I’ll Keep On by NF (Music Monday)

I'll Keep On [feat. Jeremiah Carlson]  I realize that rap or hip-hop is not everyone’s favorite music genre or style. And, of course, some rap and hip-hop songs are explicit, downright filthy, and not for Christian ears.  But I really enjoy this style of music when it steers clear of the filth and explicit themes.  Unlike some other music, rap/hip-hop can say so much with just a few phrases.  In good rap and hip hop, there are typically no wasted words or lines.  Good rap is often deep and thoughtful.  It makes me think hard and it gets to my heart.  (It’s just the opposite of those annoying pop choruses that drive us crazy when they get stuck on ‘repeat’ in our heads!)

One of my favorite rap artists is NF (Nathan Feuerstein).  NF has a handful of albums out which are all full of high-quality music and intense, profound, and moving lyrics.  (As a side, I let my teenage sons listen to NF, and they really enjoy it.)  For this edition of “Music Monday” I’d like to point out one of my favorite songs by NF: “I’ll Keep On.”  This song is found on his album called Mansion.  Notice the honesty, the confession of weakness and sin, and the Augustinian theme that our hearts are restless until they find rest in God.

…Faith is something I am not accustomed to
And trusting other people’s something I don’t really love to do
I’ve never been a fan of it, I act tougher
Really my shoulders they ain’t built for this
And I don’t have nothing

It’s like I’m standing in the rain and you offer me a raincoat
But I would rather stand there and get wet than take the handout
What’s wrong with me? You said you’ve always got your hands out
And I cannot continue on my own, so take my hands now

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 built a house and I still live 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’ve told You I do not need Your protection
But I lied to You, this thing is tiring
And man was not created for it,
God, please retire me now!

Oh these hands are tired
Oh this heart is tired
Oh this soul is tired
But I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on…

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
And when I have a question I don’t take the time to look it up
Or pick it up
It collects dust on my nightstand
I’m just being 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 who’s perfect
I do not deserve the opportunity You’ve 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 centerpiece
Take me out of bondage, take all of my pride
If I don’t have a Savior, I don’t have nothing inside
Take all of my lust, take all of my lies
There’s no better feeling than when I look in the sky, in Your eyes,
it’s amazing!

Oh these hands are tired
Oh this heart is tired
Oh this soul is tired
But I’ll keep on
I’ll keep on…

NF, “I’ll Keep On”, from the album Mansion.

Shane Lems
Hammond, WI, 54015