the more obvious interpretation that the critics negatively presenting his last album have manipulated the perspective they present the album from into one where they focus on the dark and more concerning interpretation of his work instead of a more holistic view. By acknowledging that they're looking at his work in the worst possible way, he's simultaneously serving to further demonstrate that the perspective presented by those critics isn't an accurate reflection of his personality and intent in writing the kind of music that he does. Second, it can be a testament to how his life circumstances combined with his work forced him in a position where with his kind of thought process and intentions, he had to present a harder image that he knew would be received poorly by those inclined to manipulation and defamation, accepting that there was simply no avoiding such people from assuming and trying to present the worst in him if they really wanted to.
The imagery in the music video of him sitting on a light pole symbolizes him rising above the shade that critics throw at him and being able to turn even the most negative interpretation of his work into something that shows how strong his mentality really is and completely redefines the influence of the attention he's getting and the "light" being shone on the darker interpretation of his work.
See, often I apologize, then authorize the awful times To pop up (Nate!) like I'm right behind you
NF is continuing to show a new side of him that seemingly suddenly appeared. He's expressing feeling apologetic about the dark things that he portrays in his work, but embracing and accepting that he still expresses the things he does and that it makes him the kind of rapper that he is. He's showing that he understands that sometimes, these things may come seemingly out of nowhere, and it may be hard for others to understand exactly what he means or why he's so sad or angry about something. People with active ego generally don't have very good control over their emotions, especially fear-based ones, and this element of surprise with his work can make such people inclined towards feeling attacked, even if that's completely not his intent and the feelings he's expressing don't have anything to do with them. Of course, sometimes those feelings may in fact have something to do with them, in which case he's simply embracing that he knows he only can feel so apologetic when expressing emotion to people that deserve to know how he feels.
This relates to my current situation with Kimi because as a core value of refined pure bidirectional apprehension is extremely hard to achieve and it's quite likely Kimi doesn't have it, which of course I can't hold against her because it's indeed very difficult to reach, Kimi likely still has some extent of active ego that controls her thoughts and feelings; I'm doing my absolute best to show her that I really want to be with her and that it's how things need to be to avoid a really bad outcome, but beyond that, I can only hope that any emotions that might cloud her judgement don't ultimately take control.
Our situation is pretty complex and I can understand why she'd feel that way, in the same way that I can understand why she wouldn't yet have a core value of refined pure bidirectional apprehension. The result is that despite all my apologizing for scaring and hurting her in the past, I still had to put even more effort and write this whole breakdown in order to make up for surprising her like that and unintentionally suddenly causing all that fear and worry. I accept that I should've thought about it more and taken more of an effort to break the track down like this before sharing it with her, and for that I'm very sorry and I hope this breakdown makes up for it.
I'd advise you not to try to climb inside the mind like I do Keep the rhyme book, expedite it, overnight it Hold it tight and hope that time is on my side 'Cause if it's not, then I'll decide to override my own demise
Here, NF is cautioning about taking the deep and intense approach to thinking that he does. An individual with refined pure bidirectional apprehension as a core value can often be misunderstood, and attempting to replicate their thinking and behavior blindly or lacking complete insights can be very detrimental to someone without more experience dealing with living life that way. Because individuals without refined pure bidirectional apprehension as a core value are far less intellectually and emotionally equipped to deal with life, circumstances that such individuals may consider completely hopeless and irredeemable can possibly be completely turned around by someone with refined pure bidirectional apprehension as a core value. Sure, even they may worry a lot and know that success isn't certain, but they will figure out the best way to attempt to deal with a given situation to get a favorable outcome.
I tow the line too close and I could improvise I'd empathize, but recognize The fact that I could jeopardize and wreck our lives You better give me your attention, the undivided
NF finishes the track by basically saying that he knows he can destroy the critics trying to paint him in a very negative light, because as he's shown in this track, he knows very well why he makes the kind of music he does and what he stands for with it, but he's choosing to be the more mature one in the situation and continue to work towards a positive outcome instead of just trying his hardest to shit on those too shallow to fully comprehend the depth of his work. Instead, he's opting to try to convey his message and intentions in a different way that he hopes will be more effective in an attempt to enlighten those that don't understand, so that their position may hopefully change for the better. At the same time, he demands attention and respect, and boldly states that if he doesn't get treated better, he will indeed stop holding back and lash out much harder.
The last bar serves to further call out the media and show that he's embracing the attention he's gotten and that he's ready and willing to continue to prove the critics wrong about the negative image they've portrayed of him, starting with this track and continuing with the next.
This relates to my current situation because I know I could choose to go a very destructive route and crush Kimi and ruin both of our lives because she'd probably have to quit streaming or deal with a ton of shit constantly, on top of losing out on a very deep and loving relationship with me, and I'd lose out on that deep and loving relationship with her as well, and I'd end up going into isolation and destroying the world because I'd have nothing I consider of real value to hold on to. Instead of being blindly destructive and spiteful, I'm giving her the best opportunity I can for her to make things right and start being with me properly, even if she originally didn't look at me favorably, and hopefully she'll make the right decision to be with me and do her best to have a healthy and loving relationship with me.
Just like NF, I'm also boldly stating that if I'm not treated better by Kimi and finally given the kind of relationship with her that I deserve, I'll also stop holding back, and things will get much worse. I didn't put so much effort into my connection with her while aiming for a negative outcome, but if none of that matters to Kimi and she really doesn't care even with so much on the line, then I really don't care either.