Queens rapper Bas came through the Music Choice offices to take a trip through some old tweets and decide if he’d “Delete or Retweet”. His intense dislike of British Airways and clout chasing are topics of discussion and the Dreamville-signed rapper does not hold back.
The rapper also stuck around to answer some questions about his brand new album Milky Way and his creative process. He also had some choice words for Houston Astros star José Altuve. Watch the video above and then scroll down for the insightful Q&A!
Congratulations on the release of Milky Way. The word “milk” is such a big part of this rollout and your persona, what’s the deal?
It’s a Queens term. Some of the guys in the borough made it up and we all champion it. It’s like your sauce, your drip, your confidence, self-affirmation. The things you find that make you, you.
What’s your “milk” then?
Man, I’m dripping in it. My milk is everywhere. For me, it was really about, kind of taking all the aspects of where I come from. I grew up all over the place. My family is from Africa, I was born in France and grew up in Queens. It was you, not about assimilating, it was about celebrating all those things and trying to present them to the world.
So how did all those things come together in the creation of this album?
In the sounds, there’s a lot of Afro Caribbean vibes, Brazilian beats, South African house, New York rap. There are trap beats, there are French electronic samples. All these places I draw inspiration from. It wasn’t worrying whether pockets of my fan base wouldn’t understand it was being as much me as I could.
Your last two singles (“Tribe” feat. J. Cole and “Boca Raton” feat. A$AP Ferg) have these breezy vibes and the videos were shot in tropic locales. Do you just really need a vacation?
My life’s been a vacation honestly. A lot of my previous work was so pensive and introspective, I wanted to give people my personality and if you hang out with me you know that this album is 100% my energy if we’re chilling or go on vacation. I wanted to give my fan base that and peel back another layer and showcase my personality.
Did that ever worry you about how people would accept you moving away from a more introspective vibe and bringing all these disparate influences together?
I think every artist has bouts of insecurity when you’re creating and putting your life out there. Your growth and maturity are then out there for people to dissect. You just have to toss that to the wind. If you feel it, do it. Don’t worry about who’s going to stop listening to you or start listening to you. You just gotta do it. At the end of the day whatever you leave behind, your legacy, you can say that was me.
I was reading that you have a bunch of interests outside rapping. Did you for real used to build computers as a kid?
Me and my cousin when we were like thirteen a lot of our elders had no clue about computers at all. Computers used to be so expensive. So we did the math like we could take a thousand dollars and build a computer for like five hundred bucks and then go buy some Jordans with the leftover money. New York will teach you how to hustle. You find a market and you exploit it.
Back then my mom was telling me to stop messing with computers and video games. Now homies are on Youtube making tons of money a month just playing video games! That could have been me and my mom made me stop! I think I was smarter back then. Now I just rap like everyone else on the internet.
With all your varied interests and your brain working in different ways, creatively and technically, do you have any ambitions to do things outside of rap?
I’d like to write movies or a show. I write anecdotes on my phone anytime something crazy happens, I write it down. Knowing that some point if I write a screenplay I have all these moments that could crack people up or give them a little perspective.
Not to give any hot ideas away, but what’s the feel for one of the screenplays or shows?
Oh man, I have so many. Honestly, 99% of these conversations happen when everyone is just stoned to death. It’d be something like Superbad. Where I can throw in these stories, I don’t know the entire plot, I just know that I hang out with so many idiots and there are a million funny stories I could eventually tell.
You recently branched out into some commercial work in a spot with New Balance and Houston Astro José Altuve. What was that experience like?
It was my first time reading lines for anything and I was a little nervous, but I smashed it.
Altuve is a great dude. I’m a big Yankee fan so I was cursing at my TV the whole ALCS last year. I told him that he broke my heart. He singlehandedly beat the Yankees every game. Really though he was awesome. Real humble and down to Earth. He wasn’t on any superstar stuff, even though he could be, he was the MVP of the league! I just have to say to him, “take it easy on the Yankees man.”
Lastly, as a man with a glorious beard, can you share any secrets or upkeep tricks on how you maintain?
You gotta stay moisturized. Can’t get dry and flaky. Get some oil that works for you. My cousin got some oil she makes. Get you some coconut oil. Do everything with that. Take it off your beard and make an omelette. That’s kind of gross but you can do it. Just keep that beard juicy and moisturized.