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Brent Faiyaz Once Said ‘F*ck The World,’ And Now, It Returns The Insult With Destruction On ‘Wasteland’

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Life as Brent Faiyaz knew it changed by the time summer arrived in 2017. His guest appearance on GoldLink’s “Crew” with Shy Glizzy, which dropped in December 2016, shot him into the spotlight thanks to the perfect hook he provided for the song. While that record is certainly the most impactful towards his upward trajectory, there’s another one that came out two months prior that best speaks to the man we hear today. Sonder, Brent Faiyaz’s group with producers Dpat and Atu, released a record called “Too Fast” which Brent uses to respond to those who “​​say I drive too fast, move too fast, live too fast.” Little did we know this line would foreshadow Brent’s demise a half-decade later.

Brent Faiyaz’s sophomore album, Wasteland, expands on the message from “Too Fast.” Throughout the album’s 19 songs, which include features from big names like Tyler The Creator, Drake, and Alicia Keys as well as fellow Marylanders Joony and Tre’Amani, an all-gas-no-breaks lifestyle is not the only thing that Brent defends. He also critiques the “toxic” label that’s been placed on him, especially after the 2020 release of his F*ck The World EP. “That’s the Internet word that people like to attach to sh*t” and “So if you sing some real sh*t, like what’s toxic? What’s real?” he says to open Wasteland on “Villian’s Theme.” For Brent, his songs detail a very real lifestyle that isn’t some false persona or game of pretend to play into a trend. Brent isn’t being anything, he just is it, and to him, there’s a difference between the two.

As the non-linear and cluttered conversation on “Villian’s Theme” concludes, in comes the intimidating strikes of a violin on “Loose Change.” The first official record of the album is one Brent uses to pour out his complaints about fame like water from a bucket. The ladies complain too much for more of his time and the men are clout chasing and/or trying to knock him off his throne. Following the monetary theme at hand, “Price Of Fame,” finds Brent once again fighting for peace in the spotlight. “They just wanna take me off of here,” he quips on the song before letting us know that fame, glitz, glam, people screaming your name, and the demands “isn’t everything.” In other instances on the album, like on “Gravity,” “Wasting Time,” and momentarily on “Addictions,” Brent appears worn out and exhausted by the requirements of those in his world. For what it’s worth, more times than not, he’s only asked for the bare minimum – especially from women – and it’s for this reason that there’s a better word than toxic to describe the 26-year-old singer.

In all reality, Brent is more selfish than toxic, that’s seemingly the message on Wasteland. Sure, each share qualities that intersect, but I’d argue that the latter better represents the Maryland native. It’s selfishness that leads to him making a red carpet appearance with his side chick on “Oblivion” moments after his baby mother expresses her frustrations towards feeling lonely and uncared for on “Egomaniac.” It’s selfishness that sees Brent check in with nonchalance for a woman and her seemingly unfounded complaints on “Ghetto Gatsby.” “I can’t buy you happiness if you ain’t got it,” he sings. “Move you to a place, still ain’t what you wanted.” Notably, just two songs later comes “Wasting Time,” the Drake-featured track that arrives as an ode to a minimalistic and unbothered relationship, one that brings a twinkle to the eye of Brent.

In a way, it’s a good thing that Brent is very front-facing about his desires; that way you know exactly what you’re getting into with him. He isn’t controlling, he tells you to do as you please on “Dead Man Walking.” He wants you to view the world as he does as he proudly flexes his approaches and offers to teach them on the foot-stomping “Role Model.” Even in his most love-driven moments, your disappointment about his true personality isn’t something he can fix as noted on “Heal Your Heart.” Brent is a rockstar, matter of fact, he’s a “Rolling Stone” as he coolly reminds us. On that song, he sings, “I’m sorry in advance if I let you down,” with enough sincerity and sympathy that you almost believe he’s genuinely apologetic. But as we know, it’s nonchalance towards others hurt by a lifestyle he loves that takes precedent. The real Brent arrives a few lines earlier. “I’m a rolling stone,” he declares. “I’m too wild for you to own / In a whip that’s meant to speed.”

While he’s not opposed to settling down, Brent is opposed to slowing down. He told us there was no such thing as too fast, but as we hear at the end of “Wake Up Call,” that’s not totally true. He realizes this as his car tumbles to destruction as he rushes to try and save his pregnant baby mother from a suicide attempt. During the last seconds of Brent’s frantic phone call with her, she bluntly says, “No, you can’t always get what you want.” He once said F*ck The World, and while he was completely in his right to say that, the world now returns the insult. The thing is, the world – this chaotic Wasteland that Brent finds himself in – is through his own creation. “Life moves fast when you do what you want,” he sings on “Jackie Brown.” What he soon learns through this album’s well-crafted, dark, and vivid records is that the fast life is oftentimes a death race rather than a carefree cruise through the city.

Wasteland is out now via Lost Kids LLC. You can stream it here.

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