AMINÈ – LIMBO REVIEW

One thing that I will always like and admire about Aminè is the fact that he likes to do everything outside of the box. From the way he releases his music to the way his music sounds, everything about Aminè is a bit out of the ordinary. Aminè is not one of these artists that can release multiple projects a year, or even one project every year. He has a sort of old school approach to the way he makes and releases his music, having always taken a year and a half to two years of time in between releases. Aminè has always had a cool way of blending chill 90s lyrical rap with the modern Trap sounds of today. Aminè has always had a very tongue in cheek and laid back way of rapping that is very relatable and easy to listen to; one of my favorite things about his Aminè and his music is that he does not take himself seriously at all. He definitely likes to keep everyone on their toes, and he does not want to just give the people what they would expect from rappers in 2020; Aminè is constantly switching up his flows and instrumentals in a way that does not let the listener get bored or complacent on any level. Limbo is the highly anticipated second album from Aminè, coming almost exactly 2 years after his last project, the mixtape ONE POINT FIVE, was released. Because of the quality of all his previous work, I(and probably most other fans of his) have pretty high expectations for this record, as he has not been able to disappoint me to this point. With that being said, here is my opinion of Aminè’s new record Limbo. Please let me know what your favorite songs from this project are below, and please let me know if you agree with this review down there as well.

Look RIP Kobe. N****, RIP Kobe. You was like a dad to a n****. So sad, my n****. Had to get you tatted on me. I keep the n*****s by my side, because everybody want a piece of the pie… – ‘Woodlawn’

Aminè’s Limbo gets off to a very smooth and easy-going start with its opening track, ‘Burden.’ This track has a very old school R&B feeling to it, with the melody being provided by a woman’s voluptuous vocals and a very Jazzy guitar riff. ‘Burden’ has a slow and chill tempo to it that allows Aminè to glide over the beat. On ‘Burden,’ Aminè is rapping about his come up and how much the world has changed since he decided he wanted to become a rapper. Aminè knows that he is great, and on this song he is letting us know that he is coming back for his place at the top of the game. One of my favorite things about Aminè’s rapping style is all of the references that he will sprinkle into his verses. ‘Burden’ is full of great pop culture references that you will keep picking up more of the more you listen to the song. he next track, ‘Woodlawn,’ has a lot more of a modern instrumental; this is the type of song that you would expect to hear come on the radio in 2020. It has a very traditional sounding Trap melody that sounds like a flute, and the beat has a very 2020 sort of Pop feeling to it as well. Even though this song is pretty typical and there is not anything too unique going on, Aminè does stand out because his flows are just too nice. On ‘Woodlawn,’ Aminè is rapping about how he really came from the bottom, and how all of his talents have gotten him to the point where he is today. My favorite thing about this song is his shout out to the late Kobe Bryant(RIP Kobe), and how Aminè got Kobe tatted on him to show his respect and remember the legend. If you are a fan of the kind of braggadocious Pop-Trap music that artists like Drake make, ‘Woodlawn’ is a song you should download. Following this, we have ‘Kobe,’ which is a 40-second interlude where the comedian Jak Knight talks about how Kobe Bryant’s death affected him(and so many other young 20-something-year-olds), and how it was almost like a piece of his youth died with Kobe. This interlude is very relatable and I like it a lot; I am glad that Aminè included this little piece from Jak Knight on Limbo. The next song, ‘Roots,’ which features JID and Charlie Wilson, has a sort of Gospel Rap feeling to it. The instrumental and melody and background vocals remind me so much of the music from Chance The Rapper’s Coloring Book album. This is another track that is a bit of a slow burn, which forces the listener to focus on what the rappers are saying. On this track, Aminè and JID are rapping about even though they have achieved fame super quickly that their lives have become a whirlwind, they are still very grounded and know exactly where they come from. ‘Roots’ is the perfect kind of song to play at the end of the night when you are just unwinding and reminiscing about your day and life while you are drinking a beer or smoking a joint.

