Album Review | Bas – Too High To Riot

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This album was released on March 4th this year. I’m pretty sure Bas was the first artist that J. Cole signed to his Dreamville label. I first heard him as a feature on some of Cole’s songs—Cousin’s, New York Times, Hell’s Kitchen—and then J. Cole dropped the first Revenge Of The Dreamers project. I don’t remember exactly what I thought of that project as a whole, but it made me a fan of Bas. Golden Goals was cool and everything, but when I heard Lit, I was like “Goddamn. This song is dope af.” I mostly liked it because J. Cole murdered his verse, but Bas did his thing too. He then began releasing more singles for his first album, Last Winter. There are some songs on that album that I really like, but there were plenty of boring tracks too. I’ve been a fan of him ever since I heard Lit tho. That song is dope af. I’m expecting this album to be decent. Hopefully it’s a little better than Last Winter.

Track 1: Too High To Riot (Prod. Cam O’Bi & Ron Gilmore)

Oh God… This beat HEAVILY samples Comfortable by Mick Jenkins. It’s basically the same beat. I’d rather just listen to Comfortable honestly. That’s just in terms of the production tho. I guess the first verse was cool… He’s not really a super lyrical rapper. He’s basically a less introspective J. Cole. If you like that more ignorant side of J. Cole, you’ll probably fuck with Bas. The first time I heard a Bas feature on a Cole song, I just thought it was another J. Cole verse. I had no idea that there was a feature. They’re really similar. I still like Bas tho. J. Cole is better, but it’s not like Bas can’t make good music just because he sounds like another artist. This song in particular is a bit too much for me tho. I always like the production that Bas rhymes over, but I’d really rather just listen to Comfortable by Mick Jenkins. That is a much better song than this. The hook on this song is nothing compared to Comfortable. That’s my biggest problem with this song. Every time I hear it it’s just gonna be compared to Comfortable. It doesn’t do enough to justify it’s existence. I do like the bassline that Cam O’Bi added to this beat, but that’s pretty much it. I’m sure most people will like this, especially if they don’t listen to Mick Jenkins or just haven’t heard the original song, but I can’t get into this. It’s not like his verses were terrible either. The second verse was dope af. “Until your nation apologize / I fuck a European bitch for every African nation they colonized.” I just can’t get passed the production. It’s an alright song. 3/5

Track 2: Methylone (Prod. Ron Gilmore)

Methylone

The way the previous track transitioned into this one was really nice. This beat is dope. The first verse was cool. He’s not a bad rapper. He’s just not that great. Honestly, I don’t even think J. Cole is usually that good. I mean, J. Cole definitely has his moments, but to me he’s usually slightly above average. Bas is just… Well, I already said it when I was talking about the first track. He has some dope line’s. I enjoyed the first verse. The hook is pretty catchy. I fuck with this hook. It’s dope. The second verse was pretty good too. “The way these nigga’s be actin they should be cast in a sequel / Nigga’s phony they only give you dap just to reach you.” The verses weren’t amazing, but I enjoyed them. The music video was pretty boring. I fuck with the song tho. The song’s dope. 4/5

Track 3: Dopamine Feat. Cozz (Prod. Ron Gilmore & Cedric Brown)

Cozz signed to Dreamville in 2014. I’m pretty sure that Cozz is the best MC on Dreamville. He could probably rap better than J. Cole if he wanted to. I never listened to his Cozz & Effect mixtape, but what I’ve heard from him has been great. Damn. This beat is dope af. Cozz is on the first verse. His verse was cool. I definitely think he could’ve done better. Or maybe I was wrong about him, and he’s not as good as I originally thought. It wasn’t bad tho; I still enjoyed his verse. Bas’ verse was actually better than Cozz’s tho. It wasn’t amazing or anything. It was better than I was expecting it to be tho. It was dope. I fuck with this song. The beat’s dope af. Both MCs had good verses. The hook did it’s job. It’s a dope song. 4/5

Track 4: Housewives (Prod. Ron Gilmore & Soundwavve)

Housewives

I feel like such a douchebag right now. I’m one of those assholes sitting in a coffee shop writing on his blog. I hope no one sees me… Anyway, this beat is dope. The hook is good too. The first verse wasn’t bad. Damn. The beat gets really fuckin’ dope during the second verse. Well, it isn’t actually that dope. I just wasn’t expecting it to evolve like that. It’s dope tho. Both of the verses were pretty good. There’s not really anything out of the ordinary here. It’s just a good song. The production is dope, the hook is cool, and Bas did his thing on the verses. This track could definitely get boring after a few listens, but I like it. I fuck with this shit. It’s dope to me. 4/5

Track 5: Miles & Miles (Performed by K-Quick, Ron Gilmore & Ari Lennox) [Prod. Ron Gilmore]

This is basically an interlude. It’s actually dope. There’s no rapping. The production is fantastic, and the vocals are really dope. There’s little to no substance in these lyrics. It’s just K-Quick singing “Do you feel the vibe.” I guess that’s kind of interesting because he sang the same shit on his little bridge on Lit. I don’t even know if I should rate this. Just for the record, this would probably get a 4/5, but I’m gonna treat this like a skit or interlude or some shit. It’s less that two minutes long. Oh shit. The employees at this coffee shop are arguing. Haha. This lady’s mad because the other employees are talking and laughing instead of doing work. “If you guys have nothing better to do you need to help me clean the floors.” That was pretty much it tho. Not really much of an argument. She did sound a little pissed off when she said that tho. Anyway, I enjoyed this track, but I’m not gonna rate it.

