||Manison Album Review | Posted September-08-2015
his album just takes me to a whole lot of places, and I can also relate with this guy in some of his lyrics. How did I get to know NF? Well from JamTheHype, they kept playing his song All I Have, when I became engrossed in the lyric, that’s when I was like; Let me check this guy out.
NF says that, music has always has been a part of what he has been going on in his life, emotionally, rationally, what he has been dealing with and what he is struggling with. He wants to welcome people to his house. His house is a Mansion, which represents his mind which represents his mind, thoughts and struggles. Each room is a song filled with words and experiences of his life. Every one song you will here is an emotion, something that he has been through or what he is going through the time that he is writing. He is allowing people to see the things in his life that a lot of people would not want to talk about, but what a lot of people can relate to. Issues to do with past relationships, a struggle that he is emotionally dealing with like anger and the after effects of being physically abused (Video YouTube link attached)
So the album has 12 tracks which I will break down in detail in the following paragraphs, which took me 4 days to jot down because I just had so much to write about so that it can get out there. Album was released early this year and the exact date was 31.03.2015. This guy met the deadline, must have been a lot of work cause most artists find it as a challenge to meet their own deadlines.
Intro is the first track of the Manison album. NF says that, he writes what his feeling. The Intro which has a video on YouTube goes like this; ‘I write what I feel so you better shhhhhhhhhhhhh.’ He further explains what he has gone through by stating, ‘…picture mw writing when I was a kid, trying to make it into music. I think it is crazy; I spent all my money on studio time trying to get out my music. So that people could play it, people used to say that my music was terrible…. But I learnt to get better.’ I know a lot of Christian young rappers can relate to this, even here in Zimbabwe. NF’s emotions can actually be felt in all his music as he further explains that, ‘what you are witnessing now don’t try to figure it out.’ ‘…… I look at the industry, what it did to me, you never make it if you never cry.’ Maybe people would be like I know that guy, how did he get so good? His music was never like this. NF also shows that is always working hard as he says, he sleeps on the coach and sleeps at 3 in the morning, showing that he gives music all his time. Which is the reason that now his music is better and also eludes that even when it seems hard and you think you are going nowhere you should continue to give your best. This reminds me of the book of Daniel, these guys were 10 times better than anyone else why, because they gave there all. ‘When I say dope am not talking about smoking but music with an emotion,’ some very deep lyrics. NF further says, ‘Rappers are comfortable knowing that they are famous but I really don’t care what your name is and I really don’t care if am nameless, I’m just driving around, I know where my lane is.’ NF thanks God for the miracle of having a record label like Capitol finally signing him up so that people can hear what he has gone through. This is a strong message for any believer out there especially the young generation that never think that your dreams are pathetic or unreachable. With God all things are possible. When God finally hears our prayers that we have been praying hard for, we should never forget where all the glory and praise should go to and that person is God Almighty. When we do anything we should always put God first and he will always work it out for our good. Proverbs 3:5-6 and Romans 8:28.
The next song is Manison the album title track which features Fleurie. Now this song right here is just something else. Here goes the lyrics, ‘My mind is a home I’m trapped in and it’s all inside this mansion. Yoh my mind is a house with walls covered with lyrics, they’re all over the place, the songs on the mirrors, written all over floors, all over the chairs and you get the uncut version of life, when I go downstairs. That’s where I write, when am in a bad place, and need to release and let out the version of NF that you don’t wanna see. I put holes in the walls with both of my fists till they bleed, you may get a glimpse of how I cope with all this anger in me. This reminds me when I also so much anger till God himself had make me see that I could release this anger if I wanted to through his help. Physically abused now that’s the room I don’t want to be in. That picture ain’t blurry at all; I just think I don’t wanna see them. But why not, am in here, so I might as well read them. I gotta thank you for this anger that I carry around. Wish I could take a match and burn this whole room to the ground. Matter of fact, I think I’m gonna burn this room right now. Somebody’s memory for some reason just won’t come down. You put me in a corner. So could see the fear in my eyes, then took me downstairs and beat me till I screamed and I cried. Congratulations, you’ll always have a room in my mind. But I’m gonna keep the door shut and lock the lyrics inside.’ The chorus then goes on to say………., ‘What’s reality with all these questions, it’s like I missed my alarm and slept in, and slept in. Broken legs, but I chase perfection these walls are my blank expression, my mind is a home I’m trapped in and it’s all inside this mansion, inside this mansion. Yoh my mind is a house with walls, covered in pain. See my problem is I don’t fix things, I just try to repaint. Cover them up, like it never happened, see I wish I could change. Are you confused, come upstairs and I will show you what I mean. This one is full of regrets, just keeps getting full of it. It seems the moment I walk into it is the same moment that I wanna leave. I get sick to my stomach every time I look at these things. But it’s hard to look past when this is the room where I sleep. I look around, one of the worst things I wrote on these walls, was the moment I realised that l was loosing my mind. One of the first things I wrote was I wish I could recall. But I should just stop now, we aint got enough room in this song.’ So here is me listening to this song and thinking of two people that are very close too who have the devil wrecking their lives. In this song God shows me the much asked question I had been asking myself. How exactly? What exactly happened? And I regret the fact that I struggle trying to find who I am. And I lie to myself and say I do the best that I can. Shrug it off, like it aint nothing, like it’s out of my head. And yet seek God whenever I see it affecting my brains. And I regret watching these trust issues eat me alive, and at the rate am going it probably still be there when I die, congratulations you’ll always have a room in my mind. The question is will I ever clean the walls off inside.’
