Therapy Session (Single):
The track begins with the sound similar to a Vinyl record, when you set the needle on the disc. Soon comes in what sounds like a wind-up ballerina toy, which is a soothing, yet dark and gloomy melody, foreshadowing the deep, dark, emotional story that will soon follow.
NF (real name = Nate) starts off the first verse explaining how he has been approached by a fan, who says the following (which NF raps, from fans POV)
” ‘We never met, but I swear that you know who I am
I’ve been through a lot
I don’t know how to express it to people
Don’t think that I can, but I got that Mansion CD on rotation
That’s real for me Nate, you do not understand’ “
By this point in the song, I am already interested in it. Not only because it is already a good setup to a story to come, but because I can relate to this fan, who feels that the artist they are listening to, knows this fan personally.. Although, at this point I haven’t heard NF’s previous album, Mansion, I do know the feeling to not be able to express your feelings to even my closest friends. When I was at that point in my life, music was my outlet. Listening to music gives me a sense of comfort, while writing my feelings into music acts as my outlet. The fan is expressing their appreciation to NF for making the relatable music. During those low moments in life, you (or I do, at least) usually think to yourself “No one understands what I’m going through” or ” I wish I could find the words to describe how I feel”, and when you hear someone find those words you were looking for to describe your situation it’s a good feeling because you know someone else is going through the same thing.
He then goes on to explain in his next few lines how “This music is more than you think”, which is directed towards the parents (of his fanbase) that don’t take the time to actually listen to NF’s music.
He expresses his concern of hearing these parents tell their kids that NF’s music is “violent”, just because of the analogies and graphic metaphors he uses in his music. He goes on to question their definition of violence (which, in my opinion isn’t their problem, I think it’s more that they are close-minded or have some sort of selective hearing thing going on). He mocks the judgmental parents by asking what they suggest, while offering his own (sarcastically)
“You want me to smile, you want me to laugh?
You want me to walk on the stage with a smile on my face
When I’m mad and put on a mask (for real though)
I mean, what you expect from me?”
Nate states that he is trying to remain calm and do this respectfully, and make the music he knows how to make, but at the same time he is getting sent hate mail such as “I will slaughter your family” or “I hope you die like your momma did”.
He ends the 1st verse by acknowledging that he knows his music is aggressive (which doesn’t mean it’s just ‘violent’), but reminds the listeners, in the most respectful way, that he is still not here for acceptance, which roots back to his motto “real” for making real, blunt music, letting it all out in the open… Because after all, it is a Therapy Session
I am aware it’s aggressive
I am not here for acceptance
I don’t know what you expect here
But, what you expect when you walk in a therapy session
The second verse starts off highlighting another instance that a fan approaches NF, not only because the fan can relate to NF, but to ask for help. NF goes on to describe how this fan approached him at his show with her problem, and how he wishes he could help.
“This girl at the show looked me in the face
And told me her life’s full of drama
Said her dad is abusive
Apparently he likes to beat on her mama”
He explains in the next couple of lines, what he’d like to do about this situation (if there was anything he could do)
“I wanted to tell her to give me his number
But what you gon’ do with it right?
You gon’ hit him up, then he’ll start hittin’ her harder?
Unfortunately, it is the sad truth about abusive relationships. The only 2 people that can fix an abusive relationship, are the abuser and the victim. NF would LOVE to confront this guy, but he knows it will only make things worse.
He elaborates on the big picture of these occurrences, that are still fairly new to him as a new artist, being able to touch people’s lives, and how he doesn’t know how to respond.
“These kids, they come to my shows
With tears in they eyes
Imagine someone looking at you
And sayin’ your music’s the reason that they are alive
Sometimes, I don’t know how to handle it”
NF directs this question towards the critics who, even after all these have been approaching him with their emotional stories, have the nerve to simply describe his music as “violent”
“How you gon’ tell me my music does not have a message?
When I’m looking out at this crowd full of people I know I affected, (ah!)”
He closes out verse two by admitting that he knows he may sound like he is just venting, but reminds us that this is “Therapy Session” and that’s what one would sound like anyway.
NF starts off verse 3 with a style that a lot of people relate to the “8 mile final battle” style by listing some of his own flaws:
“What you think about me
—That doesn’t worry me
I know I handle some things immaturely
I know that I need to grow in maturity”
NF elaborates through the rest of the verse, on the conflicts he faces while keeping it 100, and being a Christian, as critics offer an ironic suggestion continue to question his music’s concept of it. First, he states what he cannot do, due to the standard of his music being real (100% true feelings).
“I ain’t gon’ walk on these stages, in front of these people
And act like I live my life perfectly
That doesn’t work for me
Christian is not the definition of what perfect means”
He ends the passage by acknowledging he does not think he is perfect, despite the fact he is a proud Christian. NF segues into talking about the personal conflicts he faces while haters are constantly provoking him, as he is doing his best to not respond. It is not in his personality to keep quiet about something, nor is it to lie. As a result, when someone calls him out online, he must reply, because he is also not one to talk behind your back.
“I ain’t the type to be quiet
I ain’t gon’ sit here in silence
If I wouldn’t say what I say to your face
Then I promise you, I wouldn’t say it in private”
Half way through verse 3 there is a change in the mood in the music, which makes you pay attention to his lyrics if you weren’t already, as he asks “You want me to keep it a hundred?”. He doesn’t even give you a chance to answer.. because obviously he is always “100”. He answers his own question by keeping it 100 as he calls out the haters online, which is interesting to him because there is all this chatter online, but not a peep in public.
“Okay, I’ll keep it a hundred
I see a whole lot of talkin’ on socials
But honestly, I don’t see nothing in public
I kinda love it, yeah”
NF (again, real name Nate), lists an ironic question and statement that he has heard from critics.
“Why don’t you write us some happy raps?
That would be awesome”
“All of your music is moody and dark, Nate”
Nate responds by saying “DON’T GET ME STARTED”, because it is obvious to him that a response at this point would be pointless. The people that have made those statements have not been listening to a word he says in his music, so why would he give them the time of day to respond, when they aren’t even listening in the first place? If they were, they would know that he lives by “NFRealmusic” and “keep it 100”, which are going to result in non-happy, moody and dark, music, because that’s what he knows, lives, and feels.
Nate closes out verse 3 by making his expectations known with the lines:
I don’t expect everyone to respect it
I don’t expect you to get my perspective
He ends the verse with the same question he ended the previous 2, just in case you didn’t get it…
But, what’d you expect from a therapy session?