Buoyed by his RIAA triple-platinum breakout smash ‘Caroline’, ‘REDMERCEDES’, and ‘Wedding Crashers’, Aminé’s 2017 full-length debut album, Good For, immediately made a fast impact upon arrival, with The New York Times describing the record as “amiable, inventive and idiosyncratic, one of the year’s most intriguing hip-hop albums and also a bold statement of left-field pop.”
It’s almost hard to believe that the rise of one of hip-hop’s most innovative ingénues happened in Portland, Oregan – a city more known for hipster rock, coffee, and, well, strip clubs.
However, Aminé could very well change that perception.
“You don’t ever think of a rapper or even a black guy coming out of Portland,” he asserts. “That’s just not a thing! However, there’s a fairly diverse subculture in the city that few people know about. It’s very different from what you would expect.” However, everything he does defies expectations. The rapper, artist, and director draws equal influence from his parents’ Ethiopian heritage as he does from trailblazers such as Kanye West and André 3000. He’s more likely to record in a remote AirBNB’d wilderness cabin than he is in a posh studio, and he cites Quentin Tarantino and Wes Anderson as major inspirations. Building on a lifelong passion for music, he began recording in high school and quietly sharpening his mic skills. While attending Portland State University, he released his 2015 project Calling Brio. Merging visual lyricism, swaggering production, and his clever, catchy bars, it became a phenomenon on Soundcloud, racking up over 1 million+ plays.
Single ‘Caroline’ quickly caught fire, garnering 255 million+ Spotify streams, 76.1 million+ Soundcloud plays, and 186 million+YouTube/VEVO views as well as reaching #7 on Spotify’s U.S. Top 50 Chart, #1 on Spotify’s Global Viral Top 50, #1 on the US Viral Top 50, #1 on the Canada Viral Top 50 and #11 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Songs Chart.
“I never want a basic reaction,” he leaves off. “I want you to always have questions. I hope to challenge listeners to wonder why. Those are the artists I care about.”