Ottawa rapper and songwriter, City Fidelia, recently hosted a block party and premiere in front of Margo Caribbean & Canadian Restaurant in downtown Ottawa to unveil the new music video “College Dropout”. There was a palpable buzz and energy in the air as members of Ottawa’s music scene gathered to watch the highly-anticipated video projected onto a large rooftop screen.

The single and upcoming album Painkiller are the first releases under a new partnership between Fidelia’s Ensemble imprint and Public Records. Produced by Khamali Jordan, the laid back track addresses the stigma around dropping out of school and the feeling of falling short of societal standards―something the former Carleton University student understands firsthand.

“When I dropped out of school I thought I was a failure”, Fidelia explains. “Looking back now I realized class for me was everywhere. I learnt from drug dealers working corners in the streets to single mothers finding ways to make ends meet. They taught me as much as my professors did when I was studying and working late in the library completing assignments. My life experiences define me, not a degree.”

Directed by City Fidelia, Stan Lukoki, Evan Hartling, and Jonathan Degousée, the video features footage shot months earlier in front of the same restaurant with the whose who of the Ottawa music scene, as well as Fidelia sitting on a rooftop draped in a Haitian flag. The video also has a healthy dose of comedy, with personality OhSoGood making an appearance.

Alongside the single and video, Fidelia also launched a “College Dropout Grant” to provide funds for youth who either want to go back to school or pursue their own venture. The grant includes two scholarships of $1000.

With his ability to bring people together, whether physically or musically, he continues to live up to his nickname as the Mayor of Ottawa.

“College Dropout” is available on all major streaming platforms. To check out the new visuals click on the header above.

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