The rapper Bas was welcomed to the Grog Shop on Feb. 13 by screaming crowds on the Cleveland stop of his Milky Way tour, promoting his third album, “Milky Way,” which was released this past August.
The Paris-born rapper spent much of his childhood in New York City, the birthplace of many of legendary rap artists, including Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, Tupac, 50 Cent and Nicki Minaj. Despite these influences, he did not start rapping until 2010, when persuaded by a friend.
Since then, Bas, born Abbas Hamad, is on the rise. In 2014, he released his first album, “Last Winter” and his second album, “Too High to Riot” less than two years later. With hits like “Fiji Water In My Iron” and “Night Job,” Bas amassed a large following, with more than three million monthly listeners on Spotify.
Bas is currently signed on J. Cole’s Dreamville Records and Interscope Records and has collaborated with him on multiple songs, including “Lit,” “Tribe” and “Night Job.”
The camaraderie between the two is evident. They work very well together, creating upbeat tunes you can easily find on the dance floor. J. Cole stood by Bas even when he “ain’t got alotta fans yet”.
Rapper Rexx Life Raj opened for Bas. The California native, born Faraji Wright, had a fulfilling football career, receiving a scholarship as an offensive player for the Boise State University Broncos. After graduating with a communications degree, Wright decided against a professional athletic career, opting to make music instead.
Wright released a pair of EPs in 2014 and has collaborated with many different artists since, including Russ, Pharrell and G-Eazy.
Also featured were Maryland-born rapper Innanet James and Los Angeles-based rapper Correy C. James’ laid-back style has amassed an increasing number of listeners and he released the music video for his song “Memories” featuring Taliwhoah just a few days ago. James has also worked with other artists including Pusha T. Correy C. began rapping on SoundCloud in 2016 and is now signed to the record label The Committee LLC and has collaborated with other artists like Cozz and Meez.
The dynamic concert was viewed to be a success among many spectators. “I loved the broad range of music,” said fourth-year student Jennifer Lin. “I was able to have a good time even though I didn’t really know any of [Bas]’ songs.”
This stop in Cleveland marked the final weeks of his Milky Way tour, which has been highly anticipated since the album dropped. Bas promoted the album and tour with subtle comments about milk.
Bas even participated in a milk test, with media company Mass Appeal. Spoiler alert: whole milk is his favorite. “Don’t skim yourself,” the self-proclaimed milkman advises, as he half-heartedly tries the skim milk. “You might as well drink water b,” he comments.
Bas’ tour finishes out in several big cities including Columbus, Ohio, Dallas and Nashville, Tennessee within the next two weeks.