Bas is a Young G with a hustler’s ambition and proves the cliché, your dreams can come true—can happen. After spending a great deal of time recording and in the streets of New York City, he’s beginning to see success from his music. His last solo project, Quarter Water Raised Me Vol 2., gave him some great exposure and displayed different aspects of his life from love to his struggles. Recently he dropped a project with his Dreamville Record label mates titled Revenge of the Dreamers.
Just like Bas had dreams, I had a vision of my own and that was to get this interview. Bas was on tour with J. Cole for the “What Dreams May Come Tour 2” this past January. I had no idea of how I would get into the show since I couldn’t afford it, security was present as well but I wasn’t going to let that stop me from getting this interview. So I hid in the shadows of a back lane in front of the tour bus in -25F weather waiting for my chance to get in. Long story short I found a way in and I represented Mechanical Dummy, this is what came out of it.
Words by. Roger Kimbeni
Mechanical Dummy: You’re project Quarter Water Raised Vol. 2 dropped earlier this summer, how was the whole process of making that tape?
Bas: Man it was dope, a lot of collaborations with some in-house producers, guys I’m real close with so all the music was a blast to make you know what I mean? Like it was never a chore, we had a really good time making this project, a lot of it was on the road. Going out with Cole all those different experiences and just the things you learn, watching a live show every night and then working with Ron Gilmore who plays keys in Cole’s band and Ced who’s a stage manager. Everyone’s homies and they’re really talented producers.
MD: So you did a lot of this project on the road. How do you get creative making music on the road, when you’re not at home and going into studios that you aren’t used to, what makes you so comfortable?
Bas: Well the road is probably the most inspiring place so it’s actually easier to be creative on the road, to me at least because its just constant stimulus, you’re in different cities, you’re meeting different people from different cultures and their responding to your music, you all have a moment. There is nothing more inspiring then meeting new people because you get new stories, new inspiration from them. And you’re in it with a lot of guys who you’re creating the music with so it’s almost like an understood thing, everyone’s in the same mode and it comes out cohesive in the music.
MD: Prior to linking up with the whole team, what was really going on in your life to get to this point?
Bas: Man, uh, all the wrong things to be honest you know? I think I was definitely taking myself for granted in a sense where I was just settling. Growing up in New York City you can learn to move how the city does very easily and get lost in it. I was just blessed that I got out of that situation at the perfect time and I’m blessed that I had niggas that was inspiring me to get out of that. Just having my homies that were making their dreams come true and creating a way for themselves and everyone around them to make a living was eye opening like “Wow, this is all very possible and achievable” you just have to dedicate yourself to it and discipline yourself. When you see that, how can you sleep? How can you not pursue it? It was a no brainer for me, definitely a 180 from what I was doing before in my life, such a great opportunity.
MD: I know you had to be real creative being from NYC where the cost of living is so high, were you working before?
Bas: Um yeah I was, but I don’t know if I would call it a full time gig. I was just getting money in the streets. It’s easy, like in New York its so many people right? You got 12 million people and if you’re there for 18 years and grow up there your whole life you basically have your own market of people. So you get caught up in that and it grows from that and it just gets bigger and bigger, it’s like a supply and demand thing. I was definitely doing the wrong things, selling weed and shit, fucking selling…stolen shit, stolen electronics, my homies had a link and shit it was bad you know? Honestly, this pretty much changed everything for me. I had a huge wakeup call and I just made a conscious decision that I wanted to do better and wanted to do something more sustainable.
MD: Great to see how far you’ve come, steady making music, so what can we look forward to with the next project?
Bas: Next project is called Last Winter, basically it’s this thing that me and a good friend of mine Cedric Brown, who also happens to produce the majority of my work, came up with. He was staying with me at the time—we both went on tour with Cole in 2011. I was just out there working, not performing or anything, but homies brought me out just to see the tour life and to be able to work more on the road. So me and Cedric linked up and started working then. When we came home from Europe, he was staying with me in New York for awhile and it’d be cold, that winter was really cold, we’d be broke you know? We’d make a dope record and we would be like, last winter and look at each other, this is the last time we going to be cold, broke and hurt like this. We’re on a track and we’re going to make something amazing out of it. So that’s the name of this project , it’s really for anybody who sees themselves progressing to new heights and really has that in mind, focuses in on that and truly believes in it. That’s for us, that’s how we felt and it’s a blessing that its coming true day by day you know what I mean? Last Winter look for that, 2014.