Aminé – Good for You Album Review

Story posted August 2, 2017 in CommRadio by David Arroyo

Since the release of his 2016 hit “Caroline,” fans and skeptics have patiently waited for the release of Aminé’s debut project. After putting out a few more singles and being named to a lackluster XXL Freshman list, Aminé has released Good for You, a debut that’s a fun listen, but leaves Aminé with room to improve.

The stand out of this album is really the production. Over fun, 80’s influenced instrumentals, Aminé raps about having fun with friends, his rise to fame, lost love, and more. The subject matter and Aminé’s flows never get too complicated, but his skilled execution of both are above average compared to his contemporaries.

Even though Aminé doesn’t push the conventions of hip hop, he brings a range of styles that help the project feel compelling. “Caroline” was a massive hit that crossed over into the mainstream in a big way, but Aminé doesn’t stay married to the sound as proven with “Sundays.” Over a very mellow and laid back instrumental, Aminé gives the first real look into his life. He expresses his love for movies, much like he does on the whole album, with multiple movie references on this song alone. The young Portland rapper depicts a normal Sunday for him, from his mom going to church, to him not waking up in time for church. It is one of a few highlights on the album, with a guest spot from Leon Bridges on the outro, ending the track on a high note.

But after multiple listens to this album, there is little additional depth to discover. A lot of the songs are good, but not memorable. Aminé is not doing anything special lyrically or flow wise that makes him better than anyone else who is making pop rap currently.

But Aminé does deserves credit for is his feature selection ability, picking artists that elevate the album beyond Aminé’s talents. Aminé seems like he is holding back, where as his features bring the full breadth of their performing skills. Charlie Wilson on “Dakota” grooves over an extremely poppy instrumental and Aminé, for his part, gives one of his better flows on this track. But Wilson steals the show with his gospel sounding vocals that pair perfectly here. All the other features – Offset, Kehlani, Ty Dolla $ign, and Nelly – also add something to the songs they are on.

The take away from this album, however, should be that it is the expected quality for a debut project. Most debuts are not classics as artists are still growing and coming into their sound. There are the obvious exceptions (see Kendrick Lamar, Chance the Rapper, Jay-Z), but Aminé is not the exception. He has an idea of what he wants his sound to be, but has not exactly found it yet. Does he want to be funny like some of his comical lyrics and album cover depict? Or does he want to be taken more serious like his songs rapping about money, fame, and love would suggest? Only time will tell, but for a debut project, it is worth a listen, even if only once.

Rating: 7/10

 

David Arroyo is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email arroyodavid01@gmail.com