On His Debut Album, Aminé Does an Excellent Job Expressing his Identity, not Just the Pronunciation of his Name.

Aminé’s first hit, “Caroline”, was a product of social media. Last Summer, Twitter found a song on YouTube that currently accumulated only a few thousand views. Now it has over 170 million views, went triple platinum. By virtually this song alone, Aminé garnered a great amount of attention. Becoming viral is a gift and a curse for many artists. As we seen with the likes of Young M.A. and Desiigner, some people can’t develop true fans. Thanks to his eclectic personality and a seemingly unpronounceable name to people with poor reading skills, a select group of “Caroline” listeners were waiting for his next move. Those next moves initially appeared like he was chasing another hit. His next single, “REDMERCEDES,” was accompanied by a hilarious music video and wasn’t a bad song by any means, but you could see the drop off in viewership. This was actually a great way to distinguish who was truly interested in Aminé. Now he is finished gaging his fan base, he is ready to reveal what we have been anticipating for a full year. That is artistic promise.

Portland rapper Aminé’s first major product, Good For You, is a fun, witty album that sure gives doubters the wide eye. The album contains 15 songs lasting a little over 50 minutes. Throughout the experience, Aminé entices listeners with his sly punchlines and intelligent story telling. There is an awful lot of singing done by the rapper. He can go from sounding like a lead singer of an indie rock band from 2004 to be reminiscent of a reggae artist. He sings delightfully on hooks and is monotone with his verses. This album is full of sudden shifts and surprises that prove that Aminé actually has the ability to continuously craft enjoyable and worthwhile songs.

The intro track, “Veggies”, sparks interest right off the bat, with a bubbly instrumental and back and forth vocals with Ty Dolla $ign. On the track, he boldly proclaims “I’m Andre’s prodigy,” and discusses how he feels about his sudden success and that he feels like his destiny to be a star is promised. On “Hero,” Aminé speaks on the lack of respect he receives from others. Whether by painfully mispronouncing his name or not giving him a chance to prove himself, people always found a way to count him out. He notes that his past life is over and his talent should give him the respect he deserves. The hero he speaks of is a success, as it saved him from being shrouded in regularity. Aminé also notes that striving too hard for success can be dangerous by describing it as “heroin.”

From what we got from “Caroline,” we know that Aminé is very fond of beautiful women. We receive that notion again of “Spice Girls,” a track where he exclaims his need for an enthralling woman that can enhance his life. The instrumental features a diluted flute with a danceable groove. Aminé is vocal of his frustrations on “STFU” stating that he is overwhelmed by the new responsibilities and unnecessary expectations. He is just trying to be who he is and wants to do what he wants but his surroundings say otherwise. “Sundays” is by far the most truthful song on the project. Over slow, heavy drums, Aminé’s gift of storytelling shines brightly. He speaks of his family and how they are accepting his fame. His mother told him to focus on his “worth” rather than his album. This is the problem of his that he spoke on earlier in the project.

“Dakota” features spirited vocals from the legendary Charlie Wilson, but he doesn’t steal the show. Aminé’s piercing vocals control the track making Wilson’s contributions merely an additive. Amine sings and raps of drinking himself crazy yet still wants to give a girl all the love he has to give. He wants it to be clear that it’s not the alcohol talking; it’s actually how he feels when he’s sober as well. “Beach Boy” finds Aminé again being reflective of his immediate success and what is to become. It’s a fitting closer that encapsulates the album as a whole.

Good For You is about fear of what is to come. Whether the topic is failure or death, Aminé isn’t afraid to speak his truth. This album proved that Aminé can produce substantial songs. He proved that his craft is not limited to joyful singles. His artistry is expansive and that’s what missing a lot in hip hop nowadays.

Stream Good For You on Apple Music and Spotify.