Brent Faiyaz Just Released a New Project, But Wants To Drop His Next One 'As Soon As Possible'

Brent Faiyaz
Mark Peaced

Brent Faiyaz

After he began uploading his music to Soundcloud in 2014, Maryland-bred rapper-turned-singer Brent Faiyaz hit the ground running. Six years later, he doesn’t plan to stop anytime soon. 

The 24-year-old born Christopher Brent Wood subsequently moved to California to further his career, eventually forming the R&B group Sonder with fellow producers Dpat and Atu, and founding the label Lost Kid. During the end of 2016, he catapulted into public consciousness thanks to his solo EP A.M. Paradox and his work on the crossover hit “Crew” with GoldLink and Shy Glizzy; the latter garnered a Grammy nomination in 2018 for best rap/sung collaboration. Guest features for Paperboy Fabe and the late Juice WRLD followed, and three projects later-- one of which being his 2017 debut album Sonder Son -- Faiyaz has continued the forward momentum with F--k The World.

Led by “Rehab (Winter in Paris)” and the project’s title track, the candid new EP, Faiyaz tells Billboard, was inspired by Lil Wayne, Tupac Shakur and Kurt Cobain, among others. Released Feb. 7, F--k The World includes several tunes with an ethereal, bedroom-ready R&B energy; the 10-song effort once again favors the lyrical sincerity found on Sonder Son, but comes with a slightly more cynical outlook, as Faiyaz’s perspective continues to affect his work.

“I feel like a lot of s--t that comes out now, it doesn't really touch on all aspects of human emotion, you feel me?” he says over the phone of the importance of bringing forth personal evolution in his work. “You'd be surprised how many people do not give a f--k about [how others feel]. Everything is very one-sided. Either everybody's super happy, super sappy, or like, super heartless. [There’s] not really no in-between… I feel like you should talk about everything.”

Gluttonous levels of love, sex and money -- stereotypical epitomes of the rockstar lifestyle -- are central themes of several songs on F--k The World. The multi-hyphenate cuts right to the chase on the snap-heavy “Rehab” (“If you ain’t nasty, don’t ‘@’ me,” he affirms), and throughout “Soon Az I Get Home (Interlude),” he envisions ecstasy with unapologetic anticipation (“I live life on the roam, but soon as I get home, you gon' ride 'til infinity,” he repeats).

However, many tracks on the EP find our hero ruminating on society’s stickiest subjects, such as mental and psychological health and basic human decency. From his disdain for how people treat others (“F--k what set you bang, what hood you claim, we all come from the same,” he croons on the mystical project opener “Skyline”), to questioning the legacy he’ll leave behind on the retrospective “Clouded,” he aims to peel back the good, bad and ugly layers of mankind.

This honest artistic approach, Faiyaz details, helps to identify what sort of content gravitates best among his fan base. “When you're initially making music, you’re kind of just shooting at the air,” he continues. “Once [listeners] tell you what it is that they appreciate about you, it's a little easier to create around that… [I’m afforded] the opportunity to take a step back from reality and just create.” 

Faiyaz’s misanthropic musings remain mostly on wax: he explains that when he gets in “f--k the world”-type moods of his own, the outlet he uses to channel his feelings will always be through song. On Sonder Son’s “First World Problemz/Nobody Carez,” he chastises Donald Trump and offers the worldwide solution of brotherly love, while “Why’z It So Hard” from his 2018 EP Lost is centered around the injustices he faces as a black man. His thoughts on the planet at large have become staples in his work, which he calls “catharsis.”

“People will listen to a song and expect that you just have that persona on all the time,” he says of his perceivably glum demeanor. “But really, that was your one outlet that one day to get that emotion out. The only difference was you put it on a canvas that's going to be there forever.” 

The DMV native is embarking on a multi-city tour beginning to support FTW -- it begins in mid-March in Oregon, and concludes in Minneapolis in early-May. He states he’s most excited to travel to different cities and experience the cultures each new location has to offer. Faiyaz details that he’s also in the midst of working on new material, although some fans may still be learning the words to the songs on his latest offering. While there’s “no telling” when his upcoming project Make It Out Alive will drop, he’s hoping it will be “as soon as possible,” as he laughs about taking no breaks. As recent high-profile deaths have taught him, life is “not guaranteed,” and he hopes to keep “going hard” and letting his artistry shine through.

“I work while I'm on the move, so I'm able to book sessions in different cities,” he says, noting that he was scheduled to head to the studio later that day. “[I’m] just cooking up as much as I can before tour, during the tour, and after the tour, and we piece it together. I'm not even nowhere near what I want to be at. It's just the beginning, for real.”

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