Back in February, Ye (formerly known as Kanye West) and Alicia Keys hopped on “City of Gods,” NYC native Fivio Foreign‘s ode to the Big Apple. As it turns out, another famous New Yorker was originally slated to be on the track too.
In a new interview with Ebro Darden for Apple Music, Fivio revealed that Ye originally wanted Jay-Z on the track before just laying down a verse himself.
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“When I went to LA, I played [‘City of Gods’] for Ye,” he explained. “He was like, ‘This sh– is fire. We got to get Hov on this sh–.’ I’m like, ‘What? We got to get Hov?’ He said, ‘Watch this. Tomorrow.’ But then tomorrow, next day came, he doing a thousand things.”
It all ended up working out, because Ye then told Fivio that none other than Alicia Keys was on her way to sing on the track.
“I’m like, ‘Word? Are you serious?’ Then we going to give it to Hov. I’m like, ‘Yo, I ain’t going to lie, I want this sh– to come out now.’ He like, ‘You right. We got to come out now before Donda 2 come out. So I’m going to just throw a verse on it.’ So what happened was, we made Alicia Keys sing, and I met her. It’s the first time I ever met her, I was like, ‘Damn.’ I’m glad that she was mad cool. She like, ‘I’ll do it. I don’t care.’ We did it right in the room. It wasn’t a studio. It was a room with a mic. She was singing that bi—, and it was fire. Then we removed the whole sample off because her voice was crazy. Then Ye threw his verse on. The song was, like, fake-done already. It was like my verse, that part, my verse again in that part, and then Ye threw the rest of the verse on it. It was like that. That’s how it was like.”
On “City of Gods,” which is featured on Fivio’s recent album B.I.B.L.E., Keys belts on the chorus, “New York City, please go easy on me tonight/ Nеw York City, please go easy on this hеart of mine/ ‘Cause I’m losing my lover to the arms of another.”
Later in the interview, Fivio discusses how another famous friend, Eve, helped him get clean. “I was on the show Queens with Eve, right? Spoke to Eve. I used to be asking everybody, because I used to be dealing with so much. Even at the show, I had to take a shot of liquor. I’m like, ‘You let me get a shot of liquor.’ Could take the edge off.
“N—as get nervous in front of them cameras, all them people watching,” he continued. “So I asked. I said, ‘Yo, how you deal with this sh–?’ She been in the life forever. … She told me she dealt with the same thing. Alcohol, drugs, just to cope. She was like, ‘Yo, I don’t do it no more. You can’t let it take over you where it’s like you depending on this to be who you could already be.’ I used to be in interviews, before an interview, I’d take a shot, take a perc. But I had to get out of that because it wasn’t good for me,” he concluded. “I had to depend on it, and then sometimes you run out of percs. But then what am I going to do now? What, you can’t do an interview because you run out of percs? So it’s better.”
The full interview with Ebro will air on Apple Music 1’s Rap Life Radio at 1 p.m. ET.
Watch another clip from interview and listen to “City of Gods” below.