Words by Sophie McMahon (Comment Editor)
First bursting onto the mainstream stage with his multi-platinum 2017 hit, Caroline, Amine has since established himself within his own category of West Coast rap. The catchy hooks and lyrics which frequently grace the lines of witty and serious, seem to appeal to an array of listeners which was reflected by the crowds that waited to enter Brixton Academy.
Billed ‘The Best Tour Ever’, it definitely felt like the crowd went on a journey through his discography. From the more trap hits such as RATCHET SATURN GIRL, REEL IT IN and BLACKJACK from his album ONEPOINTFIVE. To the traditional rap offerings from Good for You and Limbo– Compensating, Riri and Caroline– alongside others. Finally, to his latest album, TWOPOINTFIVE, which he takes in a surprising direction, providing a psychedelic kaleidoscope of dance-inspired hip-hop, an experience similar to being “at Disney doin’ acid” as he raps on Twisted!
Opening with the high energy Mad Funny Freestyle, the crowd went wild when Amine first jumped onto the stage- having already had nearly 20 minutes of warm up from his DJ, MadisonLST. Whilst phones were held high in the air in an attempt to capture the memory, the crowd was far too hyped for anybody to be able to take a still video.
This spirit would continue throughout the show, and even between songs he would be trying to excite the audience with a “You’re beautiful!”, “I know” call and response which seemed to be a real crowd pleaser.
It was nice to hear a good selection of songs from his third album, Limbo, which leans far more into his lyrical ability than his debut, Good for You. Marking a clear shift in his music inspired, at least in part, by the death of NBA player Kobe Bryant, which he labels as “fastforwarding his maturity.” The album’s offerings seem far more about securing his legacy as an artist, varying from introspection to black rights, particularly prominent in Becky and Burden but nonetheless littered throughout. It was clear the resonance that hearing these lyrics live had with black members of the audience, which certainly felt emotional to be part of. The seated position he chose to take whilst performing songs from this album felt reflective of its themes and was a nice addition for the more observant fans.
The sporadic yet versatile performance was very much a manifestation of all his projects and the competing, yet oddly complementary, styles they bring. While the theme of black love which runs through many of his songs was definitely an element he wanted to place heavy emphasis on, demonstrated most explicitly during CANTU when he took down his hair and let his “dreads swing ‘round”. Skip to Spice Girl, one of his most popular hits, and he cut it short to play Wannabe by the Spice Girls which prompted everyone to turn to their neighbour and scream “If you wanna be my lover…” Amine is far from a serious character, despite what his lyrics might suggest, and the juxtaposition of what he raps, and his actions is what made his show so refreshing.
- Mad Funny Freestyle
- RATCHET SATURN GIRL
- Mrs. Clean
- Pressure in My Palms
- Spice Girl
- REEL IT IN
- Mad Funny Freestyle