Fivio Foreign’s feature on Kanye West’s Donda was the album’s only star-making moment and one of the project’s undisputed highlights. It turned the New York City drill rapper from hotly-tipped to actually on-fire, and with his latest single “City of Gods,” released last week, Fivio sought to seize the mantle of New York City’s hottest rapper. Today, the song’s visuals are out.
The track is a fairly obvious attempt to create an “Empire State of Mind” for the drill era down to the Alicia Keys feature. Where the songs differ are the tones, especially the hook: “Empire” was hopeful whereas “City” is more despondent, as if the titular Gods are on their last legs. I suppose both songs are reflective of the country's moods at the time of their respective creations, and Kanye West's feature sadly reflects that: it's half-hearted, unenthusiastic, and its Pete Davidson-targeting lines have already aged like milk. Still, if you've watched the excellent first episode of Netflix's Kanye doc Jeen-Yus, it's impossible to question West's devotion to the city where he signed his first record deal.
The song and its black-and-white visuals are dedicated to Tahjay "T Dott" Dobson, a rapper and an associate of Fivio Foreign who was killed earlier this month. New York City Mayor Eric Adams has cited deaths like Adams' as his motivation behind targeting drill rappers with a proposed social media crackdown.