Updated: Mar 16
After a whole year absent, Aminé surprised us all when he dropped his single 'Shimmy', returning to form before announcing the release of his second studio album 'Limbo'. The Oregon rapper known for his quirky style wanted to mature his sound with this release, and after some very good singles there was a lot of expectations for this album.
Firstly, the production on this album overall has a slower feel with relaxed vibes, summery atmosphere, calming strings and booming 808s. The production is honestly stunning and borderline immaculate on this project. 'Can't Decide' has these calming riffs and booming trap elements as Aminé talks on a complicated and confusing relationship. The guitar works well here, his singing is nice and overall it's a great song. 'Riri' has this relaxed beat which is catchy with heavy drums and light strings as he talks on a breakup. It's a fine song, it's not one of my favourites on here but the hook is really nice and it gives off good vibes. The final track on this 'My Reality' has a vibey atmosphere and hollow drums which sounds nice as he reflects on making it as a rapper. The track is a nice ending but isn't anything too special.
Overall lyrically, Aminé has some hard lines and slick wordplay at times - but can be pretty average at other times. He gives us some funny wordplay around Toby Maguire's name on 'Roots', "So I Toby acquired her". JID provides some decent metaphors and slower flows as he glides the beat effortlessly, "Made my words work with pens, scribblin' sins, I drop gems" while Charlie Wilson's backing vocals sound great as usual. The pretty soulful beat and nice strings makes this a gorgeous sounding song. He can't really dig deep enough like top tier rappers - even if sometimes he can emit emotion with his lyrics it's not quite the level of the elite in the rap game, and is pretty surface level. 'Shimmy', his first single gives us some braggadocios, hard and witty lines, "A lot of y'all fake flex, n****, that is not your necklace // And that whip ain't yours, n****, that's the IRS's (Go) // I'm bigger than Texas, me and God text message // Y'all see how easy lyin' is, it's easy to forget this", as he talks on being back on top and goes at fake rappers over this catchy drum pattern and soulful vocals. The Ol' Dirty Bastard 'Shimmy Shimmy Ya' sample works perfectly and this is easily a top 3 song of 2020 with witty, sarcastic lyrics and a menacing delivery over a gorgeous beat - a perfect song. Aminé himself shows off some pretty heavy lines on 'Fetus', "A shooter every month and they pretend it's daffodils // My son'll probably see that fire before a fire drill", as he makes a song for his future kids including his hopes for them and fears as well over this catchy, lo-fi beat with boom bap drums. Injury Reserve have a great feature here dropping some pretty great lines, "See plan B really gotta be Plan B // Shit, maybe C, D, E, this is my damn seed, yeah", and keeping the narrative moving as they speak about carefully planning pregnancy because it's a lot of responsibility. It's a good song, Injury Reserve stole the show in my opinion. Aminé's flow meshes with some fun and fire cadences at times while his melodic delivery sounds really nice - it's nothing extraordinary but what he does works.
The features on this are simply great to put it simply. Young Thug on 'Compensating' is really enjoyable with his vocal inflections and some pretty funny punchlines, "The black and orange Aventador like Daffy Duck (Skrrt)", providing a fun feature over these wet synth keys and catchy drum pattern. Aminé's performance is decent here, his melodies are on point and overall this track is catchy and goes hard. Slowthai goes hard on his short feature on 'Pressure in My Palms', he has a great presence before Vince Staples hops on to give us a solid input as the track focuses on the pressures of a rap career (even if they don't dive into much detail). The sliding 808s give this a groovy and banging club beat feel, as Aminé's fun flow, witty lyrics alongside great features and the whole groove of the track make this a very entertaining track - the beat switch to a more calm beat was a smooth transition as well. Summer Walker on 'Easy' provides some great chemistry with Aminé and some nice vocals - but it just ins't very interesting. The relaxed, summery strings don't really do anything to enhance the listening experience as they talk about love running out in a relationship. It's not a bad song, but is isn't good either as it's a bit slow moving and they don't really talk on anything interesting.
Content wise he talks on a lot of common topics including: fame, success, his come up and love - he covers the topics relatively well enough even if at times he's a bit basic. The opener 'Burden' really sets the themes of the project as he talks on: fame, his youth and reflecting on his success. There's some thought provoking lines on this, "Wide awake, but comatose, Hollywoods and overdose // Girls say innuendos, I'm in limbo, but I know the ropes", and with these nice guitar strings and summery feel it''s a nice vibe to start this project off. The following track 'Woodlawn' also talks on his come up, success and sex over this calm beat with booming 808s which is pretty entertaining. The beat slaps, the flow switches are fun and keep you entertained and overall it's another great song. 'Mama' is an appreciation song for Aminé's mum over this emotional piano-based beat with a catchy tone and emotional and heart warming lyrics. The hook is great as well as the post-chorus - you can never go wrong with a mother appreciation song. On 'Becky', he talks on the perception of inter-racial relationships and whether it's worth the risk or not over these nice, relaxed strings. I don't mind the singing on it - I'd have just preferred it if he was rapping and while yeah it was a decent song, he just could've gone into more detail - but he still clearly makes his point.
To conclude, this Aminé project is a great album with a whole range of styles and focuses. His melodies are catchy, production great and delivery spot on - and this has some of my favourite songs from the year on. I will return to this a few times and it has everything for everyone with some relaxed vibes throughout to just sit back and enjoy. There's a minor drop off in quality during the second half - but either way it's still enjoyable.
FAVOURITE TRACKS: Burden, Compensating, Shimmy, Pressure in My Palms, Riri, Mama, Becky, Fetus, My Reality
LEAST FAVOURITE TRACK: Easy
OVERALL RATING: Solid 8/10
*REVISED SCORE: Review may not match favourite tracks and overall rating because I've since re-listened and changed my opinion on certain areas.*