Track 6: Live For (Prod. Ogee Handz & DikC)

…Why is his name DikC? Alright, whatever; it doesn’t matter. The track is starting now. This beat is dope af. This is definitely the most uh… Introspective? That doesn’t seem like the right word… Fuck. It’s right on the tip of my tongue. FUCK. I guess this is the most… the most… God damnit. I really know what word I’m looking for. Well, I guess the content on this track is a lot more emotional and deeper than the others. At first he was rapping to his auntie who passed away. After the first few bars, the lyrics get kind of general. If it weren’t for the first 9 bars, you’d have no idea that this was about a family member who passed away. It’s still a good song tho. I really enjoyed it. It’s just one verse. It’s less than three minutes long. I love the beat, and even tho he didn’t really stay on topic, it was still very well written. I’m not in love with his flow tho. I didn’t really like how after every few bars, he would take a break and just let his words echo with a pitch shift. It also kinda started sounding like a weird love song at one point. I still enjoyed this song a lot tho. It’s a dope song. I fuck with this. 4/5

Track 7: Clouds Never Get Old (Prod. Ogee Handz, DikC & Jay Kurzweil)

Clouds Never Get Old

This beat is alright. I’m not really feelin’ this hook. Or the vocals on the intro. This isn’t gonna be for me. I can already tell. I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be the love song for this project. Some of these bars are kinda weird… “She was lit, I was milk / Girl don’t let that milk spoil.” …What? “I was milk.” What the fuck? You were milk? What the hell does that mean? That’s weird as fuck… “She was lit, I was milk.” Maybe he’s not saying milk… I don’t know. These lines aren’t connecting for me. I feel like OVO fans would like this shit. It’s not for me. I’m usually not into love songs anyway. I’m not really feelin’ this one. Nothing stands out. The beat wasn’t doing anything for me. I didn’t like the vocals on the intro & outro either. I can’t fuck with this. This is wack to me. 2/5

Track 8: Matches Feat. The Hics (Prod. Ron Gilmore)

Matches.jpg

Apparently The Hics is an Electronic band from the UK. That’s cool. I like it when Hip Hop artists have Electronic influenced production. Sometimes. It doesn’t alway turn out good. Hopefully this one will tho. This beat is dope. The first verse wasn’t bad. Honestly, I wasn’t really paying attention to anything he was saying. It sounded like he was rhymin’ to some girl. This is definitely some Drake shit. I mean, it’s not super soft like Drake, but it’s kinda like how he’s always like “Hey, girl.” You know? He’s just talkin’ to this chick who he’s obviously into, and I’m just over here like, “Who gives a fuck?” This kinda shit doesn’t interest me at all. Anytime an MC is makin’ a song, and it’s rapped in second person, and it’s obviously targeted towards females, I just lose all interest. Not that you can’t like a song because of your sex, or gender, or sexual orientation. It’s just a personal thing for me. Obviously there are exceptions, but I don’t like being talked to like this. “Probably was the reason that your dog hate me / But fuck that bitch like the law baby / Girl I’m just playing but I’m off though / We should grab a drink before we link up at the cross road.” It just seems like some shit that a female high school student would listen to. I think it’s more of an age thing than a gender thing. This feels like it’s marketed towards high school students. I AM a high school student, so you would think that I would be into this kinda shit. I’m just not tho. Wow. I’ve been talking about this for a long time. You know what the funny thing is? It’s not even that I don’t like the song. I think it’s dope. There are just certain things that I don’t like about it. That was only the first verse tho. The hook is dope. I like the female vocals from The Hics. The second verse was pretty dope. He wasn’t rhymin’ in second person. I fuck with this song. I know I was kinda talkin’ out my ass before, but it’s a good song. I don’t wanna come off as that asshole who’s like “THIS SONG IS FOR GIRLS, SO I CAN’T ENJOY IT!” It’s just a small nitpick I had. I don’t like being rapped to in second person like that. I like the song tho. It’s dope. 4/5

Track 9: Night Job Feat. J. Cole (Prod. Cedric Brown, K-Quick & Ron Gilmore)

