For Bas, there’s only one competition and it’s the man he faces everyday in the mirror.
While other emcees are stuck on conforming or emulating the hottest trend in rap, the Queens native instead, and to quote the late great Big Pun, goes “thata way,” as in the opposite route. A quick listen to projects like Last Winter, as well as the slept on Quarter Water Raise Me series (Hear: “Dying Fast”), will prove this. A student of the game with a lot to prove as part of one of the most talented (and consistent) rap labels around, Dreamville Records, Bas sticks out amongst his crowded class of rising rap stars thanks to his reliance on life experiences, which has successfully translated into a transparency with his devoted fanbase.
Where Last Winter saw him painting a narrative about exploring newfound fame, the “Lit” rapper’s latest finds him detailing the flip side. “This is me kind of looking back on the last two years and being like, Damn I’m becoming this dude that I could’ve swore I’d never be and being aware of those things and expressing it,” he tells REVOLT.
This fearlessness in baring his flaws and all for everyone to hear and see is something has always been an added clip in Bas’ artillery, but on Too High to Riot it seems as though he’s been able to perfect the technique. “I’ve gained enough confidence since Last Winter, where I’ve learned to express those crazy thoughts. I think Too High to Riot is just a logical evolution and progression.”
With his focus centered on outdoing his previous work and perfecting his craft, all the while dismissing the typical frenzy that surrounds what’s popular, or as the French say, branché, Bas, as he points out, really is his own competition.
“I feel like I’m still building my catalog. My favorite artists are the ones where on every album I found out something new about you. Because there’s so much nowadays that you’ll hear one hot artist and one hot sound and the radio will get dominated by like 10 clones of that one artist and his sound and that stuff, I feel like it comes and goes,” he notes.
“I want to be around, I want to have a long career. I want, when I’m gone, for people to go back and be like ‘Yo, there was a lot going on in this era, but this dude was on some shit.’”