Political Reports

Sudanese American rapper Bas on using Music to Cope with the brutal Conflict in Sudan

Sudan Events – Haffiya Elyas

One Sudanese American rapper has been so affected by the brutal conflict in Sudan, that he has turned to what he knows best — music — to express his sense of loss and frustration، according to news agencies.

“These are real people that were just living their lives,” says Bas, describing what the war in Sudan has deprived millions of people of. “They have hopes, dreams, families, lovers, careers, all these things that everyone in the world wants. And it was stripped from them.”

“Emergency on planet Earth I’ll tell you how it feels, when your family displaced and your countrymen are killed,” he raps early on.

“It wasn’t something that was strategic or anything,” says Bas, 36, originally known as Abbas Hamad, on a call from Los Angeles. “I think it was just born out of just raw emotion.”

Fighting between the Sudanese army and the RSF has killed many thousands of people, with the true death toll unknown. Six million people have been displaced within the country and or have fled Sudan, according to United Nations figures.

Those who fled include some of Bas’ own family and friends, as revealed in the song. “With friends or family that were making that journey, I just kept hearing stories of people not making it and having to bury them on the side of the road .

After thousands of foreign citizens were evacuated from Sudan in the month after the war began, international attention quickly faded from the millions still left in the country. Periodic talks between the warring sides — efforts led by the United States and Saudi Arabia — have routinely failed to secure temporary cease-fires or to create lasting safe routes for humanitarian aid to reach millions in need. The global response to Sudan does not compare to the outpouring of support for refugees from Ukraine after Russia’s invasion, Bas says.

It is worth noting that
Born Abbas Hamad to Sudanese parents in Paris, Bas moved to New York when he was 8. He has since built a great life in hip-hop, pushing his art to global spaces. Signed to J. Cole’s Dreamville Records and Interscope Records, his first studio album Last Winter, was released in 2014, followed by his second studio album, Too High to Riot, which dropped in 2016. His third album, Milky Way, came in August of this year.

For many African-Americans, the African continent remains a distant land for exploitation. Whether they are referenced to score cool points and cultural currency, or as an exotic land for some PR-designed charity work, African spaces are mostly seen as extraction for personal profit. But Bas, who is connected to Sudan, his country of origin, has a different view on the interaction between the US and Africa , according to

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