Watch out Portland. There’s a new sheriff in town. “Is it Carrie Brownstein? I LOVE HER!!!” No, it’s not. She’s a ham, but it is not her… it’s Aminé. Now you know.
“How did you come to this conclusion?” you may be asking. Well, I just listened to the song “Shimmy” on repeat, and I’m now considering moving to Portland and changing my residency. Then I can run the “Aminé for Mayor” campaign with tact and ruthlessness.
I’M COMING FOR YOUR ASS TED WHEELER. KEEP THAT HEAD ON A SWIVEL BABY BOY!
So, enough jokes, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Rest in power ODB, Wu Tang was and always will be for the children. Hence, why I play 36 chambers on repeat in my classroom every Wednesday. Wu Tang Wednesday my doods. All right, now the jokes are done.
Side Note: Respect to Aminé for the ODB references. If you have not listened to the album “Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version” please navigate to your nearest streaming service and put that album on from start to end before you continue reading. Trust me, it’s worth it.
Back to the task at hand, reviewing “Shimmy”. This song is all about Aminé talking his shit. I grew up on early Kanye, and spent my college years fully on team Big Sean. So, it’s safe to say I enjoy a good punch line rap. This song is filled with some GEMS! I think that the best way to really judge a shit talking rap song is to look at the punch lines. So, this is exactly what I will do. Now, for my favorite punch lines from “Shimmy” by Aminé:
“You thought you made an anthem, but you just sang you a Fergie”
This line is one of the more clever punch lines I’ve heard in a long time. If you don’t remember, let me jog your memory.
Okay, does it make more sense now? This line kills me. He just compared your music to a half assed and ill-fated attempt at recreating Marvin Gaye’s national anthem.
“Just cause you bought that vintage Margiala
Don’t change your flight from Spirit to Delta”
When was the last time you flew on Spirit? Let’s be honest, it’s not ideal. I am an American man myself. The finer things in life and all. I love this line because it hits the nail on the head. You’re fake stunting, and you need to stop because it is FISCALLY IRRESPONSIBLE. Shop at TJ Maxx or something.
“I got my groove back like Fela, not Stella”
Okay, before I wrote this I had to do a little research because I do not know much about 1970s and 80s afrobeat sound. Surprising, I know. So, I hoped onto rap genius to get some info on this line. “Fela Kuti is known for pioneering the afrobeat sound in the 1970’s and 80’s, it’s likely Aminé is referencing him again here not only to subtly point out at his African heritage, but also to signify that he’s breaking hip hop molds and reaching to the past to get that ‘groove back’” (Rap Genius, 2020). Okay, this line is crazy. It’s smart, it sounds cool, and even though I had no idea who Fela Kuti was, I got it immediately. It’s a punch line with layers. And as a huge fan of tiramisu, I love layers.
This song isn’t all about punch lines. Its drum driven and stripped down beat is perfect and lets those punch lines shine through. The fact that they hit me with one of my favorite rap tropes (Is that how you use that word?) of having the drums come in strong to just immediately cut out gets me going. It makes me want to do some reckless stuff like burn money or open my neighbor’s mail. You know, felonies.
The beat does give me a little Brockhampton vibe, which is trendy right now so that’s cool. The stripped down nature of this beat allows Aminé to provide some melody with his voice. He’s a rap singer and I appreciate that about him. It’s even more fitting that he’ll get some melodies going in a song that celebrates one of the greatest rap singers of all time Big Baby Jesus the Dirt Dog himself, ODB.
Oooo baby I like it raaaaaaw (practice safe sex tho frfr). Bye bye.