Brent Faiyaz starts his new album WASTELAND with a philosophical inquiry: can a man still be fundamentally good with a past tarnished by sins and mistakes? The binary between good and bad has been a theme Faiyaz has played with since his previous album Fuck The World, but on WASTELAND he bares all of his faults and forces the listener to reckon with their perception of him. But Faiyaz' journey to become this figure of self-aware hedonism begins in a humble place. By early 2017, Faiyaz had already released music alongside Dpat and Atu as part of the group Sonder, but it was fellow DMV artist GoldLink's hit "Crew" from that March which expanded the then-21-year-old singer from regional acclaim to the mainstream.
Brent Faiyaz is the man some hate to love. Some label him the King of Toxic R&B, and that's probably on-point – the lyrics can cut a little deep, go a little against the grain, but he's also one of the most engaging performers out there. If debut album 'Sonder Son' felt like an illicit pleasure on its 2017 release, then the following EPs and singles underpinned his status.