Bas started rapping as a lark and within a decade became a central member of the Dreamville roster with Last Winter (2014), Too High to Riot (2016), and Milky Way (2018), charting albums characterized by thoughtful and versatile wordplay.
The son of Sudanese parents, Bas (short for Abbas Hamad) was raised in Paris until the age of eight, when his family moved to Jamaica, Queens. Coerced by a friend, he started rapping in 2010, and a series of informal sessions later was linked to J. Cole. Bas' development as a performer was fostered by touring with Cole, who eventually signed the fledgling artist to his Interscope-affiliated Dreamville label. 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 and Mack Wilds and debuted on Billboard's R&B/hip-hop chart at number 18. Bas contributed to Dreamville's Revenge of the Dreamers, Vol. 2 compilation in 2015 prior to releasing his second proper album, Too High to Riot, the following March. Highlighted by "Night Job" and more lucid and energized than indicated by its title, the full-length went Top Ten R&B/hip-hop and cracked the Top 50 of the Billboard 200.
Milky Way followed in August 2018, becoming Bas' third consecutive Top 20 R&B/hip-hop entry and debuting on the Billboard 200 at number 35, pushed by the breezy, Edu Lobo-sampling Cole collaboration "Tribe." The following spring, he teamed up with fellow Dreamville rapper J.I.D for the K-Quick-produced single "Fried Rice." It appeared on Spilled Milk, Vol. 1 (the first of an episodic series of EPs) along with appearances from Ari Lennox, EarthGang, and Kiddominant, among others. ~ Andy Kellman