Portland rapper Amine’s songs are as bright as the color yellow | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Portland rapper Amine’s songs are as bright as the color yellow 

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click to enlarge Amine

Amine

Randy Shropshire

In Adam “Amine” Daniel’s breakout video for “Caroline,” the Portland rapper goofs around with pals in the parking lot of a classic drive-in burger joint, in a car—and on top of said car while it’s in motion. He also drops a skit into the middle of the video (which has amassed more than 200 million YouTube views since 2016), an absurd bit in which he asks about the bananas scattered behind him in the car that, according to the driver, are for “decoration.” Like the song “Caroline,” a sleek, minimal dance track built on a lithe, funky synth, the video excels because it exudes joy and all its familial synonyms, in part because of Amine’s predilection for the color yellow, demonstrated by the bananas as well as several blindingly colored backdrops and outfits. More specifically, it exudes black joy; on his July debut, Good for You (Republic), he raps “I rock yellow on some yellow like what purple is to Prince” (the track is called, you guessed it, “Yellow”). Amine, whose parents emigrated from Ethiopia to the U.S. in the 90s, frequently uses his favorite color as a template to share the lightness of black life, and his effervescent rapping and feel-good instrumentals cast a similar clarity and vividness throughout Good for You. A friendly iconoclast, Amine has a gift for making music that can touch both people who intimately understand his everyday experiences and those who may struggle to decipher his most basic reference points.   v

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