“Paid My Dues” by NF

NF is known as an artist who commonly harps on the unfavorable aspects of being a celebrity. And “Paid My Dues” starts off based on such a theme, with the rapper bringing it to critics who unjustifiably lambaste him in the media.  He feels they are not actually criticizing his music but rather just “trashing” him in the name of attracting viewership or perhaps just straight-up hatin’. But obviously he is pissed off by their actions. In fact the implication is that under traditional circumstances, he would just ignore such attacks.  However, given his current disposition, he is compelled to respond.

Second Verse

Then the second verse can be summarized as NF’s account on what it takes to be a successful musician. And he uses this section to tout his lyrical skill and commitment to the game as factors which have led to him becoming successful. Moreover he advises others with similar aspirations to “be smart” and committed. And simultaneously, he is also addressing those who seek to take advantage of him or who want to see him fail by letting them know that he is very much aware of their intentions. He proceeds to let them know that their actions are even making him stronger on the mental tip.

Third Verse

The third verse also flows along a similar vein, though the vocalist appears more vulnerable in this passage. Or more to the point, he recognizes his success and massive influence while concurrently acknowledging that he’s “only a man” and “human being” like the rest of us. Or another way of looking at it is that he is letting the aforementioned opps know that he does in fact have feelings, and if he really wanted to he could counterattack. In fact as he states in the chorus, he’s now “on the loose”, meaning that NF is less-inhibited in terms of responding to those who treat him unfairly. And this includes people who he ‘thought was cool’ but rather proved themselves to also be adversaries.

In Conclusion

And ultimately, what all of the above is supposed to lead back to is the rapper asserting that he has ‘paid his dues’. Another way of looking at this statement is that his road to success hasn’t been easy. So that’s why for instance he is convinced that the aforementioned critics are attacking him without doing their proper research.

But with that being said, he is still very much on the grind. So if certain individuals are perturbed by NF’s success, it seems now he’s more intent on giving them reasons to hate, via his accomplishments, then pacifying them.

Lyrics of "Paid My Dues"

Writing Credits for “Paid My Dues”

NF co-wrote “Paid My Dues” along with his usual collaborator Tommee Profitt. The pair was assisted in their writing duties by songwriter and producer Saint X. Owing to this, there are three songwriters (including NF) officially credited as writers of this track. The writing credits are:

  •  NF
  • Tommee Profitt
  • Saint X

Aside their writing duties, Saint X and Profitt also produced “Paid My Dues”. NF wasn’t a member of the production team.

FYI, Profitt also worked with NF on his first global hit song “Let You Down”.

When did “Paid My Dues” come out?

NF first teased this song as far back as in 2017. To be precise, the tease was in December of 2017. Precisely two years later, he released it on the 3rd of December 2019.

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