Fivio Foreign is a 32 year old rapper from Brooklyn, New York who happens to be a protege of former Bad Boy signee Ma$e. He would go on to sign to the pastor’s Columbia Records imprint RichFish Records & has since dropped only 2 EPs: Pain & Love and 800 B.C.. Now truthfully, I didn’t get introduced to Fivio until I heard his verse on “Demons” off of Drake’s 6th mixtape Dark Lane Demo Tapes a couple years back & just wasn’t impressed at all. But when I heard his verse on “Off the Grid” off Kanye West’s final Def Jam album DONDA last summer, I was highly impressed & I can say the same for his recent singles. Needless to say: My anticipation for Fivio’s full-length debut was very much there. Even more so after learning he got Ye to executive produce it & Mike Dean to do all the engineering.
“On God” is a drumless duet with KayCyy talking about having each other if all else fails whereas “Through the Fire” samples the Chaka Kahn joint of the same name as he & Quavo fight their demons. “Magic City” goes into drill territory as he & Quavo talk about partying, but then “City of Gods” with Kanye follows it up with an incredibly fun dedication to the Big Apple.
Meanwhile on “What’s My Name?”, we have Fivio as well as Coi Leray & Queen Naija over a sample of “Say My Name” by Destiny’s Child for a romance ballad just before “For Nothin’” has a folkier vibe talking about having a shooter. “Hello” takes a syrupy route talking about looking for a lady like her leading into the A$AP Rocky-assisted “Confidence”, which is basically a 2 minute braggadocious banger.
Lil Yachty tags along for the apocalyptic “Slime Them” displaying an impressive back & forth chemistry with Fivio while “Feel My Struggle” works in a high pitched vocal sample detailing the hardships that he had to face. Yung Bleu’s verse on “World Watching” is one of the weakest features on the album even though Lil Tjay’s verse was decent & Fivio obviously stole the show. The Ellie Goulding sample is but after the “B.I.B.L.E. Talk” interlude, “Changed on Me” with Polo Gis a glorious shot at those who switched up on them.
Following that, “Left Side” follows it up with a boring gangsta love jam down to the redundant Blueface verse while “Love Songs” heavily samples “So Sick” by Ne-Yo & the latter actually appears on here for a sequel to the ‘06 hit. The penultimate track “Whoever” incorporates some choir vocals to deliver an open letter to anyone & finally, “Can’t Be Us” is an emotional closer talking about what makes him a man.
B.I.B.L.E. (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth) isn’t the most mind-blowing debut I’ve heard all year, but it did finally win me over on Fivio because I do enjoy a good portion of what I’ve heard. The features are alright, but the Brooklyn drill sound he came up on is more refined & I admire how he’s basically putting his life experiences on wax.