One thing that I really enjoy about this record is that no point does it get stale or boring. Aminè can excel at so many kinds of music and he embraces so many sounds, which always keeps the listener on their toes. ‘Can’t Decide’ is a song that really is nothing like the first four songs from this record. ‘Can’t Decide’ is a straight-up R&B song; specifically, it reminds me of the kind of R&B that was popular in the mid to late 2000s. I could see someone like Ray J or Mario or Omarion jumping on this instrumental if it had come out back in the day. On ‘Can’t Decide,’ Aminè is singing about how he is debating whether or not it is working out with the girl he is currently seeing. He can not really figure out what she actually wants, and he always feels like he is playing catch up with every situation. I really appreciate the switch up that this song provides, as it brings a sort of lighter mood to the album after the heavier nature of the last couple of cuts. ‘Compensating,’ which features Young Thug, is another song with sweet and R&B-tinted instrumental that will just make you want to dance and have fun. This track was released as one of the singles in anticipation for this album, and it got me super excited for this record as ‘Compensating’ has easily been one of my favorite songs since it came out. It has such a bright melody that is nice to listen to, and both of the rappers’ performances are excellent because their voices complement the instrumental so much. ‘Compensating’ is such a sparkling and enjoyable song to listen to, and it will definitely be one of my most played tracks from this album and for 2020 in general. Following this is the first single that was released from this record, ‘Shimmy,’ This is another track that I played an absolute ton when it came out, and it is another one that I really do still listen to frequently because it is so awesome. ‘Shimmy’ has a very 90s Hip Hop feeling to it; it has the kind of Hardcore Hip Hop Jazzy melody(which is just provided from women harmonizing) that one would expect to hear from the Wu-Tang Clan, which is perfect because this track is sort of an ode to the late great Ol’ Dirty Bastard. Lyrically, there are so many references to the Old Dirty Doggy; in fact, there are multiple lines in the song that are actually taken from ODB’s best tracks. One of my favorite bars in the track that incorporates ODB’s lyrics is: Off on a natural charge, bon voyage. Shimmy shimmy ya, y’all n***** get no applause… ‘Shimmy’ is another example of Aminè showing off how diverse of an artist he can be; he really can make music for everyone.

There ain’t no money in havin’ hate in your heart. There ain’t no money in that shit, bro. That’s that broke n**** shit to have hate in your heart. I know very untalented people with a lot of love in their heart who are doing great... – Jak Knight on ‘Pressure In My Palms.

‘Pressure In My Palms,’ which features slowthai and Vince Staples, is easily once of the biggest bangers from this album, as it has a super tough and rough element to its instrumental and all of the rappers have the perfect element to complement this beat. This track has a bit of a UK Drill feeling to the beat, with a super Trippy Trap beat and a Buzzing Bassline that really make you feel the weird emotions that the song emulates. slowthai and Vince Staples are both known for having a very strange and goofy energy levels and flows that can tend to take over any song they are on, but Aminè definitely keeps their energy level and is just as zany as his features on this song. One of the coolest things about this track is the beat switch at the end of the song, which keeps the same melody but kind of transitions the beat from Drill music to chill Southern Trap music. ‘Pressure In My Palms’ is definitely one of the strangest and most inventive songs on this record, and in my opinion, it is a total hit. On ‘Riri,’ which was the second single released from this record, Aminè sort of gives us his best Drake impression. I know that Drake is a very big influence for him, and it makes sense that this kind of sweet melodic Pop-Trap song would be included on this album. On ‘Riri,’ Aminè is singing about getting his heartbroken by this girl before he was famous. She was not interested in waiting for him to become big while he was on the grind of becoming a popular rapper, and now she has a baby, so in a way Aminè feels like he avoided a sticky situation. ‘Riri’ is the perfect kind of song to download for those kind of people who are big fans of songs like ‘Toosie Slide’ or ‘Pain 1993.’ Following this is a bit of a slow jam; ‘Easy,’ which features Summer Walker, has a bit of an old school R&B feeling to it. This is not really the kind of song I would necessarily expect to hear from Aminè, but I have to say that he really does do a great job of it. This is the kind of song and instrumental that Summer Walker excels on, and her contribution definitely makes Aminè’s better, but I have to say that I think Aminè could be a pretty successful artist if he strictly made R&B music. The instrumental for ‘Easy’ reminds me a lot of that old acoustic R&B music that Usher used to make back in the day. I swear, ‘Easy’ would fit in perfectly on Usher’s 9701 record. If you are into that kind of slow and sweet R&B music, ‘Easy’ is a song you will love. The next song, ‘Mama,’ is another one that gives me an energy that reminds me a lot of Chance the Rapper’s Gospel Rap music phase. Even though the melody for this track mainly consists of a piano and voices harmonizing, it is still so grand and uplifting and will brighten anyone’s mood. This track is obviously an ode to Aminè’s mom, as he is thanking her for all of the sacrifices she made for him and for loving him unconditionally. Aminè’s ‘Mama’ is so comparable to Chance the Rapper’s song for his Grandma, ‘Sunday Morning,’ in the best way. It is really nice and refreshing to see rapper’s as big as these two are rapping about how appreciative they are of their families.

