On the heels of a 43-city US tour, as well as 8 shows on the African continent including his native Sudan, Dreamville’s indigenous signee Bas brought his Milky Way Tour to the UK. Two years after his sophomore album Too High To Riot, Milky Way marks the rappers third, and most definitive project yet. The album sees Bas rollick his way through an easy, bouncy, exotic sonic landscape – an energy which was ever-present throughout his growth, but now appears to have flourished.
So with his assured arrival on the stage at London’s sold-out Village Underground to the soothing Hics / Ari Lennox-graced backing vocals of the albums introductory ‘Icarus’, the energy in the room harmonised with his own. This tranquil yet excited arrival was quickly flipped with the dive into a bar-loaded ‘Purge’, one of the few unapologetically-dimmer rap records from the Milky Way album.
Whilst both Bas and his breezy, beautifully-sculpted project prove seemingly effortless, his presence elucidated any uncertainties. As though a conductor had taken centre-stage, his control of the crowd, DJ Nitrane, keyboardist Justin, and himself was unquestionable as we jumped into more album cuts from ‘Front Desk’ to ‘Barack Obama Special’, all preceding a 5-miniute monologue of the inspirations behind the latter track’s infamous opening lines.
As with the album, in which the emblematic challenges faced by newly-famed and fortuned rappers are sporadically riddled throughout, the commentary is provided with an underlying theme of whit and humour. Such was the tone 20 minutes into an hour long set by Bas, as we found ourselves reviving our energy for debut and sophomore album cuts from tracks ‘Night Job’, ‘My N**ga Just made Bail’ and Last Winter’s ‘Lit’, to cheffing up a solid, choppy ‘Housewives’ performance.
As the evening ended, Bas and his contagiously buoyant presence remained strong from diving back into to Milky Way favourites ‘PDA’, ‘Boca Raton’ and of course, ‘Tribe’. With the penetrating bass bouncing off the brick walls housing the packed out floor, the crowd were then treated to a preview of a volatile J Cole / Bas verse from the upcoming Revenge of The Dreamers lll project, on what seemed to be a track entitled ‘Baby’. I guess we’ll wait and see what the Dreamville’s camp has in store!