INTERVIEW: Brooklyn's next-up, Fivio Foreign, is readying to launch his major label debut but he explains the importance is keeping everything he's doing organic.
There isn’t a song this year that’s been dominating the streets, radio, and social media as much as Fivio Foreign’s “Big Drip.” Layered with ab-libs that do more damage than the punchlines themselves, Fivio’s string of releases in the past year have emphasized the raw energy coming out of the East Coast right now. Over the accelerating beat produced by UK sound smith Axl Beats, Fivio Foreign painted a hot summer in Brooklyn with a visual that drove the imagery home -- substituting Super Soakers for straps, Henny bottles in hand, and, most importantly, everyone outside.
The Brooklyn drill sound, commonly noted by Axl Beats’ production, has gained steam across the globe. It became the backdrop for the controversial, often masked artists that have come from London and its surrounding area over the past few years, but Axl himself found placements in the budding scene. 22GZ “Suburban” and Sheff G’s “No Suburban” were among the two songs to set this new scene ablaze with Axl’s groundbreaking production. Arguably, it’s Fivio Foreign and the late Pop Smoke that carved out an even bigger space for that sound to thrive in the mainstream.
Fivio Foreign releases his major-label debut on Columbia Records today. Propelled by “Big Drip,” and a remix featuring Quavo and Lil Baby, as well as the recent single, "Wetty," all eyes are on Fivio. In between the singles, leaks hit the Internet including a forthcoming collaboration with Drake which the Canadian rapper recently played during a live stream.
Though the rap game has been put on hold somewhat, along with the rest of the music industry, in the wake of COVID-19, Fivio’s sticking to his original game plan to release the project this spring. Posted outside with a blunt in hand just days after testing negative for COVID-19, Fivio explained how his M.O. from the jump is keeping it organic -- whether it be with releasing music or his flamboyant dance moves.
“I’m just being myself in the video,” he told HNHH over Facetime during a windy day in New York City. “Like, I’m having fun, that’s what I like to do, I like to turn up. It’s just natural. That’s just how we get it out. Music make you dance anyways. You gonna wanna bust a move when you hear that music, anyways.”
Fivio discusses the late Pop Smoke, the leaked Drake collab, and more.
Stream his new project 800 B.C.right here.
Image via Publicist
This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.
HotNewHipHop: Yo, what’s going on?
Fivio Foreign: What’s up, boy? I’m outside. My phone might be dying soon.
You just announced the release date for the new project, right?
Yeah, April two-four, two-four.
I know you’ve been spotted with a lot of big artists. Can you tell me about some of the features you’re going to have on the project?
Yeah. I got n*ggas like Lil Tjay, Meek Mill, Polo G, Pop Smoke. I got some shit up there. We gonna go viral. [Ed. Note: This interview was conducted a few weeks prior to the album release, and the tracklist has since changed]
Oh sh*t, you got the Pop Smoke feature on there.
That’s a fact. RIP Pop.
Rest In Peace, for sure. What can you tell me about your relationship with Pop Smoke?
That’s family. That’s hometeam right there. That’s family for real.
Who produced the joint with Pop Smoke?
Oh, damn. I don’t even know. I don’t even know who produced it.
It’s not an Axl beat?
Nah, I don’t think it’s an Axl beat.
I know you just mentioned Meek and obviously you got work with Tory as well. Justbeing new in the game, how does being around artists like that help you maneuver in the industry?
It gives everybody a chance to look at it like “oh damn.” I get to learn from these guys. I get to better my craft. Everybody I been around, like, I speak to them and they speak to me and they tell me certain sh*t like how this sh*t goes and sh*t like that.
I know there was a snippet of your Drake collab on the web.
Yeah, that was dope. That wasn’t really supposed to get out there like that. It’s out, though.
How did that collaboration come about? I know Drake was a fan of “Big Drip.”
Drake is just in tune with mad sh*t. That’s Drake so you can’t really hit up Drake for a song, you gotta wait till he ready.
So he reached out randomly and it worked out from there?
That sh*t bust my ass. I was like damn.
I know you did a little video with Lil Kim that you posted on Instagram, and you have relationship with Ma$e, and you shouted out Diddy in a recent interview. Being from New York, what did Bad Boy mean to you growing up?
Bad Boy was like -- We looked at Bad Boy as the platform, how we really supposed to do this sh*t. How we supposed to have artists and go viral. See me in the videos, go crazy. I f*ck with Diddy.
Have you and Diddy spoke yet?
Um nah, I don’t think I’ve ever spoke with Diddy, but I’m real cool with his sons and sh*t.
You have any music coming out with Christian?
I got a song with Christian. It’s out already. Earlier on, it’s on WorldStar.
Brooklyn Drill is taking over the world and that’s in part to what you’re doing and to what a lot of people from your neighborhood are doing right now. What’s your opinion on how this new generation of Brooklyn is coming out and what you guys are doing to carry the legacy of hip hop from your borough?
To carry on a legacy, man. We just gone keep doing what we do. It should be natural, feel me? I got mad people coming behind me too. I’m just gon’, like, I’m just gon’ keep it going natural. I’m just like whatever happens, happens. It ain’t really too much pressure.
What I find dope about what you guys are doing is you’re bringing dancing back into hip hop again. It kind of felt like there was a space where it wasn’t as incorporated anymore. What inspires you to make sure you’re still keeping it jiggy and having fun in your videos?
For the most part, we just being ourselves. I’m just being myself in the videos. Like, I’m having fun, that’s what I like to do, I like to turn up. It’s just natural. That’s just how we get it out. Music make you dance anyways. You gonna wanna bust a move when you hear that music, anyways.
Why was it important to release your music in this whole Coronavirus debacle that’s going on?
I already had it planned. I had it planned and I like to stick to the plan.
You weren’t gonna let that derail you?
Naah. Can’t let nothing derail me, you know what I mean?
I wanted to ask you about Bobby Shmurda. What’s that relationship like, if there is one or how he’s influenced you, the way Brooklyn’s been moving.
Bobby is home team, too. That’s like somebody who brought all the eyes to this sh*t, anyways. That’s something I’m always going to keep in my mind.
Do you guys have something in the cut? Do you have something with the GS9 guys?
I mean, I been knew them. I got old sh*t with Rowdy Rebel. Ain’t nothing new, ain’t nothing going crazy. They come home, we probably gone go crazy. Like you know, That’s automatic.
What could we expect after this mixtape and when do you plan on dropping the album?
Right after the mixtape, I’ma get right into the album. That sh*t gone go crazy. Viral.
Are you trying to drop that before the end of the year?
Yeah, summertime. Hit ‘em up.