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Inside Beat

Aminé's latest release 'TWOPOINTFIVE' is colorful, authentic

Though not as commercially successful as his last album, Aminé's newest project is more free-form and allows the rapper to creatively explore his sound.  – Photo by Aminé / Twitter

Since his 2017 hit, "Caroline," American rapper Aminé has skyrocketed into the spotlight. Infectious energy, colorful music videos and lyrical content focused on sex and hedonistic pleasures are what the 27-year-old is best known for, and his last album, 2020’s "Limbo," earned his first top 10 album on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-hop albums.

His latest album, "TWOPOINTFIVE," further develops his musical style and serves as a sequel to his 2018 extended play, "ONEPOINTFIVE." Despite releasing the album in the heart of the pandemic, his beat selection and purposeful features allows him to float from song to song seamlessly.

"YiPiYaY" starts the album off as a testament to Aminé's mental state and an update on his career at this point. He utilizes autotune and different vocal inflections to emphasize this delivery, and the sporadic percussion illustrates the carefree and spontaneous vibe of this song.

It matches his energy that he usually uses for his starter songs, and it follows his themes of bright colors and energetic bars. His vocal style feels much more inspired by Young Thug than on previous albums, and he uses his rapping voice much less often within this project. 

"Dididumduhduh" is a chopped-and-screwed cut that takes inspiration from the 2000s Houston scene and is the first slow jam on the album. The piano melody in this song compliments the sparse instrumentation and moody synthesizers, and it feels very Drake-like in its atmosphere and production style. Aminé is an artist who openly combines his influences on his sleeve, and breaking away from his energetic beats shows his variety as an artist. 

"Mad Funny Freestyle" greatly showcases Aminé's sense of humor and sense for melody. His voice feels purposefully sparse, which makes you pay greater attention to what he’s saying.

The bridge of the song reveals a beautifully short piano interlude, and he gets much more personal in these eight bars than the rest of the song. He raps, "It’s my last night in New York, let’s maybe link up after/I’m exhausted, but a Yerba’s all it takes to start this chapter." His link-ups feel like adventures instead of bragging, and his tone makes this song one of the most sincere tracks on the album despite its unassuming title. 

"meant2b" is the most video game soundtrack-sounding song on the album, and the SEGA-style synths and thundering 808s are Aminé at his most comfortable instrumentally. His vocal repeats and different inflections add to the novelty of the song, and it closes his album off with an interesting message, with one of his memorable lines being, "I used to wait on line for sneakers and a pic/Now I’m getting one-of-one’s from Salehe, I’m the sh*t."

While he has not been an established rapper as long as many of his peers, he’s created an important lane in the music industry for himself in a rather short time. He basks in his success, but it doesn't feel disingenuous or like he’s taking his life for granted. 

"TWOPOINTFIVE" isn't meant to be a better album than 2020’s "Limbo," or any of his other albums. He's driven by the continuation of his artistic choices instead of a need to surpass himself with every release. His music videos, Instagram posts and social media presence add to his identity, and he takes himself less seriously than other rappers who pride themselves on representing their city or speaking on a lifestyle they no longer take part in.

Aminé is authentic in his carefreeness and his release schedule, and fans of his will certainly enjoy this album for what it is. He says that, "The PointFive projects are the breaks in between albums where I allow myself to make music without expectations," which explains the sudden rollout and spontaneous feeling of this project. He plays to his strengths and it works efficiently, and "TWOPOINTFIVE" will hold his fans over until his next album release.

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