Photography by @IshaShahPhotography
On the heels of his most recent release, Boca Raton (featuring A$AP Ferg), a tropically-infused energetic, breezy record, Dreamville’s veteran resident, New York rapper Bas, has hit the UK this week in the lead up to Wireless festival.
London’s rustically charming XOYO was the third stop of a 3-date tour that sees Bas play in Manchester, Birmingham and the capital, in the lead up to his Friday set at Wireless Festival, where his fellow Villain (and boss) J Cole, is set to headline.
Following the soothing vibrations and bass lines hailed down from London-based neo-soul duo, The Hics, also a collaborator with Bas on his last album, Too High To Riot, the iconic XOYO steadily and increasingly sweaty venue crammed in to just shy of 800. Just before 9pm, The Hics wrap with an entrancing a cappella.
DJ Nitrane took the stage, and blasted out KOD’s Kevins Heart. The speakers power was matched with a forceful, aggressive crowd reaction (England concede in the final minute of extra-time.) With his hyped arrival on stage, the man of the moment broke into the album title track Too High To Riot followed by a new unreleased cut from the next album, a common trend throughout the night.
Followed by a warm welcome, Bas stomped straight into Methylone, one of the leading tracks from his sophomore project. His stern bounce across the compact stage had the room bouncing at the drop of the chorus, at which point his brazen smile swept across his face, basking in the crowds reception and reciting.
Continuing a constant flow of ‘Bas hits’ from the Dream villains’ latest album, which he toured in the UK just last year, Bas’ multi-city show stop arrives in the lead up to a third album which we can expect later this Summer. You’d be forgiven for believing it feels too soon for a third album, though you’d also be forgiven for forgetting the last effort was in fact released 2 years ago in 2016. His sounds define perennial and his vibe…contagiously buoyant.
Though it remains unclear whether Boca Raton is a cut off the new album or simply a stand-alone collaboration, Bas wasn’t reserved enough to keep from sharing a few new tracks with the room as he jumped off stage and danced his way through the people to the bar.
His ‘bangers’ per se, being Lit, Housewives and Revenge of The Dreamers’ Night Job quickly became the focus point of the evening as Bas’ energy continued with a soul-penetrating bass and melodious light tones jumping out of the speakers. Somewhere in between his continuous fan banter, phone stealing-selfies, and inviting a fan on stage to spit a J Cole verse, however, the pinnacle of the night undoubtedly resided in the response XOYO gave when he previewed a new, head-bopping Caribbean-infused track with Cole from the upcoming album was incomparable to anything he’s probably ever experienced…hell, he even tweeted about it.
Only 30 or so seconds in did he realise the excitement of the new track was alas, heavily surpassed by a cultural phenomenon (England won on penalties). He embraced the moment, head bouncing, microphone out, letting London have their moment.
Though now fully engrained into the tresses of New York rap, Bas epitomises the full body, with his intricate wordplays, double entendres and soulful vibes, his work rests somewhere between conscious and mainstream. The perfect balance. Summer 2018 is set to be an exciting time for the rapper, who’s work embodies all of this plus, from what we’ve heard thus far, more, widespread musical influences. Get ready for the super mookin’ fiends this summer!
Check out ticketweb.co.uk/xoyo for upcoming shows at XOYO.
For upcoming Bas shows in the UK head over here.