Since the release of “Caroline” over a year ago, Aminé has been the number one rapper on everyone’s “Artists to Watch Out For” lists. The video for “Caroline” has been streamed over 180 million times (as of 8/12), and that’s up 20 million since he appeared on both the Roseandblog‘s and XXL‘s Freshman Class lists just two months ago. I called him the “Teacher’s Pet,” landing the No. 2 spot in Roseandblog’s breakdown of the best 2017 XXL performances, where the goof-crown-prince showed a more introspective side of his personality through his freestyle, which I correctly guessed came from the track “Sundays.”
Good For You, his highly anticipated solo debut, acts as an Aminé sampler pack. Ranging from pop rap to stoner rap, Aminé’s music is still unabashedly him, but it’s not as satisfying as a debut as the yearly build of hype suggested. The promised zany and comedic rapper persona rarely juts out as witty, seeming more like the class clown, and most of the “jokes” pan out to be simple references or quips with no actual punchlines. Some are even just purely mean comments to the girl he’s with about shutting up and being his cute, objectified slam piece.
As for the music, Aminé is constantly out shined by the record’s production from Frank Dukes and Malay, and star features such as Nelly and Ty Dolla $ign only act as extensions of Aminé’s voice instead of reputable and song-changing co-signs. Good For You is also way more pop-rap than advertised, as tracks such as “Yellow,” “STFU,” and “Money” all have choruses that awkwardly sound like adult versions of nursery rhymes.
That’s not to say that Good For You doesn’t also have great moments, as the second half of the record holds some truly great gems, not too mention an amazing assortment of Charlie Wilson features. Some of the more poppier tracks like “Hero” and “Spice Girl” can be cute, but it’s on songs like “Sundays”, and its follow-up “Turf,” where Aminé as a rapper finally comes through. I do wish Charlie sang the chorus of “Turf” all the way through, however. It’s not that Charlie’s feature at the end isn’t awesome, it’s just that Aminé’s voice sounds really strained here on a record that has him singing just about as much as he raps.
Good For You also includes some great tracks with “Dakota,” the all-too-short “Blinds,” and “Money,” a track whose production sounds incredibly close to Chance the Rapper’s “Paranoia.” It’s a decent record for Aminé to figure out what works and what doesn’t, but it’s nowhere near a cohesive project. The hodgepodge of song topics and personalities presented here on Good For You makes the record feel more like a pop album than a rap album, especially with tracks like “Slide” and “Wedding Crashers (feat. Offset).” The Portland kid still has a lot of talent though, he just needs to break past the surface level.
What do you think? Drop your thoughts in the comments below.