Aminé – Limbo (Deluxe)

Rapper Aminé is ending his successful year by giving his fans the deluxe version of his sophomore album, Limbo. The extended album has seven new tracks with features from Saba, Valee, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, and Toosii. 

The Portland, OR, native revealed the deluxe album only days after his Grammy nomination with British rapper slowthai. “My High” is the third track on Disclosure’s latest project, ENERGY, and is nominated for Best Dance Recording of 2020 alongside Kaytranada, Flume, Diplo, and Jayda G. 

Although many are unfamiliar with Aminé’s work past his 2016 hit single “Caroline,” the rapper has undoubtedly set a standard in the hip-hop/rap genre. His history of artist collaborations range from punk rap and psychedelic rock to jazz rap and alternative R&B. Throughout the entire track list, he bounces around many topics like a tribute to Kobe Bryant, an appreciative anthem for his mother, and his love life.

The deluxe album’s opening track, “Mrs. Clean,” is produced by the famous Pi’erre Bourne, which explains its catchy beat. In the two-minute track, it is under the assumption that Aminé is describing his come-and-go love life. The lyrics, “Shawty suckin,’ fuckin’ like she work for Mr. Clean,” suggest the rationale for the name of the song. Track two’s title, “Zack & Cody,” is a familiar reference to the 2005 Disney Channel show. Although they didn’t mention the Sprouse twins, who play the characters on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Chicago rapper Valee goes back and forth with Aminé for the entire song.

If there’s one thing you can find on an Aminé album, it’s a flute sample. At first thought in Gelato, you may believe he is talking about the Italian dessert, but the chorus quickly lets us know that he is talking about a different kind of gelato. In this instance, it is a hybrid strain of marijuana that’s popular for its dessert-like aroma. Between the trap flute sample and sneaky reference, “Gelato” easily has the potential to be a radio single, similar to Good For You’s “Spice Girl” or ONEPOINTFIVE’s “REEL IT IN.”

A familiar voice is heard in the first second of “Talk,” which is easily identified as comedian Casey Frey. His phrase, “Can I sing for you?”  became a casual meme after his Instagram video in November 2018. The track continues with a hushed intro by Aminé that transitions to his first verse and chorus with Chicago rapper Saba. The hip-hop collabs on the deluxe edition conclude with New York rapper Toosii on “Chicken.” 

One of the most intriguing, anticipated collaborations on the deluxe edition is with Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Moments after sharing the news about the deluxe album, Aminé tweeted his excitement about the track, before deleting the tweet. He created the “hunnybee remix” with the psychedelic rock band in January 2019 that isn’t available on music streaming platforms. “Buzzin” is another groovy ballad about the rapper’s love life, and the choice of Unknown Mortal Orchestra is impeccable and fits the mood. 

“Solid,” the final addition on the deluxe edition, reminds listeners of Aminé’s stance on his non-Black fans saying the n-word in his songs. In his 2017 NPR Tiny Desk performance, he emphasizes in his verse, “If you ain’t Black, don’t say it.” Background vocals by Portland singer Marche Black are featured throughout the song.

The August release of Limbo already put Aminé’s fans into a literal state of limbo, but he held his word to an incredible year of music. Limbo is easily one of the best albums of the year, and the deluxe edition clearly solidifies that. If the seven additional tracks weren’t enough Aminé for you, he is also featured on Rico Nasty’s new album, Nightmare Vacation. Their second collaboration is titled “Back & Forth.”