Bas Uses His Near-Death Experiences To Come Back To Life (Video)

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Dreamville’s Bas is an artist whose visual content is given as much attention as the words he spits in the booth. Seventy-five percent of 2016’s Too High to Riot was given visual treatments, with nine out of twelve tracks turned into inventive and arresting mini-films. In the past, the Paris-born MC has worked with French creative studio PANAMÆRA and Parisian director Ryan Doubiago, as well as Scott Lazer (whose work Heads may know from J. Cole’s “ATM” video). Bassy seems to make it a point to enlist the creative help of young visionaries to extend the reach of his lyrics, and his latest offering is no different. This time around, he has not only released a beautiful music video, but he’s invited his fans to join him in discussing its meaning.

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The video for “Pinball II” is directed by Andrew Nisinson and plays on themes of death, family secrets, beauty, greed and more. Central to its power is the role Bas plays, a character who transcends space and time and who appears to die as a means of giving life to someone else. There is a lot happening in the video, from a family handling money that’s literally covered in blood, a point-blank shooting, a portal opening up in the ground and domestic violence. Multiple characters die. Bas clearly anticipated fans’ interest in the complex layers presented in it, as he took to Twitter minutes after its release to speak directly to FIENDS. “I’ll give you my thoughts on the themes tonight. Want to give everyone some time I know it’s Tuesday, n****s got lives to lead b. But until then I want to hear your interpretations!,” he said.

Several interpretations have been offered up by fans, including “I feel it might have something to do with trading a life for a life. Maybe?” Another fan suggested “Looks like you were being shown by a guardian/protective entity what the consequences of your actions will ultimately lead you to.” The most astute interpretation came from a fan who said “You couldve been any of those people who died. Is that it?,” to which Bas replied “This hit close to home” and added it’s “non-fiction.”

This may be Bas’ most auto-biographical video to date, according to his Instagram. Yesterday (June 4), he took to the platform to say “Very excited to share the Pinball II visual with you tomorrow. There are themes and messaging throughout this video that apply to my whole album. Journeys I had to undertake the past two + years since Too High To Riot. Starting with this visual and subsequent ones, as well as the album, I hope to convey the lessons learned and my growth as a man. Once all the pieces are on the board, I’d love to discuss it all with you. I put my real life into my albums. I don’t know any other way to do it.”

No announcement has been made about when we can expect a new Bas album, but as he raps on “Pinball II,” “I got a million joints.”