Cliff Henderson V is an emerging rapper based in Pittsburg, California. Debuting near the tail end of the previous decade under the name Fifth (which is derived from the suffix in his full name), Henderson’s sound embraces a range of classic and modern influences, from Tupac Shakur and Jay Z to Nipsey Hussle and J. Cole. Within a relatively short span, he was featured on two high profile docuseries – Leah Remini: Scientology and The Aftermath: The Jehovah’s Witnesses, which catalyzed his presence within the west coast hip hop scene.
Fifth’s latest single is “Cost of Doin’ Business”, a track equally catchy and pertinent. While a somber, piano-based chord sequence sets the tone for the main melody alongside deep bass accentuations, Henderson speaks about his having an epiphany. An ex-Jehovah’s Witness, Henderson’s thematic angle centers on coming to his senses (or, as he puts it, “growing up”) based on being oppressed for so long, and noting the general holes of the religion’s ethics for himself. As a result, his awareness comes at the expense of having been cut off by many family members and friends, who remain loyal to the church. By the second half of the song, he is grateful for his newfound freedom, despite this sacrifice, and recognizes that such an opportunity should not be taken for granted. Based on the progression of the song’s theme, it ultimately emphasizes trusting God’s genuine presence in one’s heart, rather than through institutional confines.