‘Becky’ is a song that even though it is sonically pretty close sounding to some of the previous songs from this record, is definitely one of the most inventive and unique tracks. This one is sort of tough to explain. ‘Becky’ starts out with a sort of acoustic feeling to it, with Aminè singing over a jazzy instrumental, flexing his vocals to a level that I did not know he could achieve. One of the things that stands out about this track the most is just how and unique Aminè’s voice can be. about a quarter of the way into the song, a beat comes in, giving the track a bit of a smooth 90s Jazz-Rap feeling while Aminè’s using one of his calmest and most chill rapping flows to glide over the beat. On ‘Becky,’ Aminè is singing about being in love with a white girl from his school and how issues of race in his neighborhood affected this. Even though he and the girl wanted to be together, neither of their families would accept it, and this really has affected Aminè to this day. ‘Becky’ is definitely one of the most interesting and original songs from the record. Following this is the song ‘Fetus,’ which features the experimental underground rap group Injury Reserve. Admittedly, I expected this song to be more upbeat and abrasive and abnormal than it is. ‘Fetus’ is another song with a bit of an old school R&B tone to it. The instrumental reminds me a bit of the melodic Rap music that was popular in the early 2000s. On this track, both Injury Reserve members and Aminè are rapping about their future children; that is, what they want them to be like and what they want the world to be like for their kids. ‘Fetus’ is not exactly what I would expect from this collaboration, but it is still a really solid one. Aminè’s sophomore record comes to a close with the track ‘My Reality,’ which keeps that old school Jazz rap feeling going that Aminè has embraced so much on this record. This track as a 90s psychedelic cerebral rap sound to it that reminds me a lot of music made by The Roots, The Pharcyde, or Nas. If you are not into lyrical rap that will make you sit back and contemplate a bit, this song is probably not for you. On ‘My Reality,’ Aminè is singing about finding peace in achieving your dreams. Sometimes when you achieve all of your goals and fantasies, you just end up wanting more. As a human, it really can be tough to step back and appreciate what you have and how far you have come. Aminè alludes to that feeling of always wanting more on this song and states that he is doing his best to just love himself and appreciate everything he has right now. ‘My Reality’ is a very mature way to end this record, and it shows how far Aminè has come in his career and how much he has grown up since he first popped off.

Even though the tagline by most music publications about Aminè’s Limbo has been that is was “long-awaited,” I feel like this record went under the radar about when it was released. Unfortunately, when someone drops a project around the same time as artists like Megan Thee Stallion, Cardi B, and Beyonce are also putting out music, that person’s music is probably going to come second fiddle to the three aforementioned queens. I feel like this is a record that will grow on the general public, and it will not be long until Aminè’s Limbo has streaming numbers that are soaring. Limbo is a very diverse and mature record that has something anyone that is a fan of R&B, Hip Hop, and Pop music. It takes every sound that Aminè has tried in the past and expands on it; Limbo is an example of a rapper improving on all of his skills that already made him great. If you have been a fan of Aminè’s in the past, I guarantee you will find a lot to love on Limbo. Aminè is a great artist who just keeps getting better, and this record is a really good example of that fact.

Favorite Tracks: Woodlawn, Roots feat. JID and Charlie Wilson, Can’t Decide, Compensating feat. Young Thug, Shimmy, Pressure In My Palms feat Vince Staples and slowthai, Easy feat. Summer Walker, Fetus feat. Injury Reserve

7.95/10

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