‘Yoh, this part of my house, no one has been in it for years. I built the safe room in it. I don’t let no one in there, cause if I do there is a chance that they might disappear and not come back. And I admit, I am emotionally scared, to let anyone inside. So I just leave my doors locked. You might get other doors to open up, but this door is not. Cause I don’t want you to have the opportunity to hurt me. And I will be the only person that I can blame when you desert me. I’m barricaded inside, so stop watching. I’m not coming to the door. So stop knocking, stop knocking. I’m trapped here, God keeps saying that am not locking. I chose this; I am lost in my own conscious. I know that shutting the wall down, ain’t, solving the problem, but I didn’t build this house because I thought I could solve them. I build it because I thought it’s safer in there. I went through these Fear came to my house years ago, so I let him in. maybe that’s the problem cause I being dealing with this ever since. I thought that he would leave, but it’s obvious he never did. He must have picked the room and got comfortable and settled in. Now am in a position, it’s either sit here and let him win, or put him outside where it came from, but I never can cause in order to do that, I would have to open the doors. Is that me or the fear talking? I don’t know anymore. It’s lonely x3 Inside this Mansion.’ All we have to do sometimes is reach out to people who are struggling through the love of Christ and they may just decide to open their locked rooms to Christ to us. NF this song is a masterpiece. I tell you definitely I can and many in our younger generation can relate to this song. I just had to write all the lyrics so that somebody out there can see that many have been there but through God’s love, we have been set free. Romans 5:8 But God demonstrated his love towards us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. I like the way he shows that church is not a place for the holy, but a place for the sinners so that they can know the truth. Luke 19:10 For the Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost. Talk to someone who knows Christ if you are facing a challenge in your life, it will definitely get lonely if you don’t talk to someone. Depression may overcome you.
All I have is NF’s 3rd song on the album. ‘All I ever wanted was somebody to hear me, and all I ever wanted was somebody to feel me. And everyone wanna tell me that am out of my head when am on the mic, but that’s fine, but that don’t scare me……..’ Reminds me of myself, how God has radically used what people thought was worthless and a burden, so that his name can be glorified. ‘You sniff lines, I write lines…..’ that got me laughing and smiling. ‘…….hip hop isn’t dead, it’s just being in mourning, from the moment I quit recording…….’ Sometimes you just have to know what God created you for and to know if we have been doing what he has sent us to do John 17:4. You just gonna know that when we don’t do what he has sent us to do the world mourns because we are the light and salt of the world. ‘…………I have been here, ain’t nobody had of me, yeah Imma turn this beat to a murder scene. I don’t live for the world, I live for the King, I live for the King! FOCUS!’ This point right here now, is very important for upcoming artists, the need to adhere to Christ as the main focus. I take it seriously that all Christians’ and artists, have to focus on the one who has sent them. A few months ago I was reflecting on this, as I was now getting out of hand and thank God, Jesus had to bring me back in line. ‘Wrote this with emotion and trying to get a break and doors ain’t open, and trying to get a shout when the gun ain’t loaded, and trying to make a living when nobody wanna notice., this is a common condition of my state of mind…………. Is this my calling, or not, Father, maybe I should not bother, go back to that non-defined, but I am notta.’ Ahh yah this is what every believer goes through at some point and time of their lives. I remember mine so vividly and thank God that his will is always best. Hard to understand at that time when you are trying to push but very much lessons learnt in the future as you look back. Anyone relate to this? ‘……………trying to make an impact in rap. Is that insane? Well I guess so………. I still work a job and do this; this hip hop is my veins and if you cut me I’ma bleed it. And you all know what’s stupid? I thought all you had to do is to get a record deal, and yoh, things start moving. I stand behind these words, and I am a Christian but am not perfect. Don’t tell me to calm down, I’m calm now, listen am just working. Don’t tell me this isn’t real, don’t tell me this isn’t how I feel. This is all I have’. NF also talks about how he used to be under the influence of pills and that he now writes rhymes putting all the pain that he went through in his songs.
