Sun. Jun 16th, 2024

If you don’t know who Brent Faiyaz is, then you should. This 26-year-old R&B singer is from Maryland, but he relocated after high school to North Carolina. One of his most popular songs was with Goldlink and Shy Glizzy, called “Crew.” He’s known for making very “toxic” music, with which he doesn’t always agree.

His newest album, Wasteland, was something fans have been wanting for awhile. He finally released the album to fans in July, to generally positive reviews. It’s a personal favorite of mine, and today we’re going to review it.

The first song off the album is “VILLAIN’S THEME.” In the track, he talks about people labeling him toxic and calls it an “internet word” or a “Twitter word.” Jorja Smith also interjects during much of the song and debates what he says.

In “LOOSE CHANGE,” Genius the music website writes, the song “sees Brent questioning the authenticity of love after finally achieving fame. From friends turned enemies to disloyalty rippling through his relationships, he feels like he can’t ever catch a break living this lifestyle.” He ends the track with a quote from an old GTA game: “Ah, shit, here we go again,” which has been making the rounds as a meme in the last couple of months.

“GRAVITY,” featuring DJ DAHI and Tyler the Creator, was released in 2021. The song’s subject is Tyler and Brent talking about the struggles of being in a relationship while also traveling a lot. With part of the chorus being “I’m on (don’t act like I’m average, come on) but you want me home (home), I’d get you what you want (superstar status), but you want me alone (I’m gone, baby, I’m active).”

One of my personal favorites is “HEAL YOUR HEART (INTERLUDE),” in which Brent sings to his lover about how their future together is going to be magical and how he’s always going to be there for them and hold them down. It’s a beautiful track right after Gravity.

But switching from this to “SKIT: EGOMANIAC” shows the toxicities people portray him as. In the skit, a woman is yelling at Brent (in the song, his character name is Chris) about how she’s carrying his baby but he’s never home and never there for her even though she moved away from her family for him, to which he responds “That’s crazy.” The track ends with Brent leaving for the airport and her saying an eerie goodbye. The hypocrisy in healing your heart and egomaniac is so funny, yet so crazy to hear.

“ALL MINE” quickly grabs your attention. Genius takes the song as “an ode to Brent’s current baby mother, which sees him sugar coat their memories to keep her loyal to him.”

“PRICE OF FAME” isn’t a standout for me and was released before on an EP he did in 2021.

“GHETTO GATSBY” grabs my attention back with the Alicia Keys feature. Keys had this soft but lethal tone throughout the track. In the song, Brent talks about the plethora of model women he has in his sprinter. He also talks about the woman he’s with not being satisfied with how he acts and treats her.

Uber XL: “Love stains in the back seat, windows down, and I would hate to drive past me.” You can make your judgment on what that means. Keys, in her verse, talks about being self-made and having everything she could want or need. We don’t see her stunt often in her songs, so it was cool to listen to.

“WASTING TIME,” featuring Drake and the Neptunes, was a single off the album and has a cool vibe.

One of the more popular tracks, “ROLLING STONE,” has Brent telling his lover basically how much of a rolling stone he is and not to be disappointed when he can’t commit fully.

“FYTB” featuring Joony comes and goes and follows the same theme as the rest of the album.

“SKIT: OBLIVION” has Brent in a car with another woman who is not his baby mama as they flirt and play around in the car as he denies a phone call from his baby mama.

“DEAD MAN WALKING” sees Brent flaunting being lit and living his life to the fullest.

The following four tracks, “ADDICTION,” “ROLE MODEL,” “JACKIE BROWN,” and “BAD LUCK,” are more of the same theme but are still good.

Coming to the end of the album, “SKIT: WAKE UP CALL” is very dramatic and dark, with Brent coming home to a house where his baby momma is not there, so he calls her. When she expresses she has had enough of all the lies and betrayals, “I fuckin’ hate you…You’re the worst thing that ever happened to me….You will never see this baby I will never see this baby,” she cries. The skit pulls on your emotions as Brent pleadingly tells her that the bell makes things right, but she doesn’t want to hear it. He begs to know where she is, he makes his way back to his car as he calls the police. While driving, he gets in a car crash as the track ends.

The last song track is “ANGEL.” Genius describes the song as “…the final song on Brent Fiyaz’s sophomore album, Wasteland.” This song would represent the protagonist Chris losing his wife to suicide (see “SKIT: WAKE UP CALL).

This was my first time listening to a full-length Brent album, and he lived up to his blunt and toxic persona. It made me want to listen to more of his catalog, it’s a very solid project. My favorites are the skits: Heal your heart, Loose Change, Ghetto Gatsby, Rolling Stone, Addictions, Angel, and the Villain’s Theme (so basically most of the album).

Isaiah Ireland is a second-year media and culture major with a minor in digital marketing.

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