Hip-Hop: Bas Brought His Talents to The Met

SpeakerExactly a month removed from VanJess and Masego setting The Met ablaze with some R&B tunes, I found myself back at the venue again, this time for a hip-hop showcase. On the ninth stop of his Milky Way tour, Bas brought his Dreamville talents to Pawtucket’s The Met to turn up with fans for the night, but he didn’t come alone. Bas pulled up with Correy C, Innanet James & Rexx Life Raj — we were in for a night diverse hip-hop performances.

The night was opened by local artist SLITTYWRISTS, who stepped up and set the tone for the night. They performed between five and seven songs; one of the songs that stood out the most to me was an unreleased  track titled “Lullaby.” The song featured a lullaby-type chord progression backed by boom-bap drums. The track reminded me a bit of Yelawolf’s 2011 track “Good Girl.” The song showed some promise for SLITTY, and I’m excited to hear what’s next.

Up next was LA rapper Correy C. While SLITTYWRISTS’ performance was a rock and alternative blend of hip-hop, Correy came with a more trap effect for his set. I’d heard of him through various tracks by Bas and other Dreamville members, but I had yet to hear any of his personal music, and it was a pleasant surprise to see and hear what his own style was. Correy’s set was filled with the the whole trap shebang — 808s, high hats and all. Rocking the stage for about a half hour, he performed a few songs from his catalog including “Foreign Girl,” “One Girl,” & “Far I Came.” While his performance was good overall, one of the important things I noticed was his gratitude and overall appreciation of being able to perform. Correy had just been released from jail about a month before the show, and it was very clear that he was extremely happy to be back on stage and performing for people, a level of gratitude that at times artists don’t show. It was really warming to see this.

Next up was an artist that I was most excited for other than Bas: Innanet James. After listening to his music for a few weeks, specifically his Keep It Clean project from earlier this year, and speaking to him backstage, I was interested to see his live performance. Innanet’s set was a little different than the last two; compared to the high-energy of their sets, his was more laid-back and relaxed. He performed a few cuts from the 2018 project, including my favorites “Better Without You” & “Where You Been,” as well as “Summer” from his 2016 album, Quebec Place. His relaxed approach brought somewhat of a feel-good spirit to the crowd. It was a well-needed but enjoyable break from the quick-tempo of the night.

Before we got to the headliner of the night, next up was Rexx Life Raj. Repping westside full-heartedly, the Berkeley, Calif, rapper pulled through with a similar feel-good spirit as Innanet James, but his came with a slight bounce. I had seen Rexx’s name sporadic through various projects and songs I’d came across (Elujay’s “Mrs. Jackson,” G-Eazy’s “Wave” & more). Despite this, I had not seen enough to really know what to expect from him. Performing a number of great songs from his catalog, including “Where I Belong,” “Level Up” & “Time,” I was blown away by the quality of the music. These were great songs he performed and I caught myself immediately adding them to my library, song after song after song. Rexx is also a top-notch performer, singing his way through performances, his voice was very soothing and pleasing to the ear. He displayed a level of talent that I had no idea he had, but being blown away made the concert more enjoyable for me. He was definitely my surprise act of the night and also served as a perfect and smooth segue to the night’s headliner.

The moment everyone had been waiting for had finally arrived. At this point, I’d been at the venue for nearly seven hours so I was definitely nearing my death bed, but with the set Bas had, there’s was no way I was going to be able to lay in it. With it being the Milky Way tour, the majority of Bas’ set consisted of tracks from the album; “Purge,” “Front Desk,” “Barack Obama Special,” “Designer,” “Spaceships + Rockets” and more all saw insanely energetic performances. Speaking of energy, the amount Bas brought to his set was incomparable to a number of artists who I’ve seen. Performing almost 20 songs, Bas put his all into each performance of each song, he started off at a high octane, kept it high throughout the show. My favorite section of his performance was the three-song section of “Methylone” to “My N***a Just Made Bail.” The Met was absolutely ROCKING through this section, even my exhausted self found the energy to turn up and lose myself in the music, just like everyone else in the crowd.

Most of Bas’ music in the past was very cold and cloudy and with Milky Way, he traded that away for warmth and summery vibes, and this change proved extremely beneficial for his set. Ending his set with “Boca Raton” & “Tribe,” which respectively feature A$AP Ferg & J. Cole, these same warm feeling that these tracks produced stood as the perfect ending to his set, almost like he was riding off into the sunset. I caught up with him backstage, and it was clear that he had very much enjoyed his set and had given it his all as he damn near sweat his shirt out. This was his first time performing at The Met since his joint tour with Ab-Soul back in 2014, and he was happy to back and even more happy to see the city still was rocking with him.

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