Oregon State University’s Dam Jam concert comes once a year to OSU’s green, wet patch of grass known as the MU Quad.
Thousands of students waited weeks for the lineup to be announced and when the announcement came, students’ emotions were mixed. Smallpools, Marc E. Bassy, and Aminé were all acts with solid fanbases, but the “one hit wonder” title was repeatedly slapped on the headlining act, Aminé.
The alternative band, Smallpools, began the evening showing off their ability to dominate a stage and excite the crowd. Next was Marc E. Bassy, who harnessed the emotions of the crowd and toyed with them during his hit “Morning.”
The hours continued on, the winds started swinging, and the thousands of students were forced to pack in tight. As the night drew in a crisp chill and quiet darkness, Aminé took the stage and fired up the show. The “one hit wonder” burst out from backstage and immediately grabbed the audience with his song “Red Mercedes.” Spoiler alert: he never let their attention go.
The so called “one hit wonder” proved he was anything but that. He played new songs that, by their end, had the whole crowd screaming the few lyrics they could remember. Positivity radiated with every bar he spat, and he even had an ongoing chant with the crowd.
“You’re beautiful,” Aminé said. “I know,” the students’ yelled back.
He engaged the crowd of 7,000 like a seasoned veteran with tracks like “Baba,” “Red Mercedes,” and “Caroline.”
The thump of the bass shook the grass until the last verse of “Caroline.” Aminé went acapella and let the crowd yell parts of the verse. He proved he is more than a “one hit wonder,” and is truly a people’s rapper.
Aminé is regularly working with A-list rappers and recently released a track with Kehlani called “Heebiejeebies.” The Portland emcee’s unique sound came from his humble beginnings in Portland, Oregon at Benson Polytechnic High School. According to a recent interview, he began rapping by making diss songs to other teenagers in the Portland area.
Being one of the only buzzing rappers from the whole state of Oregon, Aminé has a city and state on his back. He embraces this challenge with every shoutout to the “west side.”
His quirky, unique sound is unlike anything out now, and his numbers are undeniable. His steady growth is evident through the improvement in his sound and fan base. He first captivating local Portland audiences, and is now performing shows across the nation.
According to a recent interview, Aminé‘s music topics can be segmented into three pieces: past, present, and future. His future seems to be bright, and when asked who he’d like to work with he only spoke one name: Andre 3000.
Is this a possibility? With each passing day it seems to be more feasible.
With countless big stages under his belt, Aminé has been preparing for festival season. Today he is performing at Bonnaroo in Tennessee, and was recently supposed to perform at Soundset(the weather didn’t permit the festival to happen).
The Portland emcee gets to enjoy the middle of summer before heading to Detroit for the Mo Pop Festival late in July, and then to Chicago for Lollapalooza a week later.
Should he leave these crowds wanting more, Aminé could be setting himself up for an even bigger year than he had in 2016.
It wouldn’t surprise us to see him release a string of singles in the fall, followed by an album late in 2017/early 2018.
From his debut project Calling Brio in 2016 to now, his impact has only expanded. Aminé could soon be mentioned in conversations with the best genre-bending rappers The positivity and quirkiness he brings to music is gaining undeniable traction in hip hop through acts like Chance the Rapper and KYLE.
Aminé should be the next artist to establish himself as a force to be reckoned with.
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