The first single from Fall Out Boy vocalist Patrick Stump's debut solo album, Soul Punk, finds him singing about his pride in his home city of Chicago. It was debuted on AOL Music on June 28, 2011.
The song finds Stump teaming up with his fellow Chicagoan Lupe Fiasco. The singer told AOL Music their relationship goes back before the release of the rapper's debut album Food & Liquor in 2006. Said Stump: "Before Soul Punk came out he and I were talking about working on something together. I ended up producing the song 'Little Weapon,' for his The Cool record," he said. "I actually wrote the hook for 'This City' with him in mind before I decided to use it for Soul Punk, so when the label asked me if I'd be interested in doing a remix with an MC he was the only real way I'd say yes."
This song caused Stump to change the course of the entire Soul Punk album. He explained to Billboard magazine: "I had written a while draft of the album and then at the 11th hour came up with 'This City.' I really loved the song but felt like, conceptually, it didn't fit on the album. I had to go back and make an album for that song because I loved it so much."
The Ken Koller directed video features Stump singing whilst various images and lights are projected on the walls. Stump told to MTV News why instead of filling the screen of shots of city life he went with an artfully abstract way to present the song. He explained: "The song's called 'This City,' and it describes a lot of these images in a city, and I feel like those images are already there; it would be kind of redundant to take a camera into a city; it's almost like the colors and the lights and the images that are going to be around this are going to be representing the life in a city."
He added: "One thing that Ken and I were talking about is that a city is so complicated, so we wanted to do something a bit different with it, and a bit more abstract."