[Words By// @K1ngEljay]
You know, it’s not like Abbas Hamad just came out of nowhere with a dope project for us to write about. To be honest, he’s been trending towards this for quite some time. The Dreamville artist has quietly been carving out an incredible discography, dating back to the Quarter Water Raised Me series that introduced him to the world. Since Dreamville’s union with Interscope, he’s been releasing better quality, so it makes sense for Too High To Riot to come out about this time.
Even still, it’s refreshing to have to even preface reviews with things like this. Abbas (aka, Bas) is a quality artist, and he’s proven that with his last few releases. The level-up is upon us, however, with his latest album release for Too High To Riot. Outside of a few minor issues, there’s not a lot of things that keeps me from enjoying this project front to back.
First and foremost, Bas never tries to be a different artist from what he’s established. He takes chances, most notably on songs with English band The Hics, but he makes those chances his own, as opposed to other artists that let their identity become clouded on features. His voice is never not heard, so even those risky songs like “Ricochet” and “Matches” still feel perfect in the vibes established on Riot. Adding Cozz to “Dopamine” is a nice touch, and J. Cole comes through with a solid feature on “Night Job”, but all of the heavy lifting here is done by the man of the hour, and he does it with relative ease.
From the outset of the self-titled intro, Bas takes charge with authority and the vibes never quite leave for the entirety of the project. “Methylone” may have been the perfect single to introduce the new project, in hindsight, while “Housewives” continues that perfect balance of airtight production and melodic hooks that make his verses pop that much more. The downshift that happens next in “Miles and Miles Around” feels more like an interlude, but it sets up the content for the rest of the project perfectly, and Bas delivers solidly with – again – quality tracks. “Live For” has an airy feel to it as he rhymes with passion, while “Clouds Never Get Old” is a standout due to the sample and the bold lines plastered within the track.
“My best pick-up line is ‘Young n*gga with money’…”
The quality doesn’t stop after that line, either, as Bas rounds out the 37-minute playthrough with the two aforementioned collaborations with The Hics, “Penthouse”, and “Black Owned Business”, which slams the door shut on Too High To Riot with ease. At this point, I’m just excited to see what comes next for him, but not at the expense of not enjoying this project to the fullest. Give it a spin and let us know what you think.
- “Ricochet” (feat. The Hics)
- “Live For”
- “Clouds Never Get Out”
- “Miles And Miles”