May 27, 2020 feature essay music

Happy birthday to an artist who’s quietly snuck into my favorites recently: Bas.

Check out the above music video for "Risk", Bas' collaboration with FKJ. It's the latest of many songs that have given me a greater appreciation for Bas.

Please do yourself a favor and watch the video even if you’ve heard the song before. The water color art is calming, tranquil, and adds another layer of pensiveness to an already introspective and chill track.

Maybe it’s that chill and introspective nature of his music that's let his songs creep into my library one by one, until seemingly overnight I realized I had an album's worth of favorite songs from him.

"Last Winter"

I know this is the first song I saved by Bas but I never actually listened to the album it's off, "Last Winter".

I want to blame it on me not rocking with J. Cole's meta and 4th wall breaking intro to guest verse. I still stand by that but I really should have checked out the album.

"Too High to Riot"

"Live For" off Bas' 2016 "Too High to Riot" is one of my favorite songs ever. I probably found the album through the great single "Night Job" and its J. Cole feature, which was featured on both "Too High to Riot" and "Revenge of the Dreamers II".

"Too High to Riot" s dreary and sedate sound really connected me when it released and the production is amazing. Unfortunately "Too High to Riot" got lost in the shuffle when that season of music also brought me albums like Koi Child's "Koi Child", Domo Genesis' "Genesis", Beyoncé's "Lemonade", and The Internet's "Ego Death".

First off, who knew that new music releases would only become more saturated today, and secondly what a good time for self-titled albums.

"Milky Way"

Two years later and boom, Bas hits us with "Milky Way".

This switch up in style, with more upbeat music, hit me at the perfect time.

Songs like "Tribe" became my soundtrack to spending more time outside and focusing on myself. As much as I love the moodiness of "Too High to Riot", "Milky Way" brought me back to the positivity of songs like "Last Winter" s "Just Made Bail" which is something I needed.

Speaking of that song and music video, his FIENDSHOP merch and aesthetic is fire. This is not a plug.

This album is also when I started to notice how poetic Bas is, a characterstic I somehow skimmed over before and one that I appreciate even more now in sonlike "Risk". His style on some songs was a good reminder that every song doesn't need to be lyrically dense and sometimes less is more.

"Revenge of the Dreamers III"

After a summer off, "Revenge of the Dreamers III" completely brought back Dreamville season for me.

Coming off his banger collaboration with labelmate JID, "Fried Rice", Bas killed all his features on ROTD3. That included more bangers like "Down Bad" & "Costa Rica" as well as more "Milky Way" vibe songs like "Self Love".

Day N Vegas

Finally it all came together for me at the Day N Vegas festival in Las Vegas. Bas tore it down going through hits from every album and bringing Dreamville members on stage (as well as returning the favor during J. Cole's set later that night).

I immediately went back to revisit his older work, including "Too High to Riot" for the first time in years, and I couldn't believe I'd let it fall out of rotation.

What's Next?

And finally that brings us back to "Risk" which inspired this post. (I embedded it again to give you another shot if you haven't hit play yet).

With such diverse sounds there's some Bas out there for any music fan.

In fact while I was writing this post, he even dropped off a killer guest verse on Kota the Friend's "BQE":

I'll be looking forward to more Bas but until then, it’s finally time for me to check out his "Last Winter" debut.

Thanks for reading.