Anybody who follows our site knows that New York drill is one of the deepest and most prolific scenes in hiphop today; Ever since the tragic death of Pop Smoke however, the genre has been unable to hold much mainstream power. Artists like 22gz, Sleepy Hallow, and 26AR are dropping steady and quality stuff, but with so many artists getting locked up and not putting much of a focus on album quality, its hard to get anyone taking off. Enter Fivio Foreign. A close friend of Pop’s with only a small discography, he was automatically crowned as the next potential King of New York. With a run of phenomenal features and loosies, it was clear that his debut album B.I.B.L.E. would be a standout in New York drill.
What makes B.I.B.L.E. so special isn’t necessarily Fivio’s performance or the production. Rather, it’s one of the first NY drill albums to be fleshed out with variety, hooks, and big name features. With it’s name derived from a Killah Priest classic, the album feels like a tribute to the city and something hiphop has been desparate for.
We ain’t stop the drillin, we just slowing down
We was shooting and throwing at open crowds
I gave em motivation, the whole squad focused
I close my eyes and feel like God wrote this
The album opens with “On God”, a slowly building, emotional cut which really builds anticipation for the assault of drill to come. Fivio’s ability to get directly emotional makes him unique among all the banging and rawness you usually encounter here. Quavo features on consecutive tracks, including the single “Magic City”. This one should be a mainstay in clubs as the two trade bars and just have fun with it.
There’s also the epic single “City of Gods”, a true love letter to New York with a booming, catchy hook from Alicia Keys (reminiscent of Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind”). Kanye, Fivio’s apparent mentor these days, features as well. His verse starts out really strong and clever, but drags on a bit too long and seems out of place given he isn’t actually from New York. “For Nothin” is a highlight, with Fivio once again bringing some street wisdom over the sample drill style that’s so hot and fun right now.
Melodic tracks like “Hello”, featuring Chloe and Kaycyy, while enjoyable, are packed a bit too heavily into the album’s early run and might get tiring. “Confidence” is another dope banger loyal to New York as A$AP Rocky drops a dreamy hook. Another song akin to “For Nothing” is “Feel My Struggle”, where Fivio goes solo and balances the fun, hard shit with emotion and slower moments. These are among the best on B.I.B.L.E. as they are what make him standout from other drill rappers.
Next up is “World Watching”, with the obligatory Lil Tjay feature, as they put that hard hitting drill spin on a sample of Ellie Goulding’s “Lights”. DJ Khaled also delivers one of the most fitting, powerful monologues of his career on a skit here too. The album begins to wrap up with “Left Side”, where there is a subtle, funky Cali spin on the drill sound; This one deserves to be a hit.
The outro “Can’t Be Us” fits in that same series of introspective solo cuts as Fivio reflects on making it out the mud and ascending to stardom. Overall, B.I.B.L.E. might not have next level rapping or chart toppers, but it is exactly what the drill scene needed: Something cohesive with a mainstream push. Fivio is officially leading the pack and bringing drill back to the forefront of hiphop.