B.I.B.L.E – Fivio Foreign

Nathan Montoya, Sandscript Author

B.I.B.L.E is the debut album of New York native Fivio Foreign, born Maxie Lee Ryles III, who has seen a large boost in success recently, partly due to B.I.B.L.E. The album came out on April 8th, with Kanye West as executive producer, and has 17 tracks, with features from artists such as Quavo, Kanye West, A$AP Rocky, Polo G, and Lil Yachty, and many more. Each song sounds different, but still consistently has the bass-heavy 808s that Fivio is known for on the majority of the songs, with only a couple of songs lacking it. The album’s sound also seems to be split, with part of it talking in a more religious sense, with the other part of the album having a more traditional New York drill sound.

Fivio’s feature on “Off The Grid” from Donda showed what sort of potential he really had, with most likely some sort of influence or teachings from Ye. B.I.B.L.E’s lead single ‘City Of Gods” (released February 11th, 2022) features Kanye West and Alicia Keys, and again shows how much his flow, lyricism, and overall talent have improved since Donda. Fivio’s breakout song “Big Drip” came out in 2020 on his debut mixtape, 800 BC, and is a good way to measure how far he has come lyrically. The song relies heavily on his ad-libs and the lyrics aren’t anything special either, just talking about money, women, gangs, and the sort. Compared to much of his more recent music, “Big Drip” is not super impressive, but he grew his talent over time, and his progress is visible as time goes on. 

Back to the album itself, some songs such as “Slime Them,” featuring Lil Yachty, and “Confidence,” featuring A$AP Rocky, sound like more traditional drill songs. Rocky opens up the song and uses wordplay to call himself picture-perfect by referencing Mohr and Getty. He references Jay Mohr’s 1997 rom-com “Picture Perfect”, and Getty images, known for their stock images. and gets assisted by Fivio on the first and shortest verse, with Fivio adding some adlibs. With some wordplay here and there, it transitions into Fivio’s verse, where he raps about how, before his fame people would laugh at him, but now due to his fame, the real joke is on the people who hated on him. Then, he raps some bars about drug usage and the sort. As he ends his verse, there’s a very smooth transition into Rocky’s verse, where, if you aren’t paying attention, you won’t be able to catch it. “Slime Them” sounds more aggressive, though, in terms of the bass of the beat, the lyrics, and the vocals from both Fivio and Yachty. This song opens up with Fivio and Yachty mumbling, but then go bar for bar on the Chorus, taking turns with it. Fivio gets the song’s first verse, rapping about how time is money, as well as his attempts at avoiding fake people in his life. Yachty has the second verse, and like “Confidence”, gets assisted by Fivio via ad-libs. Fivio gets the third verse and talks about how he will take care of his enemies, and Yachty gets the fourth verse. This happens for the rest of the song, with Fivio giving adlibs on Yachty verses, but getting his own.

But not all of the songs sound like this, some have a more melodic sound, and a lack of the 808’s commonly found in drill beats. The first track of the album, “On God” is an example of this, where Fivio is joined by the Kenyan Native and singer KayCyy. He raps a hopeful ode to the people in his life that he cares about the most. In the bridge, KayCyy is assisted by a choir. He talks about his rise to success in the rap game, due to his adlibs, but then how he went viral due to his feature on “Off the Grid”. The song sounds less like a rap song, but more like an actual choir song, if you subtract some of the explicit language. The beat itself sounds like something you’d hear in church. Another example of the album’s switch of tone is on the second track of the album “Through the Fire”, featuring Quavo, a Georgian native and member of the popular rap trio, Migos. This song is not the first time they collaborated with one another, but because of their past chemistry, their verses pair very well. This song samples another song with the same name by Chaka Khan and is actually not the first time “Through the Fire” has been sampled, being sampled before by Kanye West which Fivio mentions during the intro of the song. In the chorus, Fivio talks about fighting his demons, and how when he dies he hopes to get his wings, but in the verse says that he doesn’t think he will, because of the fact that he doesn’t take care of his problems. He keeps rapping and talks about how he has devoted his life to God, most likely due to his friendship with Kanye. He continues, talking about the people in his hood who would be willing to die, just for an expensive pair of shoes, and the crimes they commit, would not be coming home. He asks God for forgiveness, then references 50 Cent’s popular song “Many Men (Wish Death)”. Going to Quavo’s verse, he starts off talking about his car swerving, because of him not being perfect, rapping about his wealth, but he does mention how he has changed his ways, saying he left his Glock in a Demon and he’ll let it ride with Satan. Essentially meaning he’s left his old ways with the Devil and is trying to improve himself.

In all, the album is definitely well crafted for it being Fivio’s first, and he definitely put a lot of effort into it, even in some of the weaker tracks. This is shown by the album selling 29K first week, which is very impressive for a first project. Kanye West and Fivio’s relationship definitely influenced a lot of the album, the theme of it, Fivio’s rapping ability, and the lyrics.  The features on the album are very strong as well, and each verse fits into its respective song. I would recommend this album to anyone who’s listened to Fivio in the past or likes rap music in general.