The Come Up: Bas
From Charles De Gaulle to JFK, the Queens-bred MC is ready to expand his horizons.
Abbas “Bas” Hamad didn’t start rapping until his 23rd birthday. Most rappers pick up the pen and pad during their adolescent years, but the Paris-born, Queens-bred rapper didn’t catch the bug until adulthood. As the now 26-year-old recalls, he was DJing a party and got back to his homie’s house to chill out after a night of drinking. His friend, who would often freestyle for fun, opened up GarageBand on his MacBook and encouraged Bas to rap some rhymes. After a moment of hesitation, Bas says he laid down some vocals over Kanye West’s “Breathe In, Breathe Out.” The next day, he showed his boys the rough cut and they were pleasantly surprised at what they have heard.
Even with such a short span in the rap game, Bas has done a lot to be in the position he’s in today. His big break came off his song “Lit,” which features J. Cole and KQuick, and originally appeared on 2013’s Quarter Water Raised Me Vol. II. The response upped his notoriety and gained more momentum for his mixtape that was released on Datpiff. Soon after, Bas was featured on “New York Times” with 50 Cent on Born Sinner and also appeared with his mentor on “Hell’s Kitchen” for DJ Khaled’s Suffering From Success. To bring his accomplishments full circle, it was announced that Bas was the first artist signed to Cole’s Dreamville label.
The bigger platform only serves as a proving ground for him. On April 29, Bas released his major label debut Last Winter. He’s currently still pushing his individual effort that did decent numbers on the charts this week (3,600 copies sold), despite being an unknown name. Now that his music is out to the masses, he's fully prepared to take it on the road and widen his fanbase. We spoke to him during his album release week about living in Paris during his younger years, how he met J. Cole, the concept behind Last Winter and what he’s got going on later this year. Get to know Bas in The Come Up.—Eric Diep