Review: Amine dazzles Knitting Factory in his Best Tour Ever concert

As Women’s History Month draws to a close, I reflect on what makes women… women. We are making. We lead the culture. We increase the visibility of what it means to be literally remade by bringing out a few kids here and there throughout our lives. (If that’s what we decide to do.)

And that’s what I understood from Amin during his concert last week. He’s the father of a particular sound – the West Coast rap style – that adores women and talks about getting paper with the homies in the same breath. It’s an effortless balance, a vibe that rocked hip hop and is now the norm.

With the help of his DJ, MadisonLST, Aminé’s authenticity and talent dazzled during his March 24 show at Knitting Factory, a stop on his The Best Tour Ever. Rappers 454 and AJ Tracey were the opening acts.

Born Jelani Rice, 454’s sound is a collection of emotional outpourings and electronic beats. In his songs “Facetime” and “Pisces,” his rapping style is deepened with traits from the Playboi Carti and Kodak Black gene pool, playing with an edgy, high-pitched voice that dances through, sometimes around, the selected beat.

After 454 there was Tracey, a London-born group of grime rap, a subgenre that is the son of the original American drill music genre. Drill music took the early 2010s by storm behind the masterminds of Chicago Chief Keef, Lil Durk, Lil Reese and their late friend Fredo Santana.

Tracey carried a higher energy in her set, performing songs like “Kukoč” and another song produced by Memphis producer Tay Keith. Tracey also brought out New York rapper Swoosh God, who produced the popular song “Just Do It” in 2019.

It’s been a while since we’ve been able to see Aminé perform on a full tour. A lot has changed, considering he dropped two projects, “Limbo” and “TwoPointFive.”

It was especially nice to hear Aminé incorporating music from his third album, and one of my personal favorites of 2020, “Limbo”. The album’s selection of beats and a few mid-20s growing pains interludes resonated well with Aminé’s older and current sound.

Sadly, the album flew under the radar, having been released at the height of the pandemic summer of 2020 where equality and change took center stage instead of those mystical summer vibes.

On “Limbo,” he leans straight into classic boom-kack hip-hop beats that highlight his lyrical ability. The album features some of the hottest acts in the rap game, including cameos from Atlanta’s Young Thug, JID and R&B singer Summer Walker. Legendary musician Charlie Wilson also makes an appearance.

Throughout the show, Amine had spectacular energy and puns. He raps or dances, jumps or skips. During the song breaks, Aminé kept the energy up with his “You’re beautiful!” “I know” call and response song.

The setting resembled Woodlawn Park, a commonplace of Aminé’s childhood in Portland where he went to seek inspiration and peace. It featured a bridge that crosses a lake and the neighborhood convenience store, possible thought-provoking spaces where Aminé decided to embark on what is now a thriving rap career.

In some of the songs that feature him sitting, thinking, Aminé climbed to the top of the false bridge and rapped inspiration from his hits. He embodies the energy of his music: friendly, vibrant. Weird, weird. But overall it’s refreshing.

Aminé’s high energy kept the crowd encapsulated, especially during times when he might have stopped the show to gauge the audience’s energy. Every time he interrupted his set, it was to make sure the fans were okay or if someone wanted to sign his travel pants.

It’s a hilarious joke for any 2000s kid who grew up on this film’s endless praise of pants that apparently travel. For the Spokane stop, a fan named Reyna signed a red patch on the jeans near her right leg, reserving the back pocket for the European leg of the tour.

Aminé’s most recent project, “TwoPointFive”, didn’t seem like a shot in the dark, but rather a complete leaning into the electronic world that Aminé’s sound leans heavily on. It was a risk, but it matched his thirst for something alternative and excellent. My favorite from the album is “Between the Lines”.

It’s the only song on the album that features Rickey Thompson, the screaming social media star who makes Aminé’s “OnePointFive” mixtape the relatable banger it is through Thompson’s narrations.

The show was also steeped in lyrical references and samples that Aminé uses in his recent projects. While performing Red Mercedes, MadisonLST slipped in the instrumental “Drop It Like Its Hot”, which fitted perfectly into Aminé’s lyrical tempo.

In the middle of the song “Spice Girl”, Aminé cut out Spice Girls’ “Wannabe”, which caused all the girls in the audience to look at each other and shout, “If you want to be my lover, you have to get along with my friends!”

Aminé makes his concerts fun by referencing global pop culture, especially in the world of music. I immediately locked eyes with Emily Connery, my gig date and editorial assistant at The Spokesman-Review, shouting, “Friendship never ends!”

Aminé also performed his hit “Caroline”. (This song really colorful in college for me, what a man bop.) But, instead of letting the iconic, deep “Listen to the man…” intro slip out of the audience, Aminé went on song with a slow R&B ballad version that still radiated the beauty and nostalgia of “Caroline”.

The Best Tour Ever is a living example of what makes Aminé the hard-hitting, hard-hitting rapper that he is. His music is a space for the strange, a pocket in which Amin entered unexpectedly and now dominates.

He’s a beacon of the West Coast rap scene, something that’s been missing since the early 2010s. He’s the current king of the Pacific Northwest and its quirks. His energy and execution in the Best Tour Ever reinforced my opinion on this.