Zoo York- [Lil Tjay] ft. [Fivio Foreign] & [Pop Smoke]

With the sheer amount of talent and different sounds coming out of all the New York boroughs in recent years, you might not even be able to tell that half the artists are from the same city, let alone the same region of the country. While Lil Tjay has been taking the world by storm and can be found all over the music industry, Fivio Foreign has pretty quickly been making his way out of the city, bringing his talents to places all across the country as well. It’s obviously so incredibly sad when mentioning how Pop Smoke was taken from this Earth way too soon, because he was truly changing the way people approached music and he just had this gritty, naturally appealing sound in his voice that wasn’t going to be able to be replicated by anyone else, no matter how hard they might try. Back to Tjay, he just released his project State of Emergency the other day, and it is unsurprisingly a success. Although it’s only seven songs, each one packs a punch and brings the entire thing together, so I’ve been bumping that ever since it dropped.

One of my favorite songs on the project has to be “Zoo York”, and it features the aforementioned talents I spoke about earlier. The beat is very reminiscent of a style that Pop was making popular, as tedious hats, hard-hitting, sliding 808s come in on certain downbeats, and an inspiring synth creates a melody that motivates all of the rappers to truly put their best foot forward. Tjay hums and creates an autotune-riddled melodic runway of his own as the beat builds to the first verse. As he goes in, he ditches his more normal sing-song style in order to spit some rapid and intricately impressive bars, which stand up to his counterparts more than I might’ve previously expected. I’m not surprised, however, because I’ve heard him go off the rails with impressive flows of his own before, so this isn’t extremely shocking. When he does get into the hook, though, he does hold out his notes and stretch the autotune a lot more, as he repeatedly represents his city loud and proud.

Fivio takes over for the second verse, showing off some vivid bars and telling a very eye-opening and riveting story throughout. Although his cadence might be a bit inferior to Tjay’s powerful opening statements, he brings so much energy and vitality to the song that he still manages to stick out regardless. Pop comes in for the final verse and boy does he leave his mark on this record. His flow is quick, his bars are intense, and his voice is as tenacious and aggressive as ever. Beyond just his purely fantastic sound is his wordplay and rhyme schemes, which are unmatched by most artists in Rap music today, making me even more impressed that he was able to come up with these things at such a young age. All three artists get assertive and hostile when talking about the crazy city that raised them, mentioning things like wearing designer garments when taking care of violent tasks, acting wild at concerts, and having a plethora of women, among many other flexes and threats.

The track itself definitely stands out on the mixtape, but Tjay brought the whole city out for the music video which is always a sight to see. While his whole mob takes over certain parking lots in order to show support and vibe along with the artists, other scenes show luxurious vehicles like Lamborghini’s and Rolls Royce’s pulling off of the lot. It’s pretty clear that this enormous crew gets wild, as people hang out of the windows of their cars on the highway, dance on top of random cars, and even play with a flame thrower, regardless of how dangerously close everyone might be to it. There are certain scenes showing the police trying to shut the entire production down, and you can even see the artists continue to recite their lines and dance at times, even with the red and blue rotating lights flashing in the background. For Tjay and Fivio’s parts, the settings don’t change too much considering they’re both surrounded by the same mob of people. When getting into Pop Smoke’s verse, they do an incredible job of showing just how impactful he was as an artist. They do this by utilizing clips of his live performances, showing off an entire crowd of fans bouncing around and yelling his lyrics back at him word for word. Furthermore, they show him in the studio as well as interacting with his counterparts on the song in other previously recorded footage, while everyone in the mob continues to go hard and represent the late rapper in a very meaningful and passionate way.

Once again, State of Emergency was a massive success and did a wonderful job showing off the diversity and complexity that Tjay has to offer in a very succinct and compact offering. This track might be my favorite off of it, but that says a lot when taking into consideration the fact that every song was impactful in its own respective way. Being a massive Pop Smoke fan, I always have to tune in when an artist is able to use a verse from his vault because I know it’s going to be amazing, and I’m not sure how often we’ll be able to get unreleased music from his team. Each artist on this song has a completely different style and sound, but they came together and paired seamlessly with one another, ultimately leveling each other up to new heights. Whether you’ve already heard “Zoo York” while listening to State of Emergency or not, make sure you check out the lively new music video.