Brent Faiyaz’s sound sets himself apart from everyone else. In the playlist area, we’re quick to curate vibes as a faux DJ, but Brent Faiyaz is indeed a vibe. His music holds more depth as an alternative R&B artist in 2020, which makes him distinctive from what you hear on the radio. This is proven on his latest EP Fuck The World. It’s full of honesty with moments that are captivating to say the least. This project easily is full of one-line Instagram captions that are resonating, edgy, and insightful.
“Skyline” opens the album and captures the ear with ease. As soon as the song begins, Brent grabs ahold of you with gentle care, pulling you deeper into his conscious. With his pitchy vocals, there’s an angelic approach that’s seductive and provides attentiveness to his words. He hits us with an ice breaker question: “Do you know what makes this world go around?” It’s a question about our purpose in life. Brent’s ability to ask this tough question while sounding alluring is something my mind can’t fully fathom. To the ear, “Skyline” sounds like a song for the bedroom but instead, it’s a song with philosophical thinking.
Furthermore, this song alone shows he’s not your typical R&B artist. Brent Faiyaz strays away from the traditional style of R&B. He’s not making the lovey-dovey or “pour out my heart” type of songs, but similar to Future, at times he’s unapologetically toxic. His opening line on his record “Rehab” states: “I got too many hoes, but they ain’t you.” It shows he can sometimes be cold-hearted. However, although his lyrics can be toxic that may show his personality of being an empathetic narcissist, he still has a side of him that’s important.
Brent Faiyaz is conscious and introspective. This continues on “Let Me Know,” an uplifting track that speaks on wanting self-love, while also diving into social issues that rage on in the world. “Why do we hurt one another? Fight our brother, kill, and rape? Love can trump it all, I know you have seen it all,” The song also goes deeper into living in a society where being black is a crime. Where black people are being marginalized and hated. “Who can you love when they tell you you can’t love yourself?” he sings. This is an artist who is full of awareness of the world and himself.
In addition, there’s more to discover about his persona. On “Clouded” he wonders about his legacy and how he will be remembered: “Is anybody gon’ remember me?/If I go tonight I doubt the world would change” He then goes into a rather dark place where he speaks about dealing with depression and loneliness: “But they don’t know I’m fightin’ demons. I feel like dyin’ every season. I’ve been swimmin’ in the deep end.”
What makes Brent Faiyaz stand out from his peers is his production. Throughout the EP, there’s full of nostalgic neo-soul sounds that are warm and refreshing. “Been Away” has a bounce that resembles Timbaland’s retro production, similar to when he was working Missy Elliot and Ginuwine. Although it may seem that we are bombarded with music with the same drum patterns and sounds, Brent Faiyaz comes with a sound that’s ethereal and invigorating.
The 10-track project offers something different and refreshing in today’s R&B as he continues to find ways to effortlessly say “Fuck The World” through music.