The son of Sudanese parents, Bas (born Abbas Hamad) was raised in Paris until the age of eight, when his family moved to Jamaica, Queens. He didn't start rapping until 2010, and that was on a lark, after he was coerced by a friend. Writing and rapping to an instrumental of Kanye West's "Breathe In, Breathe Out" sparked a series of informal sessions that led to being linked with J. Cole. Touring with Cole fostered the fledgling rapper's development as a performer, while mixtape releases such as Quarter Water Raised Me and Quarter Water Raised Me II raised his profile. Cole signed Bas to Dreamville, the Interscope-affiliated label he was getting off the ground. Last Winter, jokingly referred to as "An album from a n*gga who ain't got alotta fans yet," was released as a digital download and a CD in April 2014. It featured appearances from Cole, Mack Wilds, and K-Quick. That June, Bas promoted the set with a brief tour of the U.S. He contributed to Dreamville's Revenge of the Dreamers II compilation in 2015 and released his second proper album Too High to Riot in March 2016. The album debuted in the Billboard Top 50 and featured appearances by J. Cole and Cozz. The emcee returned in 2017 with the single "Don't Front."