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More Ren (and why he’s better than NF)


Yeah you heard me!


I said it. Ren is better than NF. Now, I know NF has an immense following and people love his shit. But I shall attempt to show you why I think this is true. By the way, I do not dislike NF, I just keep hearing commentators comparing them to each other. So here we go:


1: Money and backing. NF has his own imprint label NF Real Music. This is distributed by Caroline Records which is owned by The Universal Music Group. Then he’s signed to Capitol Records and CMG (which is The Capitol Christian Music Group). A lot of corporate fingers in NF’s pie. They in turn spend (to be recouped of course) vast amounts of money on marketing and promotion. Make videos that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, made by top notch directors with all the bells and whistles. You know, an average American formulaic pop production.


Ren has his own website renmakesmusic.co.uk is not signed to a label (Ren fans will know that prior to getting ill Ren had a deal with Sony), has no marketing and promotion budget, relying on organic growth and word of mouth (not to mention Youtube reactors) and makes his own brilliant videos off his own back for very little money. Basically Ren is his own label and video director with his mate Sam. (And we all hope it remains that way, we don’t need some stuffed shirt standing over Ren, saying “you can’t say that!”)


2: Music and Originality. You could be forgiven, when listening to NF’s output, that he’s only ever heard Eminem and no-one else. In fact, close your eyes and you might have trouble distinguishing between Slim Shady and the young(er) pretender. A lot of his tunes seem to run to the same formula. Beginning with some moody melodic orchestral loop, with NF dropping his tortured bars, starting on a quieter level and almost always ending up with angst ridden shouty rap reminiscent of 8 Mile and the like. It’s all very polished, correct, shiny productions and definitely not cheap. He even looks, moves and dresses like Eminem. It’s less influenced by and more parody of. He sings too, but I don’t think it’s on the same level as Ren. Also he works with a producer, Tommee Profitt (not that there’s anything wrong with that, I’m available).


Ren on the other hand, makes his own beats, records himself, does live performance videos and leaves you never knowing what he’s going to do next. He doesn’t record in a studio that looks like the set of Star Trek.  He’s an excellent singer, spits fire bars, writes deep meaningful lyrics and tears the arse out of a guitar. He can captivate a venue or a street full of people with just a guitar and his skills on the mic. His stage craft is ridiculous and on top of everything else could probably be a brilliant actor. I believe in America they might call him a “triple threat”. You can hear Ren’s influences throughout his music and if you check out the band he plays with, The Big Push, you’ll hear many different genres, from the Reggae of Marley to the heavy Rock of Black Sabbath to Hip Hop and Rap of The Beastie Boys and more. It seems he has no restrictions music wise having a rich and varied appetite for good music rather than one flavour. He also knows how to inject humour into his music, which NF appears not to lean into, tending to utilize a more sardonic tone. Ren is not afraid to be silly. And isn’t adverse to leaving imperfections in his music, creating a rawer more authentic sound (which is something I prefer). I don’t think NF could pull off something like “Hi Ren” or “The Tale Of Jenny And Screech“, performance or story-telling wise.


3: Accessibility and relate-ability. NF is already a big star, on a pedestal, among the elite of the US entertainment industry. If you check his Instagram it’s all very slick, very considered. And his Twitter is very impersonal, speaking with a third person voice, looking like it’s run by a PR company rather than the man himself. He seems like a man with a large buffer between him and his fans. Do NF fans really watch his videos and think “he’s just like me!”. They may do, but I don’t. He’s all about the business.


Now check out Ren’s Instagram and Twitter, it’s all much more personal and obviously managed by Ren himself. And Ren goes out of his way to connect with fans, doing live Twitch streams and letting everyone know that we are all imperfect and basically human. Even though Ren is clearly a higher being (which you feel he doesn’t fully realize). Ren is also British, which may influence me.


So, at the end of the day it’s all about personal preference and taste. I feel Ren’s creative ceiling is so much higher than NF’s, which doesn’t exclude NF from being a great artist, it’s just that Ren could well be a bona fide genius. But, what do you think? Is NF your jam? Or is Ren the artist you’ve been waiting oh so long for? Here’s Ren’s latest release and a few more gems, plus some joints from NF. And if you want to check out my piece on “Hi Ren”, just check the menu. Peace, outy.



















Posted on: April 14th, 2023 by Bumps