The 4th song is Wait is currently on repeat, NF talks about a love relationship that has gone but he seems to be holding on to its pieces. As young believers in Christ we also face these challenges of holding onto a love relationship that we know is a desperate kind of love and it will not lead us to anywhere cause it feels like its home. Real life issues in the music, yeap! From a Christian perspective I would also link it to a person who is holding onto pieces of worldly relationship and yet there is something better from the groom himself Jesus Christ! The other flip side of this song, Wait, would be a love relationship that has been going on back and forth and it seems like it isn’t working. Someone wants to leave the relationship, but the other party realizes that what they have shared over these years cannot just come to an end all of a sudden. This could be a married couple which is going through a lot of issues, but patience is needed thus the need to wait. NF further states that, ‘love ain’t perfect’. Those pieces of love that he is holding onto would revive the love relationship. ‘It may feel like a desperate kind of love but it feels like its home.’ Very good counselling that married young couples can learn from in this song.
The 5th song Wake Up, starts like this, ‘You spend your life in a dream that you can’t escape. Cause you live you live your life in a comma, you never awake. If you would open your eyes and maybe you would see what’s at stake. You are sleeping, you are sleeping. You make a lot of money and live in mansion and pretty much got everything that you could ever imagine……… but you feel like even though you have got everything in the world, you got nothing……………..what you doing is sleeping and you think you are awake. The problem is that you don’t know what you are after…………… You only got one life………… as you look back and you started regretting. …… and the problem and the reason that you can’t feel a hole in your life is because you were never awake. Wake up, Wake up (x2). You look at others and describe them as perfect and point a finger at God, and tell him to do his job and fix your life up cause your trusting in other people.’ This happens to a lot of people, and to think mainly to Christians. Why? Because we never trust the one we say we follow. Crazy huh! but very true. We want it all rosy. But what does the bible say? Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord always, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your path. We never wanna do that. Check out Job 2:1-13, I wanna be like that standing for what I believe in even when it’s hard. Great work NF making us re-think on what we believe in.
So the 6th song is Face It. Here goes, NF states that he ain’t sleeping lately. ‘Yes I know I am the only person that can change me. Maybe that’s why I ain’t changing. I got too much on my mind; guess I don’t know how to Face It (x5). Don’t know what am chasing. Somebody told me life is something you don’t’ wanna play with. But, I just keep on playing like, life is just a playground. I go through these mood swings, watch everything slide down. I look at myself, and I ask what this goal is, yeah tell me what your goal is. I’m just so lost in emotions, I don’t even notice. I just slip into a place where I don’t think straight………………try to tell me everything is great, and at the end I realise I’m in the same place running the same race. Yeah I ain’t sleeping lately!…. words are only words until they are actions….(x2) strive on empty satisfactions, the fact is I don’t know. Yeah I get on a stage; they say I put on a show. Oh yeah, a show is only nothing……… if they don’t feel the spirit in my song, then they don’t hear it…..’ Don’t know what to say, this guy is so real hey! Sometimes we just need to face our life in the negativity that we are in and ask God to change it for the better. Read a book titled divine by Karen Kingsbury and this is what she was also address. Real life, real issues. Deal with it. There comes a point like Jacob where you just have to fight for what God has promised you.
