As CEO of the Dreamville collective, J.Cole has made it a point to only sign artists who he felt had the talent and aspirations to impact people's lives with great music. "Abbas Hamad" who is better known as, "Bas", is the Queens, New York born MC that is one of the first signee's to the powerhouse known as Dreamville Records. Bas' two brothers, "Ibrahim Hamad" and "DJ Moma" are among two of his biggest influences when it came to music as they both paved the path for him to start his music career. Ibrahim has been J.Cole's manager & has helped build Cole's and Dreamville's brand. In the beginning, Bas attended Hampton University in 2005 for a year before he would drop out and head back to Queens to move with the city as a full time hustler. After a near death experience where one of his homies was shot and his car shot at, he decided he needed to let go of that lifestyle. His brother DJ Moma would be one of the first people in his life to steer him in a creative direction after his short stint at school by giving him his laptop to DJ parties. In this XXL interview, Bas would detail his first experience on when he found out he wanted to be a rapper. This would come in 2010 when he went to a homie's crib after a party, recording his first verse over a "Kanye West" beat known as, "Breathe In Breathe Out". Bas states in the interview he got addicted to writing and it soon became a passion and finally a creative outlet that he could dedicate himself to.
Bas would release his first project, "Quarter Water Raised Me Volume I" that next summer on June 7th, 2011 that bolsters the standout track called, "Mook (Feat. 66 Holds)". Although the project was collectively showcasing Bas as a raw prospect on the mic, it definitely exemplified that he had his own unique style that was captivating. Appropriately, Kanye West's sound can definitely be seen as an influence on this tape. Bas would later show a track to J.Cole, who was instantly impressed and was very excited to see how he would develop in the years to come. Bas worked the next two years until he released the second volume of this mixtape series, "Quarter Water Raised Me Volume II" that features the vibrant anthem with J.Cole for his fanbase called, "It's Lit" on May 22, 2013. Around this same time, J.Cole was gearing up to release his sophomore effort, "Born Sinner" but just two months before he released it he would go to Los Angeles to play it for the legendary producer, "No I.D.". In this interview, Bas details how during this same meeting with No I.D., J.Cole would play him songs from, "Quarter Water Raised Me Volume II" and No I.D. loved what he heard. No I.D. wanted to sign him but instead Bas remained loyal to J.Cole. After Cole released, "Born Sinner" Bas would join J.Cole's European Tour and be signed to him once Dreamville became an official label with Interscope Records.
As Bas details in this interview, he got a call from his brother Ibrahim the day before J. Cole would turn in his sophomore debut. He told Bas to come down to the studio to put the last verse on a song on Cole's album called, "New York Times" that featured one of his biggest music influences, another Queen's native MC, "50 Cent". From there Bas would continue to develop his craft and would drop an EP known as, "Two Weeks Notice" that was a small project he put out two weeks before his debut album would release to keep his fans engaged with his music. Bas' debut album, "Last Winter" would release on April 29th, 2014, showcasing the immense growth from the Queens bred MC throughout the project but especially in the standout songs such as, "Fiji Water In My Iron", "Your World" and "My Nigga Just Made Bail". This would propel him to join J. Cole on his Forest Hills Drive Tour in the summer of 2015. Bas just recently dropped his second studio album on March 4th 2016 called, "Too High To Riot" that has him reflecting on his life touring and living the rapper life during these past two years. It has him being introspective on tracks such as, "Live For" and also showing how the chemistry between him and J.Cole has beautifully developed in the track, "Nightjob".
Be on the lookout for Bas as one of Dreamville's rising prospects and be sure to purchase his latest album, "Too High To Riot"! Check out some of his standout tracks below!