CLOUDS – Unpacking the Layers of NF’s Poignant Message


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for NF's CLOUDS at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. Beyond the Mist: The Triumph Over Creative Stagnancy
  5. A Rogue Gallery of Self-Portraits
  6. The Paradox of Success in ‘CLOUDS’: Power and Isolation
  7. The Hidden Meaning: NF’s Philosophical Juxtapositions
  8. Memorable Lines: Wisdom and Wordplay

Lyrics

(Sduolc eht ni s’daeH)

Calmly feel myself evolving
Appalling, so much I’m not divulging
Been stalling, I think I hear applauding, they’re calling
Mixtapes aren’t my thing, but it’s been awfully exhausting
Hanging onto songs this long is daunting (yeah)
Which caused me to have to make a call I thought was ballsy
Resulting in what you see today, proceed indulging
As always, the one-trick pony’s here, so quit your sulking

Born efficient, got ambition
Sorta vicious, yup, that’s me (woo)
Not artistic, unrealistic
Chauvinistic, not those things
Go the distance, so prolific
Posts are cryptic, move swiftly
Unsubmissive, the king of mischief
The golden ticket, rare sight to see
I stay committed, embrace the rigid
I’m playful with it, yeah, basically
Too great to mimic, you hate, you’re bitter
No favoritism, that’s fine with me
Create the riddles, portrayed uncivil
Unsafe a little, oh, yes, indeed
It’s plain and simple, I’m far from brittle
Unbreakable, you following?
I’m Bruce Willis in a train wreck
I’m like trading in your car for a new jet
I’m like having a boss getting upset
‘Cause you asked him for less on your paycheck
I’m like doing headstands with a broke neck
I’m like watching your kid take his first steps
I’m like saying Bill Gates couldn’t pay rent
‘Cause he’s too broke, where am I going with this?

Unbelievable, yes, yes, inconceivable
See myself as fairly reasonable
But at times I can be stubborn, so
If I have to I will rock the boat
I don’t tend to take the easy road
That’s just not the way I like to roll
What you think’s probably unfeasible
I’ve done already a hundred fold
A hundred fold, it’s probable that I might press the envelope
Ideas so astronomical sometimes I find them comical
Yeah, incomparable, replay value phenomenal
Beat selection remarkable, slowing me down, impossible

I don’t rock no Rollies, I don’t hang around no phonies (no)
I don’t really got no trophies
I don’t know why God chose me (I don’t know)
Got something in the cup, ain’t Codeine (never)
Change my style, they told me
Now they come around like, “Homie”
Man, y’all better back up slowly, back up slowly (woo)
Who are you kidding? How could you doubt me? I’ve always delivered
Ripping the teeth out of the back of my mouth’s
The closest you get to my wisdom
See my initial thought was to wait
But what can I say? I had to come visit
Check on you guys, you doin’ alright?
Your year really sucked? Yeah, that’s what I figured
They cover they heads up whenever I drop
Shake the whole industry, put ’em in shock
Come out the clouds like a meteor rock
Then land in the earth like “Ready or not?”
Ain’t no one like me, the cream of the crop
Don’t even front, better give me some props
I pick up your body and throw it a block
Okay, I admit it, that’s over the top, not
Deer in the headlights looks every time I step my foot on the ground
I get mistook for a lame with no weight to his name
Ground just shook, let’s not beat around the bush
Even my B-sides throw ’em off like, “How’s he do it?”
Some say I’m a great influence
I don’t know about that, but I did do the best I could

Hollywood, Hollywood
Hope Nate doesn’t go Hollywood
You think that, you don’t know me good
You think that, you don’t know me good
Hollywood, Hollywood
Hope Nate doesn’t go Hollywood
You think that, you don’t know me good
You think that, you don’t know me

