Aminé is a 26-year-old rapper from Portland, Oregon. This August, he released his third album, Limbo, which received high critical praise due to its forward-thinking production and stylistic versatility. Yesterday, he expanded on his vision with a brand new deluxe edition of the project, Limbo (Deluxe). With seven new songs, can Aminé make this already excellent record even better?
While the original version thrives because of its risky but rewarding creative choices, the seven new tracks completely disregard this principle. Whether it’s the painfully generic overly sexualized “Mrs. Clean” or the extremely dense “Gelato”, there’s nearly nothing to admire in the authenticity of these cuts. Still, hearing these knock off Playboi Carti and Lil Uzi Vert impressions are superior to the god awful Unknown Mortal Orchestra collaboration “Buzzin” as its simple lyrics about the struggles of love are so redundant and played out at this point. With most of these short 17 minutes being hogged by horrendous moments like these, it makes you wonder what was going through the Portland visionaries head when putting this out. Making things even worse, Aminé somehow manages to waste a Saba feature as he trades his passionate storytelling ability for some straight forward braggadocios bars on “Talk”. Fortunately, this expansion isn’t a complete disaster, as the hard-hitting “Zack & Cody” with Valee makes for a pretty fun trap banger. Serving as the record’s only true highlight, “Solid” unravels a rarely seen side of Aminé as we see him make a powerful anthem focusing on the ideas of brotherhood and equality. As a whole, it feels like we got robbed here as everything that made Aminé’s performance so beloved previously was thrown out the window for a few weak attempts at making a viral hit.
Outside of the chipmunk soul sampled “Solid”, the ambitious soundscape that Limbo was praised for is mainly comprised in exchange for some pretty standard trap beats. While the Pi’eere Bourne arranged “Mrs. Clean” sounds fun on the surface, its simplistic spacey atmosphere doesn’t fit the aesthetic so prominent on the rest of the LP. Even the moments that do mesh with the established vibes like “Zack & Cody” and “Gelato”, feel so underdeveloped compared to the entirety of the standard editions tracklist it makes them a pain to get through. Elevating the status of the record in the slightest, the vibrancy of “Chicken” and “Buzzin” enlightens the tone with their glamorous loops and precise attention to detail. From top to bottom, this experience is plagued by the fact that nearly all the instrumentals sound like clones of each other and the few moments that do stand out are mediocre at best.
In conclusion, Limbo (Deluxe), joins the ever-growing list of atrocious deluxe albums in 2020 but what makes it even more frustrating is that it was already coming off one of the better releases of this year. Between Aminé’s underwhelming performance and the terribly safe soundscape, this is easily the worst project the 26-year-old has made so far. Going forward, I’m not worried about Aminé’s future as it’s clear this was simply a quick cash grab but that doesn’t exempt it from the scrutiny that any other body of work would receive.
- “Solid” is super powerful and unique
- Few tracks are decent
- Aminé’s performance is too dense and bland
- Safe/boring production
- Mediocre features