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Why is NF ‘PAID MY DUES’ Lyrics Meaning a State of Emergency in Music Industry?

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NF – PAID MY DUES Lyrics Meaning

NF is back to us with a new single following his previous album, The Search. In this surprise track, NF addresses the “music pundits” ruining the legitimacy of his July 2019 album The Search, his responsibilities, and his personal inner conflicts. The song proceeds with the melodies of his previous album, being forfeited and seeking faith. To simply put it this way, Nf has a huge and earnest fanbase. Let’s learn the meaning behind the lyrics of the song ‘PAID MY DUES’ by NF.

NF has had an astronomical climb of his career in 2019. Thereupon years of crumbling hardships he has had to go through, the release of The Search pushed him to the spotlight. It debuted at the prime of the Billboard 200 which astonished many people in the hip-hop community, even though it wasn’t his first release.

Introduction: PAID MY DUES Lyrics

The rapper’s newest song ‘Paid My Dues’ discovers the purpose of his music and the meaning behind his work. He is curving his poetic strength and specialized lyrical progression as he jumps on the reviewers who’ve questioned his relevancy after his first bounce to unexpected limelight.

NF is standing up for himself in the poetic subject of the song. He is showcasing his fans pertaining to his relationship with them. The rapper goes deep into how he had to pay his dues to be where he is today. His debt-free ambiance is keeping him afloat on leading musical charts. On top of that, he is selling out tours around the world. I guess this is what success feels like.

Let’s dissect the meaning behind the lyrics of the song ‘PAID MY DUES’ by NF section-wise.

[Verse 1]

We all know there is a huge amount of money floating around the internet. The writers even get paid per click. This means that for every person that reads their article, they get paid a specific percentage of the revenue generated by the click. The rapper says people on the internet are ready to do anything so as to get just a few clicks. This would give the “writers” what they want, i.e. money. As these music pundits bash on his record The Search, the time is ticking for him and he is getting uncomfortable to focus on his next project.

NF clearly seeks validation for his music as he gives his heart and soul for it. However, this hasn’t deterred The Search from awful acknowledgments. The pundits from trusted music portals with a huge following like PitchforkRolling Stone and The New York Times have condemned NF’s assertion on him addressing his battles with mental health, trust issues and his tough contract with his newfound attention. NF stands for himself by saying maybe if he had conventional attention and basic lyrical ability, his work would have deemed to be interesting. This concept right here is really concerning and is sadly true for some reason.

[Verse 2]

Even though the lead music industry doesn’t like the direction NF is heading towards musically, he isn’t the type of person to take it personally. The rapper hands over peace offering to the music industry by saying his work is worthy of the trust. He shows the number of sales of his record as proof of his legitimacy and integrity in his music. As the industry clearly doesn’t like the issues of mental health being addressed in the most vulnerable way possible, he tells them to open up their minds before judging someone’s story about their mental health. Everyone has a different struggle with mental health and a different story to tell about it.


As critical reviews of The Search have impacted NF on his vision of what direction he should be heading towards, he says he feels freer as he thinks about it. He’s been getting press and his fans clearly know he is getting sabotaged by the major players in the industry. This is what they did to Eminem as well. NF says he will be back with hits after hits. He has paid his dues and he doesn’t owe anything to anyone. The rapper addresses his difficulties to reach this level and that he isn’t hurt anymore as he’s been through way more than bad critical receptions for his work as he knows he has put out everything with due respect and love to the music industry.

[Verse 3]

NF uses metaphors to say he is what the industry needs for it to make some money for itself. Even though he’s not taken the lyrical pundits bashing his record lightly, he is trying his best to make peace with the industry. The rapper is ready to accept the critics if they aren’t presented in an ignorant fashion. His work is based on the major industry players just to bash on him with nothing valuable suggestion laid out on his table. This is why he is upset. I guess everyone in the music industry is facing their own problems and issues as the industry prefers facial charms than actual talent shown in the art.

Conclusion: PAID MY DUES Meaning

The battle between NF and the music industry is not violent as NF proposes a diplomatic approach to the problems he’s been facing in the industry. What do you think is the meaning behind the lyrics of the song ‘PAID MY DUES’ by NF? Do you think his claims are legitimate and concerning? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Read the meaning behind the lyrics of the song ‘PAID MY DUES’ by NF on Genius in detail.


Laviasco is an entertainment website run by a single person, the Admin himself, Mr. Suraj Marahatta, from research to blogging to website maintenance. Here, I have been providing the meaning of the lyrics of the songs little by little since 2019. My goal is to provide authentic sources for the facts and stay up-to-date.

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