I always advance, say how I feel, you know where I stand
Raising the bar, I gotta expand
Top of the charts, I’m setting up camp
Poundin’ my stakes, I put up my tent
Shoot for the stars, they fall in my hand
Stick to my guns, I don’t even flinch
Can push all you want, ain’t movin’ an inch
I rarely miss, you know I’m relentless
Ain’t got a choice, no way to prevent it (woo)
Just who I am, and I don’t regret it
See what I want and then I go get it
Followed my gut, I’m happy I did it
Beat all the odds, I ain’t got no limits
Cannot be stopped, you paying attention?
I ain’t gotta say it, they know where my head is
They know where my head is (head is)

Full Lyrics

Within the visceral beats and raw lyrics of NF’s track ‘CLOUDS,’ lies a labyrinth of introspection, defiance, and revelation. As he traverses through the echoes of his mind, NF, known for his vulnerability and lyrical prowess, presents an expansive canvas showcasing the tumult and triumph of his artistic journey.

Diving beneath the track’s stormy exterior, one finds a nuanced narrative, a collision of ambition, realism, and the undying voice of a dreamer unshaken amidst the lofty expectations of a world that constantly beckons him towards conformity. ‘CLOUDS’ is less of a forecast, more of a declaration; less about the weather, and more about the climate within the artist’s soul.

Beyond the Mist: The Triumph Over Creative Stagnancy

NF’s poignant opening in ‘CLOUDS’ immediately tackles the claustrophobia of creative stagnancy, capturing a sentiment many artists feel when it comes to releasing their work into the world. ‘Mixtapes aren’t my thing, but it’s been awfully exhausting,’ he confesses—an admission that surpassing his artistic thresholds is both draining and necessary.

By invoking imagery of hanging onto songs and the daunting nature of creation, NF taps into the universal struggle of the creative process—the fear and the courage that come with offering pieces of oneself to an expectant audience. It’s a testament to the resilience required in the sustainment of creative integrity.

A Rogue Gallery of Self-Portraits

In ‘CLOUDS,’ NF presents a myriad of self-portraits that defy conventional descriptions. His self-reflective verses are biting and profound, refusing to be boxed into simplicity. Through lines such as ‘Born efficient, got ambition, sorta vicious,’ NF synthesizes a vision of an artist who is complex, tenacious, and fiercely individualistic.

The dichotomy of being ‘not artistic, unrealistic, chauvinistic’ vs. ‘prolific, cryptic, and playful with it’ suggests a self-awareness that borders on the playful and the biting—a clever nod to the multifaceted nature of persona and the fickle perches of public perception.

The Paradox of Success in ‘CLOUDS’: Power and Isolation

With his rise to the top, NF acknowledges the paradox of success—the isolation it breeds amidst the clamor for authenticity. ‘I don’t really got no trophies, I don’t know why God chose me,’ he ruminates, dissecting the dualities of recognition and the sense of being an anomaly in a field where accolades are often the measure of worth.

This thoughtful assertion is underlined by the notion that external validation, symbolized by ‘trophies’ and societal acceptance, pales in comparison to the internal drive and fulfillment derived from the creation of art that resonates on a deeper level. His ascent is not about material accolades but about the intangible belief in his calling.

The Hidden Meaning: NF’s Philosophical Juxtapositions

NF infuses ‘CLOUDS’ with philosophical juxtapositions that mirror the complexities of human experience. Lines like ‘I’m Bruce Willis in a train wreck’ and ‘I’m like saying Bill Gates couldn’t pay rent’ play with contradiction and hyperbole to stress resilience and the reversal of expectations.

These conflicting images serve to challenge the listener’s understanding of reality versus perception, while also reiterating the message that one’s personal journey is fraught with unexpected hurdles, marked by both humor and hardship, and defined by one’s own unwavering sense of self amidst chaos.

Memorable Lines: Wisdom and Wordplay

NF’s wit shines in the memorable lyricism of ‘CLOUDS.’ Lines such as ‘Ripping the teeth out of the back of my mouth’s the closest you get to my wisdom,’ are not only testaments to his wordplay but also highlight the guarded nature of his insights.

In such sharply penned verses, NF encapsulates the complexity of sharing one’s most profound thoughts, noting that true comprehension of his depth is akin to an act of extraction—painful, raw, and profoundly personal. It’s a stark metaphor for the accessibility of his personal truths within a public art form.

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