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Bas. Photo : Rafael Rios for The Fiends + Milk Studios.

Bas: ​"I Was Born in France & Raised in New York But I'm Still African"

Exclusive: The Dreamville rapper talks about his Sudanese roots and the African influences on his latest record, Milky Way.

When American rapper and Dreamville signee, Bas, decided to head out to Nigeria in April as part of J. Cole's crew for a concert in Lagos, he had no idea what was to expect.

He wasn't billed as a performer, neither did he prepare for a set. But, during J. Cole's thrilling performance, he was asked to hit the stage. His mind blown. "I was called to perform two songs which wasn't planned at all," he recalls. "The songs didn't have J. Cole featured on them but while performing, thousands of Lagos people were rapping with me, word for word, and I was like 'ohhh, what the hell is going on here.'"

That experience opened Bas up to the possibilities that exist in the African market, and a whole new world of fandom. While in Nigeria, he was surprised to meet up with fans who were inspired by his music, and a nascent Dreamville supporters club who dot on his releases, and amplify them locally. That gave him an insight into the new market, where he has adapted his processes to include acknowledging and interacting with his African fan base. He's been on a journey, exploring the culture, the people, and taking lessons from the resilience and happiness that he's found in a lot of African stories. He's also tweeting about 'Shaku shaku' and the Nigerian football team, Super Eagles.

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