Fivio, once a squishy apprentice to Pop Smoke despite his seniority, has at times veered into the cautionary tale. In the two and a half years since signing a seven-figure contract with a major label, East Flatbush-born man Maxie Ryles III has endured the murders of two close friends and collaborators, and was arrested twice, stunting his own musical development. .
Yet through a combination of perseverance and circumstance – including a stylistic breakthrough he achieved behind bars – Fivio also became perhaps the exercise’s biggest and best hope of settling into something. less uncertain. “My role is not to let the exercise die out,” he said. “Just as it feeds me, it feeds other people too.”
On “BIBLE,” the rapper tries to maneuver an unconventional sound down a more conventional path: smoothing the edge of the street from the forest into something safe to market.
Melodic and radio-ready, the album relies, like many great rap debuts before it, on guest singers (Kaycyy, Vory, Lil Tjay) and especially female voices (Keys, Queen Naija, Chloe Bailey ) for the purpose of more mass appeal. In keeping with Drill’s evolutionary move toward musical familiarity, known as “sample drill,” there are also big-budget pop flavors of Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name,” Ellie Goulding’s “Lights,” and “So Sick” by Ne-Yo. all along.
Discussions of guns and gangs, metaphorical or otherwise, are deliberately sublimated, though they are also present (see: “Slime Them”, a pure grunt, or “Left Side”, which nods more discreet to Fivio’s long-scorned Crip affiliation). But overall, Fivio said with the discipline of a politician on posts, he hopes to separate the exercise’s distinct musical quirks from its expected subject matter.