Who Is The FifthGod Who Walks Always Beside You?
Andrew Askaripour. Born September 23, 1993.
About Andrew: “A record producer in the true, original sense of the word. An artist manager for various creatives. A dedicated audiophile. A cinematographer. A researcher and teacher of all knowledge. A righteous soul willing to lend a helping hand to all, always.”
Other Names: “FifthGod.”
No one knows much about FifthGod. An hour interview will not suffice in documenting this man; it would take a lifetime to learn FifthGod. His closest friends have limited knowledge on the person they have “known” for years. All they can do is try to push together pieces of a puzzle that has yet to be completed – and probably never will be. I knew who he was before I knew who he was. I have seen him many times before meeting him; concerts, shows, all around the downtown/Brooklyn hip hop scene. He had this ubiquitous, yet distanced air about him. He was everywhere, but unreachable. He was known, but unknown.
This document stands as a collection of words from his friends, family, colleagues, and FifthGod himself. It is a glance into his world and a written testament to his magic. I have never met anyone who wielded such a profound influence over the lives of every single person he has encountered. He is respected by all, feared by none, and admired by many. This compilation of statements serves to unveil the man behind the mystery.
David “BLANK” Noriega: Artist, friend
Matthew Askaripour: Brother
Chris Wattz: Artist, friend
Ashley Franklin: Friend
Joan McCarthy: Friend
Tyriz Harvey: Rapper
I asked everyone just one question:
“Who is FifthGod?”
Madwiz: “FifthGod” is a genius. He’s a visionary… He’s a God. You won’t understand. I can’t put it into words… His aura is that of someone who is wise and all-powerful. But at the end of the day… We should all strive to be like FifthGod.”
Shortly after I sat down to speak with FifthGod, I received an email enumerating what he felt were the most important miscellaneous facts about himself:
“-I practice yoga as often as possible.
– Other than music, I love to study philosophy, medicinal herbs, nutrition, astrology, physics, meditation, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.
– I’ve probably seen every single one of my favorite artists perform.
-I met and recorded Ab-Soul’s verse off The Fifth Tape the day after he dropped These Days…
-I am launching an artist management/record production company this spring.
-I’m deeply rooted in photography and cinematography.
-I’ve never been in a fight. I have no enemies.”
FifthGod lives in Patchogue, Long Island, born and raised. The town is about 60 miles away from the primary hip hop scene in New York. He likes the distance.
FifthGod: “Rakim spoke about how back in the day he always felt so separated from the whole music scene, being from Long Island. Having to take the train into the city and hustle his way over there to get known… Some of the greatest hip hop groups ever came from Long Island; De La Soul, MF Doom, Public Enemy. I love Long Island. I get to be embedded within nature and still have the city lifestyle. I rep it so hard, I kind of have to tone down sometimes. I just love where I’m from. ”
He lifts his black crewneck sweater and reveals a t-shirt with a map outline of Long Island and under it, in bold red letters reads the word “REPRESENT.”
“What do I know about his personal life? He’s a pizza delivery boy, and he’s currently making one of the greatest projects that hip hop has ever seen; The FifthTape.”
“The FifthTape started out as a project I wanted to put together consisting of my close friends who I do music with and artists in the industry who I have a great amount of respect and admiration for. There hasn’t been a compilation album like this in the game for… I don’t know how long, that has so many different artists, but sounds cohesive, and has been executively planned. The goal was to have my friends who aren’t too well-known yet make music with artists who are greatly successful. It’s kind of bridging that gap between established artists and artists who are up-and-coming. It kind of developed into something way greater, that I would’ve never expected.”
“I get the beats first and really handcraft the sound. With a lot of the songs on the tape, I told the artists exactly what to speak about. I would tell them the direction I wanted them to go in… and they did it. It’s weird because I’m not friends with a lot of these people, but they would hear the music and be so enthralled by it, that they would really do their best for me. No one gave me a weak verse. And as The FifthTape has gained some mysticism and notoriety, anyone who’s a part of it at this point is really thankful. I’m thankful to them, just as much.”
TheFifthTape will be FifthGod’s first complete work. He has worked on various projects with other artists, but about 85 percent of that music has yet to be released.
FifthGod: “People haven’t seen much of what I’ve done, but they’ve heard about me. So again, it’s like, ‘Who is FifthGod?’”
Artists such as Ab-Soul, Dash & Retch, Fashawn, Tragedy Khadafi, Chris Wattz, History, King Critical, Madwiz, I-Earn Chef, BLANK, Skyzoo, The Kid Daytona, and a few surprise 90s rap legends will be featured on Fifth’s 15 track project set to release sometime this year.
FifthGod: I’m kind of a weird case; I don’t know too many people in the industry. And that really baffles people when they see the different names I have on my project. I don’t rely on any industry connection for what I want to do… It’s really confusing for someone on the outside. They see me chilling with Styles P and Jadakiss or Ab-Soul or Retchy P or someone, and they just say, ‘Who is FifthGod?’”
