Bas Is More Proof That J. Cole Has Assembled One Of The Best Rosters In Hip-Hop (Audio)
With 2016’s Too High to Riot, Bas released a gem of an album that was as much of a visual triumph as it was sonic. He released music videos for nine of the LP’s 12 tracks and produced documentaries following his expansive world tours in support of the album. The Dreamville signee nearly cracked the Top 5 on US Rap Albums charts and remained a busy collaborator, appearing on projects from his “Housewives (Remix)” partner Ab-Soul and label cohorts Spillage Village, among others. He now releases his first new single since “Methylone” and he is not playing any games with it, combining it with an official lyric video.
Bas dug deep into his back catalog for “Pinball II,” which is a follow-up to a track on his 2013 mixtape, Quarter Water Raised Me Vol. 2. Produced by the original “Pinball” beat-smith Cedric Brown (“Night Job,” “Dopamine”), the track also incorporates additional production from J. Cole, Ron Gilmore (“Methylone,” “Matches,” “Miles and Miles”), KQuick (“Night Job”) and Tec Beatz. Much like the song on Too High to Riot and “Pinball II”‘s namesake, Bas ricochets all over the place, not wasting any of the beat’s surface space as he raps about bouncing back even when the game is rigged against you.
“Shine Black man melanin gold / I hope you never get old / Keep your youthful spirit / I know the world do fear it,” he begins. For the first few opening bars, the beat behind him is suspended and by the time it drops near the 0:41 mark, Bassy hits his sweet spot, spitting “Look, I have seen more than my time / Lived nine lives for about 20 cats over / I told ya everything you’ve done, I done overdid / I’m over it / Ni**a, Dreamville / The whole coast how we shouldered it.” His most powerful lyrics kick in at the 1:47 mark when he says “Smokin’ blunts ’cause that’s the way I live / And where I live? / Ni**as dyin’ in front of their shorty, wives / And they brothers ride on the other side / Every death is like 100 lives / Flat-lined from the black nine / I could feel the pressure multiplyin’ / Make you feel like ain’t no hope in tryin’ / But we always tryin’.”
Featured on “Pinball II” is Correy C, a Dreamvillain who represents South Central Los Angeles’ Crenshaw District and released Digital Scale earlier this year.