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Last week, an unlikely dream team of Ye, Fivio Foreign, and Alicia Keys assembled to remix the Chainsmokers’ “New York City” into the stunning, drill-based New York City anthem that 2022 so desperately needed. Already with over 12M Spotify streams and 2M YouTube views, it’s only February and “City of Gods” is looking like the song of the year.
Everything about “City of Gods” is brilliantly executed, from Alicia Keys’ knockout vocal performance to the tasteful, hugely dynamic drill-forward production, to Fivio and Ye’s beautifully integrated, impressively thoughtful verses. The masterful arrangement of “City of Gods” creates a curious effect that makes you feel like it has been buried deep in your psyche for years - even while knowing for sure that you’ve never heard such an elevated drill anthem, and definitely haven’t heard this combination of artists.
Throughout the track there are so many standout moments to choose from. Fivio spends his verses painting a refreshingly accurate picture of New York - from calling out the city’s most popular signature dances (“Milly Rock, Shmoney Dance, Woo Walk”), to outlining the dangerous games of high-speed chases and pocket watching females, to his touching intro acknowledging the late-legend Pop Smoke as the true king of New York. If this is anything close to what we can expect to hear on Fivio’s Ye-produced project ‘B.I.B.L.E’ set to drop in March, prepare for an early album-of-the-year contender.
Later, Ye enters to deliver his Sunday Service from Brooklyn with a slew of eyebrow-raising bars referencing some of the drama that has played out in public recently - from the JustinLaBoy bar, to declaring peace with Drizzy, to not being invited to parties - and of course, the jaw-dropping toxic demand for a thank you for letting you-know-who “have” his wife. Whatever you may think about Kanye, there’s no denying that this man knows how to create a spectacle… and there’s no denying that when it comes to albums in 2022, he “dropped two and they’re both going.”
The song itself was already a home run when it was first released earlier in the week, and quickly graduated to a grand slam when the visual dropped on Friday. The mesmerizing black-and-white music video for “City of Gods” plays with light and shadows in interesting ways - consisting of countless artfully arranged, cinematic shots of the three unique powerhouse performers in draping, all-black outfits that have become the unofficial uniform of Ye in 2022… with Fivio in particular looking like he came straight out of the Donda catalog. Never one for the expected, Kanye himself came dressed in a head-to-toe leather outfit complete with rubber boots and the same holey mask he wore during his highly publicized Super Bowl outing.
The video closes with a dedication to T Dott, Fivio’s right-hand man, life of the party, and originator of many of the now iconic dance moves associated with New York drill who tragically was killed in Brooklyn early in February.
After being faced with an impossibly high bar to meet after Pop Smoke’s passing in 2020, Fivio has not only risen to the occasion despite a number of obstacles and hardships but, he’s exceeded all expectations by bringing the drill sound farther than anyone could have imagined. With all the discussion swirling around the genre, Fivio has done more for the culture of NYC drill with songs like “Off the Grid”, “Storytime” and now “City of Gods” than any meeting with the mayor could - elevating the sound of the city for a wider audience and unlocking a new world of possibilities far beyond spinning & drilling rival blocks.
Overall, “City of Gods” is an incredible performance from Ye, Fivio, and Alicia Keys from top to bottom - and an important moment for the city of New York. As the lead single from Fivio Foreign’s upcoming album, ‘B.I.B.L.E’, we are in for a treat come March.
Check out the instant classic video for “City of Gods” below - and be on the lookout for Fivio’s Ye-produced ‘B.I.B.L.E’ set to drop March 25th.