Aminé, or Adam Aminé Daniel, may be the face of light-hearted rap, but the message behind his words is diplomatic, deep-rooted, and heavy.
Growing up in Portland, Oregon, Aminé has an ear for political themes, and a mouth for subtle political inflictions. Above all else, his lyrics have a strong grasp on the subjection of Black culture in America.
While he pulls the listener close with fun words to sing-along to, the depth of his message is loosely hidden in vivacious chorus threads.
“Wanted me a Nextel but my momma copped a Razr
That’s why I couldn’t blame her
Flippin’ through my past like I used to flip the phone
They kickin’ out the blacks and all the houses getting clones”
Aminé seems to be the poster boy for “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” With an unfaltering presence of positivity, he helps us by smoothly transitioning into darker themed works, enveloping light-toned lines into loaded truths.
Take “REDMERCEDES” for example, released on Youtube earlier this year. In the video, Aminé and his friends hit up a car dealership in order to purchase a red Mercedes Benz, but are racially stereotyped and disregarded.
A transmute universe where “Whiteface” exists, an allegory to the racial segregation that’s divided our country apart since it’s birth, Aminé will have you humming along, despite the message at hand.
What captures the audience in his work is a mixture of jocular-toned rap and the bizarre, widely imaginative universes fabricated in his videos.
His style has been comparable to Chance the Rapper’s messages of positivity and D.R.A.M’s cheerful flow. Even when talking about his mental health, Aminé keeps it cool, openly discussing his on-and-off battle with depression, an instability that he tells Papermag, “isn’t considered a valid illness in the hip-hop community.”
“I actually really want to go to a therapist and see what comes out. I’m not about to tell just anyone about my feelings, my feelings are very personal things…it’s that thing that you bury. With Black men it’s like, ‘Stop being a bitch, be a man.’ It’s like, I don’t want to be a man, I just want to be myself.”
His album cover features the rapper reading his newspaper while sitting on a blue toilet. There’s a hidden message behind this playful photo, having actually assembled written pieces through himself and other loved ones, forming a newspaper of help and guidance.
“The main purpose of the newspaper is just to give advice and a look into my world, and help understand who my friends are, the people that I look up to, my family, and what I stand for.”
Aminé’s “Caroline” is the most successful song he’s released so far. With over a million likes on Youtube, the hit helped Aminé’s rise to fame, becoming a certified triple platinum single.
The playful, colorful, childish rendition of this song comes to life on video in exactly the way we’d expect, all games and laughs.
He performed the song on the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, sharing with The New York Times how nervous he was that it took him three takes to record.
“The crowd is suburban, man. If I saw people that looked like me, I’d be a little more comfortable saying what I was saying.”
This is the antithesis of his attitude in “Turf,” where Aminé holds little back in discussion of his feelings regarding his gentrified neighborhood.
“I look around and I see nothing in my neighborhood
Not satisfied, don’t think I’ll ever wanna stay for good
Packed up my bags, told Mom and Dad I’ve gotta go, go
And once I do, they’ll finally see the inner me”
His album Good For You was released earlier this year after hustling throughout his college and post-college career.
There are well-known names of the music industry, Ty Dollar Sign, Offset, and Kehlani to name a few, collaborating with Aminé on his debut.
Aminé has been described as “a summer hit making machine wrapped into one person.”
It’s refreshing to see such a positive face shed light on negative issues. With idols like Aminé around, it provides us with a beacon of hope that you do have a voice, no matter how you choose to use it.
As we watch Aminé rise, the hope is that we continue to receive messages on the things that really matter, the problems that have been left in the dark, and honestly, the largest lesson of this all: That it’s absolutely okay to fuck around once in a while.