Two voices collide in Brent Faiyaz’s “Jackie Brown”

5 February 2023 / by Jordyn Lalonde
Brent Faiyaz cover
Song Review
Two voices collide in Brent Faiyaz’s “Jackie Brown”
The song, from Brent’s album ‘Wasteland,’ contains the same R&B clear-cut falsetto vocals that the singer is known for

Doing what you want instead of waiting for someone to enter your life is what “Jackie Brown” by Brent Faiyaz discusses in this rhythmic, entrancing song. 

Christopher Brent Wood, professionally known as Brent Faiyaz, is an American R&B singer, born on Sept.19th 1995 in Columbia, Maryland. He started his music career in 2014 by posting his music on SoundCloud. The first CD he ever bought was by Alicia Keys, and “Take Care” by Drake was a classic that he constantly listened to, making these artists his main inspirations for creating music. Brent rose to fame in 2016 when he was featured on Shy Glizzy’s single “Crew,” which was certified 6x Platinum by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America). The song also earned Brent a nomination for the Grammy Award for Best Rap Song Collaboration. Brent’s music has made him the face of toxic R&B, although he doesn’t personally label himself as such and believes everyone is open to their interpretation of his music. His most recent album ‘Wasteland,’ which contains the song “Jackie Brown,” is his 3rd album. It’s also his first album to be certified gold by the RIAA. Aside from that, Faiyaz has been nominated over the years for awards such as the Grammy Award for Best Melodic Rap Performance (2018), the iHeartRadio Music Award for Best New R&B Artist (2019), the American Music Award for Favorite Male Artist for Soul and R&B (2022), and the Soul Train Music Award for Best R&B/Soul Male Artist.

Brent Faiyaz’s “Jackie Brown” has a smooth introduction and transition into the lyrics and a two-layered vocal: his authentic voice and a higher-pitched version. This contrast between the two creates the effect of a conversation between two separate individuals. Brent tends to do this with quite a few of his songs in the ‘Wasteland’ album. One part of the beat repeats while the other shifts, creating a unique clash of sound. Brent is known for his R&B songs, as he incorporates auto tuned vocals over electronic drums. Faiyaz has a soft and gentle tenor voice, but his range is most impressive when he goes into falsetto – similar to tech-based songs of the ‘90s. 

In the song, Faiyaz describes the dilemma he has with wanting someone and doing his own thing. Yet, the song still lacks lyrical depth or clarity. He sings, “My new bitch look like Halle Berry” but then goes on to say that he wants someone else “Will you be my leading lady?” and then states that while he waits, he’ll do what he wants “In the meantime (I guess I’m doing what I want).” These lyrics make it somewhat hard to understand if he is truly with someone or if he is simply trying to pursue someone that seems unattainable at the moment. 

Overall, Brent Faiyaz’s “Jackie Brown” has some introspective lyricism with smooth transitions between altering rhythms that lend to an intriguing sound.