Aminé, Good for You | Album Review
Oregon rap newcomer Aminé shows potential on his highly-anticipated debut album, ‘Good for You.’ Nonetheless, ‘Good for You’ isn’t without flaw.
Aminé won us over back in 2016 with “Caroline,” a fun, lustful, pop-rap single. This was the first indication that the Oregon rapper had a bright future. Fast forward to 2017 and several singles later, and the album, Good for You has arrived. Good for You showcases the potential of the MC, though it doesn’t do so without flaws. While more often than not there are triumphs, clever rhymes, and eccentricity to the nth degree, it isn’t always smooth sailing for the newbie.
“Veggies” is the first indication that Good for You is a trip. It opens with strings – synthesized mind you – but definitely not the expected. Once Aminé begins singing, he embraces some Jamaican dialect. The second verse is stronger, with more pop-rap from the MC. He trades bars with Ty Dolla Sign towards the end, a selling point.
“Yellow” finds Aminé assisted by Nelly – taking it back to the 00s. The results are captivating from both MCs. Nelly sings, something we’ve became accustomed with throughout his career. As for Aminé, he drops more pronounced rhymes here compared to the opener. Equally distinct, “Yellow” is more memorable, packing more of a punch. Still not what you’d call traditional though.
“Caroline” certainly isn’t traditional. It thrives off of sex, but also references Quentin Tarantino movies… go figure. From the start, Aminé lusts after Caroline, characterizing her as a “Bad thang, fine as hell, thick as fuck.” She’s bad because “shawty really blow the pipe,” cleverly referencing both weed and fellatio. Continuing throughout the verse, he plans to be busy throughout the course of the night, with his size strengthening his game. Beyond the rhymes, the production work is a selling point, specifically the highly rhythmic beat. Ultimately, the promo single remains as potent as ever, reminding us what the attraction to Aminé was in the first place.
Aminé continues to rap (sing) about girls on Good for You. On “Hero,” the object of his affection is both his hero and his heroin, or so he asserts on the chorus.
“You’re my hero / And my heroin / I’m addicted / Ms. Excellent / You’re my hero / And my heroin / Oh you’re perfect / But you’re bad for me.”
On “Spice Girl,” he literally takes it back to the 90s.
“I need a Spice Girl / Zig-a-zig-ah, f*ck up my whole world / Posh when she talk, nothin’ like old girl / Scary and Sporty, tell her what I want.”
Like the majority of Good for You, “Spice Girl” is catchy and left of center.
“STFU” means exactly what you expect it does. At this point, hasn’t “Shut the f*ck up” become cliché? Aminé does rap more on the second and third verses, which is refreshing. Still, “STFU” plays on the eccentricities of its MC.
“Wedding Crashers,” featuring Offset, ranks among the best moments from Good for You. The production is bright, while the rhymes possess an exuberance despite being pessimistic. The sung chorus by Aminé is a selling point.
“This is dedicated to my ex-lovers / Hope that you hear this, never find another / Me and my friends, we don’t worry or pretend / Hope you play this at your wedding / Yeah, the one I won’t attend.”
“Some days we get Sundays but most days the rain comes down.” The slow pace of “Sundays” appeals as the rapper describes a lack of motivation. Expectedly, religious references and allusions run rampant. “Turf” serves as the third consecutive intriguing song from Good for You. Here, Aminé raps and sings about ambition – leaving home to become a star and make a better life for himself. Charlie Wilson adds the cherry on top with his soulful vocals on the final chorus and his ad-libs on the outro.
The brief “Blinds” commences soulfully with a hard-hitting beat, with an old school vibe established before additional instrumentation enters into the mix. Eventually, an active, jazzy bass line enters as Aminé begins spitting. It’s followed by some additional keyboard (synthesizer) work. He raps about money, success, jealousy, women, and sex. After a few bars, his rapping transforms into singing on the chorus. This is his come up, and he’s going to take time to let it set in.
Charlie Wilson returns for another soulful feature on the groovy “Dakota.” Once more, he proves a perfect fit, providing a lift to the always interesting Aminé. On “Slide,” the MC is concerned with sexual matters, unsurprisingly. Give him credit for his honesty. He also wants his album to be an Usher or Michael (Jackson) album in regards to success. Can’t knock him for that – who wouldn’t want that?
“Money” focuses on the effect that “money rule the world around me.” It’s a shallow statement, but an accurate and true one as well. Ultimately, it lasts a bit longer than necessary. Penultimate number “Beach Boy” approaches the five-minute mark – why? While it has its pros, at this point, Good for You has lost a bit of its luster. This isn’t an extremely long album, but at some point, in its 52-minute span, it just isn’t as interesting as it could’ve been. Kehlani assists on closer, “Heebiejeebies,” which successfully concludes Good for You.
Aminé has his fair share of moments on Good for You. Something that remains consistent is his left-field approach. If you’re a listener looking for a more traditional rap album, Good for You likely isn’t ‘your cup of tea.’ The biggest rub is that even at just 52 minutes, sometimes the album offers too much of the same and doesn’t quite end up being as interesting as Aminé desires to make you believe it is. Mouthful. The other rub – why didn’t “REDMERCEDES” make the cut?
Gems: “Yellow,” “Caroline,” “Wedding Crashers,” “Sundays,” “Turf” & “Heebiejeebies”
Aminé • Good for You • Republic • Release: 7.28.17
Photo Credit: Republic