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Written Before Listen

Amine is a Portland rapper with a very colorful personality. His production, flows, and versatility is more artsy, playful, and creative than most trap/pop-rap artists. Alongside that, he can become a chameleon of sorts, but that does come with some below-average songs. His album Limbo (without a doubt his best) is a good album with some misses thrown in. There’s also the fact that he does sound derivative at points. Other than that, I’m looking forward to hearing what Amine has in store for us today so with that being said, let’s get into it.


Let’s talk about the production. Amine chose distinct and unique beats for this mixtape as they contain plucky loops, double-time patterns, and multiple influences. Amine tries to perfect the art of bounce in different styles. Personally, a lot of the double-timed beats don’t work with Amine’s laid-back delivery and slick one-liners but I do appreciate the craft. Luckily, the tracks “Charmander” and “Shit2Luz” are examples of Amine doing a good job on the double-timed drums. Other than that, a lot of the production can be a lot for a hip hop beat


Amine completely gets rid of any substance, meaning, or message on this tape, In my opinion, that’s a good thing and a bad thing. Amine’s two sides are equally good and personally, I like his bangers more than his conscious stuff. A lot of his rap verses are straight to the point but never really shock me. The same goes with the melodies. A lot of what Amine creates in the vocals is forgettable. Amine devotes this tape to the beats.


One thing that I can give Amine props for on this album is the genre-bending. There are a lot of songs that I would honestly consider hypertrap with their pitch-shifted vocals and experimental mixing. Also, the double-time drum patterns that I’ve mentioned, actually have a name. They’re called Juke patterns. Amine is not the first hip-hop artist to dabble in these sounds. Artists like Pharrell, Gorillaz, and OutKast have also dabbled in these drum patterns. I think putting House influence onto Amines sound is a great idea and I’m glad he decided to venture into it.


I might have some slight problems with the production and lyrics but my biggest problem is the song lengths. I think the songs could’ve been better if some songs were longer. The longest song is 2 minutes and 46 seconds and the track time average is slightly over 2 minutes. There is only time for one verse and two hooks for most songs, which means that the experiments that Amine tries are nothing more than experiments.


Out of the 12 songs, I think some are above average, some are below but most of them are just ok. The first three tracks of this album made me have low expectations for the rest of the album, but out of nowhere “OKWME” comes up. I love that track and its laid-back bounce and catchy hook. We then get two mediocre tracks and then “Charmander” and “Mad Funny Freestyle” come on, but right after arguably the best song on the album, the worst song comes on the album. “Van Gogh” is forgettable, repetitive, and drab. Overall, I’m excited to hear what Amine brings in the future, but the intentional lack of cohesion brings down my enjoyment.


This mixtape wasn’t bad, but it truly leaves a lot to be desired. It’s 26 minutes and brings something completely new to the table when it comes to pop-rap. We’ll just have to wait and see what Amines third album has.



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