Fivio Foreign updates HNHH on his upcoming Kanye West-produced album, reveals he's attempting to clear a Beyoncé sample for his new single "What's My Name," and more in an exclusive interview.
Update: An earlier version of this article stated the Beyonce sample for Fivio Foreign's new single, "What's My Name," was already cleared. However, according to Fivio's label A&R rep, this isn't the case just yet, as the team is still working through getting the sample cleared. The interview has been amended to reflect that.
New York rapper Fivio Foreign was feeling the love at Rolling Loud Festival, which took place in Queens over the weekend. Diving into the crowd and performing some of his biggest songs to date, the 31-year-old drill superstar proved why he's one of the primary figures in Brooklyn's booming rap scene by bringing unmatched energy to the Deleón Stage.
The rapper has been having himself a huge year, coming out of the pandemic with even more buzz than when he entered it. Following his feature on Kanye West's DONDA track "Off The Grid," which is widely regarded as one of the best songs on the project because of his standout verse, Fivi revealed that Ye was executive-producing his entire next album.
After his Rolling Loud set, we caught up with the "Big Drip" artist, who gave us an update on the status of his album, revealed he cleared an upcoming Beyonce sample, and explained how Lil Tjay was instrumental in getting him signed to a major label. He also told us about how the new album differs from his older catalog, and the biggest lesson he learned from working with Ye.
Read the unabridged editorial copy of HNHH's new interview with Fivio Foreign below, and stay tuned for his upcoming album, which is coming soon.
Image by HNHH/@iamzjb
HNHH: You just got off stage. What has it been like getting back to performances after the lockdown?
Fivio Foreign: It was crazy. I did a couple [shows] before this, but I think this was the biggest stage post-Corona. This was the biggest stage so pretty good.
And being in New York, you know the hometown crowd is going to treat you like royalty.
Love the New York shit. I love it. I love performing everywhere else but when you perform where you're from, that was just like... they fuck with me. I jumped in there first.
How did the pandemic affect your career?
Well, I mean, you gotta understand, I hadn't been an artist for a long time [before the pandemic]. Or like mainstream, like I don't really know the difference between post-COVID and pre-COVID yet. I really don't know. Because it's not like I had a career a year before so I don't know. As I was coming up with my shit, COVID happened so I'm just going with the flow.
We're right across from the Kappa tent, and you actually did a collaboration with them for this weekend. How did that come about?
You know, where I'm from we love Kappa. I fuck with them so I was on it. And I was honored that they came and wanted to fuck with me.
You previously revealed that Kanye West is the executive producer of your upcoming album. How's everything going with that, can we get an update?
I mean, yeah, Kanye. Kanye is so busy. He'll just be in Paris one day. I'll text him, like, 'where you at?' and he'll be like, 'I'm in LA this day.' So, like, we link up at moments where we both free. We work, we do a little bit here, a little bit there and we do it like that. But I fuck with him, man. His brainpower, his genius, he's a super-genius, we do more than just business.
"Kanye is so busy. He'll just be in Paris one day. I'll text him, like, 'where you at?' and he'll be like, 'I'm in LA this day.' So, like, we link up at moments where we both free."
Around when do you think you'll be ready to drop the album?
I'm aiming... you know what, what I'm doing right now. I know everybody want it, and I wanna make sure it really goes viral. So what I want to do is I want to drop it after something really big. A big moment, and then I'mma drop my album. So right now like, something might happen tomorrow, it might drop tomorrow. A month from now, but no later than like two, three months.
Is it ready? It's ready to drop whenever?
Yeah, it's ready.
How does it differ from your previous releases?
This one is more mature. I just had more time to think, I had more time to create. I feel like I've been so busy, you know, of course I'm talented, whatever the case may be, but I've been so busy that when I drop music, it's just on the spot music. I feel like now, I give myself more time to create, like, when you're creating it, you need time to do nothing, moments where you're just doing nothing so your brain will just get-- so I give myself time.
On one of your recent singles, "Story Time," you open up about your early life, your experience in jail, and more. It's a more introspective record for you. What was it like writing a song that's so personal to you?
I feel like, with things like that, when it hits me is when people respond, when people go, like, 'Oh, this is crazy.' Or when somebody lived through a similar situation, that's when I feel it.
Working with Ye so closely in the last few months, what's the best advice that he's given you?
The best advice he gave me... I feel like it really wasn't advice, but it's something I learned from being around him. It's that even though you got people working for you, you might got somebody doing this, and you might got somebody doing that, he told me that you as the brain, as the person in charge of that shit, you got to be on top of everything. It's not like you hire these people, you just go, boom, and everybody does their job. You gotta give direct directions. Then you really could make it successful, because you've got the brain, you've got the art, you know.
You're on Lil Tjay's new record "Not In The Mood" with Kay Flock. How did that come together?
Lil Tjay's been my brother from the beginning of this shit. Tjay is the person who introduced Columbia Records to me, like he put that together. That whole situation. He's from New York. New York slums, trenches. And he appreciates that type of music. And he was telling them, 'Yo listen, this music is what's next and spiraling.' And they was like, 'Ay, lemme check it out.' I was doing me, I was sitting down and going viral, know what I mean. I fuck with Kay Flock too.
"[Lil] Tjay is the person who introduced Columbia Records to me, like he put that together. That whole situation. He's from New York. New York slums, trenches. And he appreciates that type of music."
He's got a cool voice.
Yeah, he's got that voice.
Who do you have your eyes on coming out of Brooklyn right now?
I feel it's like the people around me. I got artists that just opened up for me. Bam Bino, K Goddess, Chinese Kitty, and that's all Brooklyn.
What's coming up next for you?
I got a song called "Say My Name," a Beyonce sample.
"I got a song called "Say My Name," a Beyonce sample."
You're joking, right? No, you don't! How the hell did you clear a Beyonce sample?
She's signed to Columbia! But I fuck with Beyonce. Like I've been a fan of Beyonce since I was young. So that's what's coming up next. I got some shit coming out on November 12. You know me, I stick to the script. [Ed. note: Fivio's team later clarified they are still in the process of clearing the sample]
A lot of people are gonna be excited about that. I appreciate you for taking the time! Enjoy the rest of the festival.
Who should I put on this song ââ¬ original sound - FIVIO FOREIGN