Written by Alessa Frenkel
If you don’t know the name Aminé by now – where have you been?! Over the past year, the Portland native’s career has seemingly taken off like a rocket counting more than 300m total plays and 6.4m monthly listeners on Spotify alone.
Now the rapper has released his first studio album Good For You via Republic Records featuring contributions by staple names such as Ty Dolla $ign, Nelly, Offset, Charlie Wilson and Kehlani, an impressive assortment of artists for a debut record. The 15-track-heavy compilation is a feel good, easy-listen record at first sight with tracks such as Aminé’s infamous Caroline that was just short of breaking into the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 charts making it all the way up to number 11 or bonus track Heebiejeebies with Kehlani.
Overall, Aminé’s forté seems to be intertwining bouncy beats and energetic production with unexpected controversial lyrics on tracks such as Sundays (“But finding one to love is getting harder every second / Niggas would rather be single than see a wedding date / Niggas will either end up at Heaven or at Kevin’s gates”) or Money (“Money make the world go ’round / Money turn your best friend down […] ‘Cause when it all boils down / Everything’s a riddle / Everything’s fickle / There’s no satisfaction”).
At just 23, the Portland rapper, who grew up with immigrant parents from Ethiopia and Eritrea, isn’t one to shy away from expressing his opinions vocally. Just in November, Aminé performed Caroline on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon throwing shade at none other than current US president Donald Trump: “9/11, a day that we never forgetting / 11/9, a day that we always regretting […] You can never make America great again / All you ever did was make this country hate again.”
Whilst there are many songs to address on the colorful record (sonically as well as visually as the album cover displays), the standout tracks are the following:
Veggies featuring Ty Dolla $ign describes a relationship merely based on sleeping together and the struggle of breaking it off. The song starts off as a mellow tune with romantic guitar riffs, a sensual beat paired with the occasional violin strings and an unexpected production twist halfway through the song that makes you truly stop and listen (“Pass me the lighter / Old flame callin’ so she wanna light the fire / Now I’m super tired / When we get together, room sound like a choir […] Bitch, I’m missin’ your call / I don’t got time for your problems at all (no)”).
It seems like Aminé is no stranger to misfortune in love: Wedding Crashers featuring Offset of Migos is a goodbye anthem to all of the rapper’s ex-lovers and a verse in typical Migos style – autotuned raps spitting rhymes about a bougie lifestyle (“Yes, I’ve been balling, yeah / Maybachs to Lambos and ‘Raris, yeah / Fresh in that Cartier / Take off your clothes, we get naughty, yeah”)
And lastly, we finally get to see a different side to outwardly always happy Aminé on Turf, a track where the rapper chooses to be vulnerable and addresses the real feelings and issues he had when he left Portland. With a melancholic production and a soulful vocal outro, the artist takes us to a different dimension of himself and his past (“Everybody wanna be a star / Everybody want a nice car / Everybody wanna live great, have a good damn time, never trip with the law / The popo up in P.O. / Dirtier than B.O. / Bullies from the past act like I’m they fucking hero”).
Good For You’s major takeaway is the following: There’s more to Aminé than meets the eye. If anything, his debut album is living proof of the matter. It is also proof that this past year is certainly only the start to what seems to be a promising career.
Watch the video for Aminé’s Turf for VEVO below: