Throughout his five year music career, two studio albums and myriad sultry singles/EPs, Christopher Brent Woods, better known as Brent Faiyaz, has asserted himself as a pillar within the R&B genre and beyond. In the beginning of his career, the Maryland born artist exclusively released his music on Soundcloud, where his current manager Ty Baisden discovered him in 2014. Faiayz released his debut single “Allure” in 2015 and earned people’s attention as the hookman on Goldlink’s platinum single “Crew” and frontman for the band Sonder in years following.
After months of failed label negotiations in 2017, Faiyaz and Baisden launched Lost Kids LLC., an entirely self-funded distribution agency and independent label. Sonder was Lost Kids’ very first investment, and continues to release Faiyaz’s music today. Lost Kids was founded on the basis of prevention of the exploitation of black art. In a 2017 interview, Baisden told the DJ Booth’s Yoh Phillips “information is king in this world, espesically in an industry full of dumb*ss people. That’s your leverage”. Baisden’s years of experience in artist management helped Brent navigate through multiple offers from major labels such as Interscope and Atlantic Records that would in reality yield little profit and too much corporate interference in Brent’s musical process. The growing presence of LLCs and smaller joint venture labels within an oligopolistic music industry dominated by three major corporations will be an interesting trend to observe in coming years.
The most recent addition to the Lost Kids catalog comes in the form of Brent Faiyaz’s latest album, F*ck the World. Released February 7th, the EP is ten songs and just under a half hour long, perfect for a car ride or commute to class. The project starts with “Skyline”, not my favorite off the project but definitely an appropriate introduction song. The track automatically puts the listener in the mood for the rest of the album and serves as an appropriate forecast for the rest of the project. The next song, “Clouded” wasn’t notable. The quiet urgence of the beat on “Been Away” however immediately captured my attention. This song went directly on my r&b/lofi playlist and I’ve been bumping it consistently since its release. In “F*ck The World (Summer in London)” the contrast between Brent’s articulate, gentle tone and the monotone of the chorus on this song made it one of my favorites off the album. The combination of the opposite styles of the bridges/chorus and pensive bass line makes “F*ck The World” one of my favorite songs right now. At the end of the song (around 3:33), Brent speaks directly to the listener saying “I think that some of the qualities that make up people who relate to my music [are] like empathetic narcissism, attention to detail or overindulgent personalities when it comes to sex and drugs; if you don’t get it, you don’t get it. But if you get it, it’s because you live it”. Hot take I guess.
Next up is “Let Me Know”, with some of my favorite lyrics off of the album, serving as a meditative reflection on identity and love in a troubled environment that makes it difficult to truly love oneself, let alone others. “Soon Az I Get Home” didn’t do much for me, perhaps because it is produced in the exact same style as the previous song on the album. I love Faiyaz’s harmony but it might be a tad overdone on this track. It’s also less than two minutes long, not sure it was a necessary addition to the album. “Rehab (Winter in Paris)” is another favorite of mine off this album, the tastefully utilized harmony and bass line won me instantly back. This track made several of my playlists and my everyday rotation. The next song, “Bluffin” and “Lost Kids Get Money” weren’t initially favorites of mine, but grew on me the more I listened to the album. The album finishes with “Make It Out”, a thirty second conclusion to an overall incredibly well done project. Though it’s definitely worth a listen top to bottom, my favorites off “F*ck The World” are “F*ck The World (Summer in London), “Been Away” and “Rehab (Winter in Paris), give them a listen next time you need something to chill to.
Album Rating: 8/10