Fifth has invested thousands of dollars into his musical endeavors, all of which have been funded with his own money.
FifthGod: “I’ve been saving since I was about 11 years old. I still have money from when I was like 15 under my bed.”
When I asked exactly how much money he had saved, he laughed sheepishly and said, “I have a good amount… Enough.”
“I’m not sure if I want to release the amount. I’ve done well for myself over the years, through various ventures. My brother helped me invest in stocks when I was ten years old with my own money. Just having that plan and motive, I knew from a young age that I was going to need money in the future to do exactly what I wanted to do with music.”
“Around my senior year of high school I would lend money to close friends of mine or other people in my area who needed that money to do whatever they needed to do. I would make a return on that with vast amounts of interest. Let’s say I lend someone $2,000, it’ll come back to me at $3,500. It was always a respectful thing. If I lost it, it wouldn’t really mean much to me. Money in general doesn’t mean much to me. The first real paycheck I ever got was last year.”
Fifth works at a restaurant delivering pizza, and is also a part-time recording studio manager at his school, Five Towns College. He’s 21 years old. A first generation American born to a Jamaican mother and Iranian father who met in Europe.
“My mother has five sons. I’m the fifth one.”
David “BLANK” Noriega: “FifthGod is a legend. Born a legend. The 5th brother… And all five of them are legends.”
Matthew Askaripour: “FifthGod is my brother. More of a vision than a visionary. Someone who was designed to change the world in a grand, positive and impactful way. FifthGod is a vision that’s taking shape before our eyes – watch closely. He’s changing the way people think, the way we perceive each other, and ultimately our actions so that they translate into effects that leave us all in a better place. I have a vivid memory that has always stuck with me from when he was young, maybe 6 or 7 years old. There was some change on our kitchen table and someone, maybe another brother or our Grandmother, asked how much it came out to. Fifth said, ‘There are eight quarters. Four quarters make a dollar, so there are two dollars.’ Even though I wasn’t much older than him, that line of logical thinking amazed me and taught me that we can make sense of the world around us if we make an effort to simplify it. To break the larger ‘unknown’ down into small pieces in order to gain knowledge.”
For many, Fifth is the “unknown.” There is an unrelenting desire to simplify his presence, and break everything down; to track his every move and motive. Every snippet of information is critical. We know that he resides in Long Island, cultivates his music career in Brooklyn and Manhattan, and that he’s been visiting Jamaica every winter for four years now.
Madwiz: “He has a girl in Jamaica. His queen.”
FifthGod: “She’s most certainly a queen. Whether she’s my queen or not is up for debate. I don’t believe in possession anyway. I definitely wouldn’t call her my girlfriend. I wouldn’t even put a label on it… I call her Empress.”
History: “He doesn’t talk to any other girls.”
FifthGod: “I’m not too interested in looking for love. I see love in everything.”
Fifth and “Empress,” a 29 year old Jamaican native, met last January. “She’s the one who twisted these,” he said, gently tugging on his slender, sandy brown dreadlocks. Around his neck lay a string of black and red beads, with bright green tassels. An icy blue labradorite crystal hung from another necklace right above that one. Atop his cream-colored skin lay a rustic gold beard. His light, earthy green eyes sat behind his thin, metal-framed glasses pacing steadily, serenely.
Fifth traveled Jamaica in search of “the right person” to turn his afro into locks. A random woman recommended his soon to be queen. “It took about five hours. The whole time, we had this crazy in-depth conversation about health, and corruption, and various social problems and conscious content. She was just astounded… she’s never met an American like me who’s in touch with nature and knowledge of self.”
“He’s a wealth of knowledge. His perception is like none other when it comes to receiving honest non-biased feedback. He’s a teacher as much as he is a student.”
FifthGod: “When Empress met me it was like a learning experience for her. She actually burst into tears at the end.”
“It’s a struggle in Jamaica… I sent her money once.”
When he left Jamaica, Fifth wrote Empress a letter and attached a one hundred dollar bill. One hundred American dollars is worth roughly 11,500 dollars in Jamaica.
FifthGod: “Not that money matters to her, or to me, but I knew it would help her.”
“I’m trying to get to a point where I spend money and it doesn’t feel like I’m losing something. I study a philosopher named Alan Watts. He speaks about how people go to the supermarket and they spend thirty bucks on food and they have all this food, but they feel depressed when they go home. They say, ‘Awe, I lost all that money,’ when they really just gained everything in that shopping cart. There is no loss. When I give gifts, just to see that joy in someone is like infinite wealth to me.”
Madwiz: “I know that he’s a motherfuckin’ health-nut. An herb man.”
FifthGod: “You heard I was an herb man?” he laughed.
