'Limbo' Review: Aminé pays homage to Kobe Bryant and experiments with psychedelic undertones on sophomore LP
The album also consists of guest-featured tracks including 'Pressure in my Palms' (with Slowthai and Vince Staples), 'Fetus' (with Injury Reserve), 'Easy' (with Summer Walker) and 'Roots' (with JID and Charlie Wilson)
Portland-bred Los Angeles-based rapper Aminé's new album, titled 'Limbo', has just dropped on Thursday, August 7 via Republic Records. Its release is accompanied by the Young Thug collaborative single 'Compensating'. The generous 14-track album also consists of special guest-featured tracks including 'Pressure in my Palms' (with Slowthai and Vince Staples), 'Fetus' (with Injury Reserve), 'Easy' (with Summer Walker) and 'Roots' (with JID and Charlie Wilson).
In a 2019 interview with Bandwagon, Aminé spoke about the album, saying, "It’s something I’m really proud of and something I’ve been putting a lot of effort into for the past two years.” He added, “I haven’t really gone this in-depth with my music in a while, so it feels good." He also spoke about his urge to just put out good music without a focus on being in the spotlight. "Not that I'm not inspired now, but I just miss being super duper hungry – y'know, for all this that I have today. But nowadays it's more so I just want to make music that I love – not for attention," the rapper said.
An artiste who has been certified platinum five times (for his breakout smash 'Caroline'), Aminé continues on his promise to change perceptions and defy expectations" with 'Limbo', as a press statement aptly explains.
On the opening track 'Burden', a recording of the rapper's voice reveals, "This is that s**t that you, like... How do I say this right? This is like some s**t you go and pick your homie up from jail with." After the humorous intro, the song slides into a mid-tempo traipse with a breezy guitar and funky bassline groove. The song overlays with several psychedelic elements and glitched bars that highlight Aminé's notable experimental take on hip-hop.
Further in the album, it is evident Aminé has become settled in his own niche of music-making. 'Can't Decide' opens with a buttery blues guitar riff on repeat then mixes intertwined trap and padded hip-hop beats with subtle layers of added guitar. With Aminé's vocals, the result sounds like a beautiful mesh of trap, blues, R&B, and reggaeton.
Along with its experimental or psychedelic temperament and several songs that would fit perfectly on a stoner's playlist, 'Limbo' also musters soulful and meaningful energies. The third track 'Kobe' pays homage to the late basketball star Kobe Bryant who died in January while 'Limbo' was still in the works. Over a gospel-esque meander with added warped effects, the rapper notes, "It, weirdly, fast-forwarded my maturity. It weirdly was like one of those things where he died and I felt like a lot of my innocence - and being a young person - died with Kobe. And now with him being gone, I'm like, 'let me figure out how money works. Let me figure out how to buy a house and how to move and... I don't know... I felt like a piece of my childhood go with him... I'm 26."
On 'Shimmy', the rapper pays homage to his past, declaring 2020 as his with a co-directed Portland love letter. Over an eery chorus sample and fattened rap beat, Aminé spits, "It's been a whole (Limbo), year, my n**a. Let's not front, it's my year, my n**a. I'm here to f**k up your whole career, my n**a. Don't play dumb, dummy, you know what's the deal, my n**a. A lot of y'all fake flex, n**a, that is not your necklace. And that whip ain't yours, n**a, that's the IRS's. I'm bigger than Texas, me and God text message. Y'all see how easy lyin' is, it's easy to forget this."
Since its release in February, 'Shimmy' garnered over 20 million streams and the music video currently has six million views on YouTube. Watch the official 'Shimmy' music video below.
Overall, the innovative artiste has laid out several personal notes of his innermost feelings and his views on his rising fame while thematically underlining the LP from its 'Limbo' standpoint. The new record feels like it plays with the audience perspective rather than pushing a particular message or throughline. 'Limbo' is what it wants to be without fronting and without showcasing excessive amounts of hip-hop stardom perks and we highly recommend you listen to it.