Aminé reminds listeners that famous people are still human
When people are a kid, they look at life in their 20s and think by then they’ll be married with kids in a big home living a happy life. For those fortunate, congratulations. However, the reality of many of people is the complete opposite. People are still trying to figure out themselves and who they are amidst the ever-changing world. For Adam Aminé Daniel, that feeling, despite his newfound fame, is still present. Under the name Aminé, the Portland rapper garnered mainstream attention with his debut single, “Caroline” in 2016. Shortly after, he released his first album, Good For You, which showcased his carefree and vibrant character. With another LP drop after his debut, a small acting role on HBO’s Insecure, a gold album plaque and over 10 million monthly listeners on Spotify, one would think the 26-year-old would have his next couple of years set and ready. With the release of Limbo, Aminé reminds people that even with all these accolades, he is still human and does not have it all figured out.
Aminé has never been one to hide his feelings. He’s expressed his struggles with anxiety several times throughout his music. Even still, his vulnerability wasn’t completely demonstrated until Limbo. The album is a lot darker, not specifically sonically, but lyrically as well. When asked about this difference he told Vulture, “Limbo is me becoming an adult, and being an adult is hard. It’s not something that’s super-carefree and bright. It’s something that needs to be taken seriously.” The track that highlights this more is “Kobe” which actually comes in the form of a skit by Jak Knight. He says, “It weirdly, like, fast-forwarded my maturity…Like, I felt like a piece of my childhood go with that nigga.” Even though Jak is the one speaking these words, the previous song, “Woodlawn,” emphasizes the impact Kobe had on Aminé by saying, “You was like a dad to a nigga.”
While the death of Kobe Bryant definitely had an impact on the rapper, he also gives appreciation and gratitude to his mother with his song “Mama.” Here he expresses how grateful he is for everything she has done for him and how life can be difficult without her there. “First year I moved out, I was strugglin’/ Didn’t wanna tell ‘cause I know that you be worryin’.” With tracks like “Woodlawn,” “Kobe” and “Mama,” people are able to get a better idea of how Aminé views adulthood and how situations like death and presence affect one later in life.
An integral part of growing up also involves love and relationships. Finding a partner and the time spent together is always a wild card and Aminé explores different aspects of relationships on the tracks, “Can’t Decide,” “Compensating” and “Easy.” “Can’t Decide” is a guitar focused RnB sounding track that discusses the uncertainty that comes with a relationship that does not exactly have a title to it. “Compensating” is the third single from the album that features Young Thug. In a video with Genius, he breaks down the whole concept of the song and where he got the idea from, “I thought the person I was dealing with was compensating for their feelings and they weren’t being truly upfront with me and weren’t being honest with me.” He also mentions how the bubbly rap-singing beat was actually sent to Young Thug at first who had a similar concept already written to it.
“Easy” features RnB artist, Summer Walker, who delivers vocals that blend well against the rapper’s. The two exchange and harmonize on lines about how love isn’t something that can just happen with no issues. There are trials and tribulations that come with it, but life isn’t supposed to be easy either so don’t lose hope. As people get older, situations occur that make it harder to find love that is abundant and simple. Aminé is able to express that effortlessly within these three distinct sounding tracks.
Sonically, it’s Aminé’s best produced project; each one getting better than the next. Producers on this album include the likes of his own producer, Pasque, Parker Corey of Injury Reserve (who is also featured on the album) and Drake producers Boi-1da, Vinylz and T-Minus. It gives the album a good balance of charismatic off-trap and rap-singing moody beats. Elements of his previous works are often found in the adlibs and choruses mainly using pitch variations.
Overall, Limbo still remains true to who Aminé is when he debuted, just a mature version. He is still the same happy-go-lucky artist when he was singing about that bad thing named Caroline. While focusing on this unsure transition into adulthood, he is still able to punch out clever flows with witty bars on pop culture references. They have a good balance of having fun, finding love and adulting that many young people navigating life right now can relate to.