Fifth sat before me in a Whole Foods cafeteria with a half gallon glass bottle of water and a pint of organic coconut water. He used to eat recklessly and suffered from severe health problems as a child. Then, when he was nineteen he decided to fast for three days. On November 1, 2013 he fasted again, but for ten days. From that day on, he lived a gluten-free vegan lifestyle.
History: “He delivers pizza for a living. I remember this one time I went to his house. He had all this pizza and never ate any of it.”
FifthGod: “I drink tea in the morning. I try to meditate. I spend a lot of my free time studying various plants and herbs and their properties. Health is a huge factor in my life, for sure. I try my best to impact those around me by inspiring them to take interest in their physical and mental well being. Through never judging and just informing my friends about certain things, I can definitely say I’ve made a change in the way a lot of people eat and conduct themselves. Sometimes people won’t eat certain things or act a certain way while I’m there because they think I may judge them, but in reality that’s the complete opposite of how I would react to any situation. I just love and respect everyone, man. Equality is a huge factor in my life and how I perceive things.”
FifthGod seems to maneuver through life with the same positive mentality for everything – whether it be health, relationships, or work.
Radamiz: “FifthGod… One of the few people I know who works tirelessly but selflessly, cares about the direction of culture as a whole, and doesn’t think twice to help someone’s dreams come true when he can. Truly a golden spirit. Expect Fifth to still be making ill shit happen decades from now.”
FifthGod: “A lot of artists are not brave and humble enough to publicly be fans of each other anymore. Although competition is inherent within hip hop music, there is a lack of camaraderie among many up and coming artists. People of the culture need to realize how much of an impact one individual can have on an artist’s career. I literally do as much as I can to help propel all of my favorite artists’ careers. I have spent thousands of dollars on albums, concerts, merch. In 2010 I told myself that I would no longer illegally download music. I supported and invested into the careers of those I am inspired by. I’ve put countless of kids in my hometown onto different artists throughout the years, which have now become their favorite artists.”
David “BLANK” Noriega: He’s the reason why I even started listening to hip hop. “Dancing With the Devil” by Immortal Technique was the first hip hop song I ever truly fell in love with. Ever since the, I dug very, very deep into the hip hop world and started developing dreams. Crazy thing is, these past two years he has made dreams come true for many up and coming artists, including myself. Besides him being my manager he is my best friend first. Everything he has put his mind to he has made happen and it is 100 percent of the time benefiting everybody. Always thinking about the whole, never thinking about himself. He is just a special soul that is gonna change the lives of many. He’s changed mine drastically over the years and he continues to do so on a daily basis. Just blessed to know I got a true friend that always looks out for me and all my brothers and sisters. From health to music my dude has a lot of knowledge to pass on to the youth.”
FifthGod: “I promote the artists I listen to as if I were working for them; trying my best to fuel their career by increasing their fan base one listener at a time. The best thing you can do for an artist is place their music into the hands of someone else who is also going to campaign for them just as passionately and spread their movement as much as possible. I also have a few creative ventures I plan on working on over the next few years which will allow fans to have a direct, observable impact on their favorite artists’ careers and music.”
“I’m gracious and blessed to be in such a position in which my brothers and sisters look at me for strength and guidance. I am not fulfilling my life purpose if I’m not helping others. We all have a unique course to follow in this life, and it all leads to the same endpoint, but I’ve learned at an early age that my duty, or dharma in this life is to help others achieve their dreams and witness the light they possess within themselves. So many of my peers believe in me, simply because I believe in them with all my heart. Cats like Chris Wattz, BLANK, and King Critical all reflect the potential for greatness that we possess within ourselves. Brothers like them, among countless others, are who inspire and show me that greatness comes in all forms. As I travel on this path of righteousness I will spread love to all those I come in contact with and help portray to the world the endless beauties of life.”
“I just rely on having the belief that I’m gonna achieve whatever, whoever I want to meet or whoever I want to make music with, whatever way I can. I let the universe plan things out.”
Ashley Franklin: “FifthGod is a friend of mine that the universe gifted me with. I could sit here for hours and try to use words to describe him as a whole, but they wouldn’t quite do any justice. It’s the actions he’s done for me and for others that perfectly says who he is, and there’s no word that can compare. Watching his journey and the person he has become makes me feel so blessed to have his presence in my life. I look up to him.”
FifthGod: “I’m a complete empath. There are people who can really feel how another person’s feeling. I know how people feel in different situations, and different environments. Even complete strangers… I feel like I’m gifted in really knowing what people want.”
Joan McCarthy: “If you know him at all, you know he’s truly in tune with life and just universal consciousness and I think because of that, his energy is so awakening, enlightening and moving. Honestly, I couldn’t possibly say this about anyone else. He is one of the most powerful individuals who have ever walked into my life. He’s a powerful dude and I know for a fact I’m not the only one he’s already positively affected, and I know for a fact that no matter what, it will not stop there. Whatever it is that he gets into, he has the power to move masses.”
Tyriz Harvey: “I just know he’s a God…Honestly…I’m still tryna figure out who that man is.”