14 Songs, 39 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Bas had been relatively quiet in the two years following 2016’s Too High to Riot, but the Queens-via-Paris MC offers an explanation for his absence just one song into his third album: “I can’t get jiggy with you clowns/I’m busy, I’ve been giving New York City a whole new sound,” he raps on “Icarus.” It’s a hefty proposition, but one he can back up. The identity of New York's hip-hop scene became increasingly harder to pin down in the post-Dipset era—but much to Bas’ credit, he doesn’t sound like anything else the city has produced. Not unlike his Dreamville label head J. Cole (who appears on the strings-driven “Tribe”), Bas has forged his own lane, eschewing trap beats and drill-friendly production for jazzy instrumentation on songs like “PDA,” where he talks maintaining a relationship as a successful rapper. The MC exercises his singing voice on the African house-influenced “Sanufa,” while additional guests include Dreamville singer Ari Lennox and fellow New Yorkers A$AP Ferg and LION BABE.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Bas had been relatively quiet in the two years following 2016’s Too High to Riot, but the Queens-via-Paris MC offers an explanation for his absence just one song into his third album: “I can’t get jiggy with you clowns/I’m busy, I’ve been giving New York City a whole new sound,” he raps on “Icarus.” It’s a hefty proposition, but one he can back up. The identity of New York's hip-hop scene became increasingly harder to pin down in the post-Dipset era—but much to Bas’ credit, he doesn’t sound like anything else the city has produced. Not unlike his Dreamville label head J. Cole (who appears on the strings-driven “Tribe”), Bas has forged his own lane, eschewing trap beats and drill-friendly production for jazzy instrumentation on songs like “PDA,” where he talks maintaining a relationship as a successful rapper. The MC exercises his singing voice on the African house-influenced “Sanufa,” while additional guests include Dreamville singer Ari Lennox and fellow New Yorkers A$AP Ferg and LION BABE.

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About Bas

The son of Sudanese parents, Bas (born Abbas Hamad) was raised in Paris until the age of eight, when his family moved to Jamaica, Queens. He didn't start rapping until 2010, and that was on a lark, after he was coerced by a friend. Writing and rapping to an instrumental of Kanye West's "Breathe In, Breathe Out" sparked a series of informal sessions that led to being linked with J. Cole. Touring with Cole fostered the fledgling rapper's development as a performer, while mixtape releases such as Quarter Water Raised Me and Quarter Water Raised Me II raised his profile. Cole signed Bas to Dreamville, the Interscope-affiliated label he was getting off the ground. Last Winter, jokingly referred to as "An album from a n*gga who ain't got alotta fans yet," was released as a digital download and a CD in April 2014. It featured appearances from Cole, Mack Wilds, and K-Quick. That June, Bas promoted the set with a brief tour of the U.S. He contributed to Dreamville's Revenge of the Dreamers II compilation in 2015 and released his second proper album Too High to Riot in March 2016. ~ Andy Kellman

HOMETOWN
Khartoum, Sudan
BORN
May 27, 1987

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