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Album Review: Too High To Riot

The State of Hip Hop

Queens born rapper, Bas, released his second studio album last week. The album Too High To Riot shared a release date with Kendrick Lamar, Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz which some people feel might have been a mistake. While Bas has skills and this album like his first album Last Winter is definitely a solid piece of work, he may get slept on in the shadows of the more commercially known artists.

Bas is one of the six artists currently signed to J. Cole’s Dreamville Records. As with the rest of the Dreamville crew, Bas is a solid rapper with a quality flow. The tone of this album is a little more moody than what he gave us on Last Winter. The uses the drugs as both a theme and a metaphor for exploring a number of introspections.

This album touches more on things lost than things gained,” Bas said. “This constant lifestyle we live, which is going on the road and looking back at home and noticing the changes in the world around you and the effect you have on it, but at the same time, still being a little apathetic like: What am I’m supposed to do about it? So, lets roll the next blunt, go to the next show and keep living this life
– Bas
Bas uses the drug metaphor for the way that individuals can be so preoccupied or caught up the wrong things and they lose sight of what is important. So rioting or better yet protesting or being active in something important like the Civil Rights Movement can be ignored from being distracted and kind of detached the way it is when a person is high.

The title track “Too High To Riot” alludes to Bas experience traveling to Ferguson with J. Cole. The track “Methylone” is about realizing that everyone that calls you their friend and wants to be around doesn’t have the best intentions. The track is also an allusion to Bas self admitted mistake of having taken what he thought was molly but turned out to be methylone. The track “Dopamine” featuring his label mate, Cozz also uses the drug metaphor to speak to a personal revelation.

The entire album doesn’t center around the drugs theme he also has some personal cuts like “Live For” where he reflects on the passing of his aunt and the final track “Black Owned Business,” which speaks to the struggle against oppression that all Black people in America feel personally in their pursuit of success.

Overall the album is solid and could be listened to from start to finish. Bas doesn’t wow us or take it to unfamiliar territory but he remains solid in providing what he does best thoughtful content, lyrical precision and artful execution.

 

 

I’m not sayin; I’m just sayin,

 

An Angry Black Man

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