Motivated is the next song. NF starts with a short testimony where he says, ‘I have been doing this a long time, like over half my life. It’s awesome to put out music to people who will actually hear. Especially when I put so much time in something that am very much passionate about.’ The song then begins with a very much hard beat to show his seriousness. ‘I’M MOTIVATED. When I write I produce passion…….. I’m a stand-up guy………you don’t like that…..and the fact that I smoke passion……. I ain’t going nowhere, am motivated……..my lyrics are bullets and they aiming at you…….take your best shot, I ain’t going nowhere. I’M MOTIVATED!’ I feel that sometimes we just have to do what God has sent us to do with passion, motivation to be precise because that is what he put us here for. I can really feel this brother because when I do something for Christ I really feel like I have smoked big time passion. Thanks NF for reminding me that I need to keep serving wholeheartedly even when sometimes I don’t feel like it. Definitely your lyrics are bullets aiming at me. Ephesians 6:7 says, serve wholeheartedly, as if you are serving the Lord not people especially in workplaces where we Christians tend to lark behind because we thing, nope I have to put read the bible during working hours. Chronicles 31:21 we gotta serve the Lord wholeheartedly and we shall prosper.
Notepad is the 8th track. NF states that the notepad has been his partner for a long time ever since he was a young kid. He also goes on to talk about how he wrote all his emotions down. The notepad is more like his homie. He further states how the music that they have written together is making an impact because a lot of people who have gone through what he has gone through, can also relate to him and find a way to deal with their circumstances.
Turn the music up is NF’s 9th song on the album. NF really loves his music.
Paralyzed is the 10th song, with a softer beat. NF is asking the following questions to himself. ‘I’m paralyzed, where are my feelings? I no longer feel things, I know I should. I’m paralysed where is the real me? Am lost and it kills me inside. …….When did I become so cold? When did I become so numb? When did I become ashamed? Where is the person that I know? They must have left, with all of my faith.’ This happens to a person who has been abused, raped and ill-treated; they tend to throw all their feelings away because they have been hurt. But know this; God can take the pain away, no matter what has happened. If you seek him he shall be found. Here is one survivor of physical abuse who wants to tell the whole world what he has been through and how he has dealt with it. I must say this album is amongst the list of been most open. Real life, real issues!
The next song I’ll keep on, features one of my favourite artists’ Jeremiah Carlson from The Neverclaim band. Oh yes! ‘Oh these hands are tired, oh this heart is heart, oh this soul is tired. But I’ll keep on.’ NF says that, ‘faith is something that am not accustomed to, trusting in other people is something I don’t really love to do. I have never been a fan of it. I act tough…..my shoulders, they ain’t build for this. And I don’t have nothing, it’s like am standing in the rain, and you are for me a raincoat. But I would rather stand… and get wet than take my hand out. What’s wrong with me you said you have always got your hands out. I give you everything, God not just a little bit. Take it from me I am nothing but a hypocrite. I hate sin but I, build a house and I started living in it, afraid to open up the door to you and let you into it. My soul is lost and what it needs is your direction. I know I have told you I do not need your protection, but I lied to you. This thing is tiring and man was not created for it. So God please retire me now. Trust is something I am not accustomed to, and I know the bible says that I should always trust in you, but I don’t ever read that book enough, when I have a question I don’t take the time to look it up, or pick it up. It collects dust on my night stand. I’m just been honest, Please take this out of my hands, I have no control, I am just a person, but thank the Lord that I serve a God whose perfect. I do not deserve the opportunity you have given me. I never knew what freedom was, until I learned what prison means. I am not ashamed, I don’t care if they remember me, my life will always have a hole if you are not the centre peace. Take me out of bondage, take all of my problems. If I don’t have a Saviour, I don’t have nothing inside; take all of my lust all of my lies. There is No better feeling than when I look into the sky in your eyes it’s amazing.’ Amazing lyrics, how NF starts his tracks from above showing all the pain, anger and emotion that he has gone through and towards the end of the album he shows that there is only one person who can rescue him and that id God the Almighty. NF shows that without God we are nothing Genesis 1: 26 says that, Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. We were created in the image of God and to rule.” Most of all God wanted a very intimate level of relationship with us. Give your life to CHRIST and you will know peace that surpasses all understanding. Believers should always be in the word that is where all the answers are.
The last song Can you hold me ft. Britt Nicole where NF talks of all the pain and tears that he has gone through, how they have torched him. So he asks God if he could hold him in his arms. It’s better in God’s arms, because he can take him from the dark, and when he is in God’s arms he can feel his love. He emphasises that, if God is to leave him he would be lost. This reminds me of Isaiah 40:11 He will gather his own in his arms.
I like the way NF writes his songs, real life, real situations for real people so that they can be delivered. Great work NF should have this album 15 years ago. This album will go a long way to assist a lot of people with so much pain that only God knows!
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