Night Job.jpg

Is K-Quick signed to Dreamville? Probably not. He works a lot with Bas, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard him on a song with J. Cole or even Cozz or Omen. Not that I’ve heard that much music by Cozz or Omen, but you know what I mean. Anyway, this beat is dope af. This Jeremih sample is great. The first verse wasn’t anything special. He was just rapping about bad bitches and shit like that. “I’m on my night job, slim waist with them fat thighs / Never been baptized, but she soak me all in her holy water / I’m one of five, she the only daughter / She ain’t used to sharing, I ain’t used to caring.” It didn’t really do much for me to be honest, but it wasn’t bad. It was just there. Cole’s goin’ in now. He did his thing I guess. It was kinda underwhelming, but I’m not trippin’ over it. I’m not really into J. Cole like I used to be. I feel like if you know nothing about Hip Hop, you probably think he’s the greatest of all time. He’s really not that good. He is good tho. Just not that good. He’s definitely one of the best that gets any mainstream attention. Probably second behind Kendrick. Unless Pusha T gets mainstream attention. If we’re counting Pusha T, then Cole’s in third. He’s good tho. Bas’ second verse was dope. J. Cole’s goin’ in again. Maybe he’ll do better on his second verse like Bas. Damn. Okay, he actually kinda went off on that verse. That was dope. His flow was great. “Fuck your co-sign, that nigga can’t fuck with Cole neither / Don’t ask for a feature, we bring a whole liter of Ether to eat ya / We got heat for niggas, keep reachin’.” Cole definitely out rapped Bas. He does that every time he’s on a song with Bas tho. That was to be expected. I fuck with this song. This is dope af. 5/5

Track 10: Ricochet Feat. The Hics (Prod. The Hics, Ron Gilmore & Jay Kurzweil)

I just wasted $7.79 on a shitty chicken club from this coffee shop. It’s Starbucks by the way. I don’t know why I didn’t just say that in the first place. I don’t know how I feel about this hook. The beat’s not bad. I like the female vocals before the first verse. Ehhh. The first verse is… Ehhh. Oh God. This is kinda… bad. It’s boring as hell. I’m not fuckin’ with the hook or the first verse. The beat was kinda cool, but that’s it. The last verse sounded like it could’ve been good, but it faded out before he really got a chance to say anything. I’m not really feelin’ this track. It’s wack to me. 2/5

Track 11: Penthouse (Prod. Ron Gilmore)

This beat is dope af. The first verse is kinda cool I guess. I like the fast pace, but it’s not that impressive lyrically. The hook does it’s job. The second verse was long as shit. It was dope tho. I fucked with the second verse. I wasn’t really feelin’ his melodic delivery, but I don’t think this is a bad song. It didn’t really stand out to me much. It’s okay. If you’re really interested in what Bas has to say, you’ll probably like this. I’m gonna have to pass on this one tho. It’s average. 3/5

Track 12: Black Owned Business (Prod. Subdaio)

This beat is dope af. It sounds kinda familiar. Oh. It has a Madvillain sample. Sir Michael Rocks used the same sample on his song Memo a few years ago. You know, the sample on the title track bothered me because it was the same one that Mick Jenkins used, but this one is okay for me because it’s not the same beat. The differences in production on Too High To Riot & Comfortable were very slight, but you can tell that this is a different beat. There was a lot more effort put into this one. The first verse was alright. The hook is fine. The second verse was kinda cool. I like the way he started it out by saying “Your favorite movie is on, it’s called ‘Attack On Niggas” It’s just not that good tho. I think he could’ve had a more exciting outro to his album. It’s kinda cool, but nah. I don’t think it’s bad. I would never listen to this again tho. Not voluntarily. If it comes on I’ll be cool with it, but I won’t actively be playin’ this shit. It’s alright. 3/5

Final Thoughts:

I kinda enjoyed this album. A little bit. It’s hard to call it a “good” album because Bas really isn’t that good of an MC. He’s not bad at all tho. He’s just slightly above average. I think I said this earlier, but he’s basically just J. Cole Lite. If you think J. Cole is amazing, you’ll think Bas is good. If you think J. Cole is good, you’ll think Bas is slightly above average. This is basically just a J. Cole album with less substance. It’s not bad. Just really not that good. I think I enjoyed Last Winter more than this. I think if you like J. Cole you should give Bas a chance. He’s not as good as J. Cole, but he has his moments. That’s really all I can say tho. The production was cool. I wish it was more varied because I started getting a little bored towards the end, but the beats themselves definitely weren’t bad. The album started out fine, but it lost a lot of steam towards the end. It’s cool tho. I mean, I don’t think it’s good, but it’s definitely not a bad album. It’s cool. There’s not a lot of wack music on here. There’s not a lot of great music on here either tho. He played it safe. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. I’m sure J. Cole fans will eat this shit up. I’m more interested in J. Cole’s actual projects tho. Or Cozz. Cozz is dope. This wasn’t a bad album. I’m glad I listened to it. There’s a fair amount of good music on here. Just very little great music. I enjoyed it tho. Kinda. It’s alright.

Favorite Song: Night Job

Least Favorite Song: Ricochet

Verdict:

69%

MEH

Tell me if I’m trippin’ in the comments below.

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Watch the videos below for more thoughts on this album.

Follow me on Twitter: @OGNickMarsh

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