Odds are you’ve at least heard the name Aminé. His viral hit “Caroline” took off last summer, establishing the Portland rapper as one of hip hop’s possible ‘next up.’ However, the genre’s online fanbase cried industry plant, as the song quite literally came out of nowhere. Given the negative connotation the term comes with, some thought that Aminé was the next one-hit wonder. However, his debut album Good For You is chock full of delightfully fun and enjoyable pop rap.
The first project post-hit is always a slippery slope. Do you continue to follow the same lane of material that got you attention or do you abandon comfortability and flex your artistic muscles? Aminé has opted for both, but thankfully the former outweighs the latter. In a subgenre so reliant on hooks, the 23-year-old has shown he can top a song off. “Wedding Crashers” “Veggies” and “Spice Girls” are Aminé showing that “Caroline” was no fluke. His playful voice meshes well with the equally-childlike production scattered throughout the album.
The album reeks of catchiness, and that’s a good thing considering that Aminé isn’t the most gifted lyrically. Though he christened himself as André 3000’s prodigy on “Veggies,” the only thing the two have in common is the accent in their names. While 3K is often heralded as having one of the greatest pens in hip hop history, Aminé simply doesn’t have the chops to be in the same sentence. The young rapper’s main muse is women and relationships, but when it’s time for more mature (in the sense of rap) songs they fall flat. “Money” and “Turf” are decent songs but compared to the rest of the album they stick out in a bad way.
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Aminé seems to be quite aware of the hate that comes his way regarding his legitimacy. “Respect that’s all I ask for,” he says on “Hero.” If Good For You is any indication of his career moving forward, he can let the haters hate all they want. It’s a strong debut that bodes well with his style and has a surprising number of potential hits. Even if he’s not the most gifted creatively right now, he’s still in his early 20s and doesn’t confine himself to just hip hop for inspiration. The future looks as bright as the colors on his album cover.
Good For You is available now via Republic Records.