The journey to ‘Kaytraminé‘, the debut self-titled collaboration from rapper Aminé and producer Kaytranada, began back in 2014. Aminé remixed Kaytranada’s track ‘At All’, dubbing his version ‘Not At All’ and sharing it on SoundCloud. At the time, Aminé was relative unknown in comparison to the Haitian-Canadian producer, who’d already made a name working with acts like Kali Uchis, Anderson .Paak and Kendrick Lamar. But after hearing the remix, Kaytranada reached out to the burgeoning Portland rapper, cosigning the track and giving him free beats for future projects. It wasn’t long until the idea of collaborating came up, leading the pair to join forces on three songs for Aminé’s 2015 mixtape ‘Calling Brio’; a fruitful pairing was born.
Since then, they’ve kept busy. Aminé dropped two studio albums, 2017’s ‘Good For You’ and 2020’s ‘Limbo’ and led by his platinum hit single, ‘Caroline’. Kaytranada released ‘Bubba‘ in 2019 (the follow-up to his critically-acclaimed debut ‘99%‘), picking up the Grammy for Best Dance/Electronic Album.
In November, 2021, Aminé shared his ‘TWOPOINTFIVE’ project and Kaytranada dropped his ‘Intimidated’ EP. The same year, in the midst of those creative endeavours, they somehow found time to rent a house together in Malibu, California and tap into their creative chemistry again with Kaytranada making beats during the day and Aminé adding lyrics at night. The result is ‘Kaytraminé‘, a feature-studded album showing off their prowess for collaboration, musicality and imaginative dancefloor hits.
The first taste of the album came by way of ‘4EVA’, a bubbling beat-heavy track featuring melodic stylings and co-production from Pharrell Williams. The duo premiered the song live during Kaytranada’s Coachella set, setting the tone for an album that packs bags of sunshine.
On ‘Who He Iz’, amid airhorns and the call to stop standing around looking cool, a smooth beat mirroring Busta Rhymes‘ ‘Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See’ struts in, punctuated with smooth laughter lifted from Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five’s ‘The Message’. Blissful stuff. The percolating rhythms continue with the Freddie Gibbs-starring ‘letstalkaboutit’, which features gems and swagger aplenty: “Do my one-two step make your bitch get wet that’s why they give me all the goodies like Ciara“.
Snoop Dogg stars on ‘Eye’, alongside walls of synth and vocals that harmonise with the backing soundscapes. The West Coast icon raps leisurely about love in the track, adding, “We’re in it to win it let’s work this shit out / you got the key our love is a house”. Big Sean makes an appearance on ‘Master P’, a track that builds up with spiralling beats and distorted vocals before the cadence of the beat picks up, with blissful sonics contrasting the lines warning people not to cross them. ‘Sossaup’, too, comes packed with witty lyrics, like the standout line “I’m feeling Beyoncé I’m finna upgrade you” over winding beats and assistance from Ghanaian singer Amaarae’s bell-like vocals.
‘Rebuke’, however, confirms its candidacy for the hottest album of the summer. On the charming bars, Aminé makes multiple pop culture references, pouring out “The Kourt Kourtneys got Disick divorcee / My ordeals might owe fees, part ways like McCartney / Match made in heaven like Ja Rule and Ashanti.” Bridging inventive production, confident lyricism, and delightful sonics, it shows off the genius and depth of their cohesive partnership; long may it continue
- Release date: May 19, 2023
- Record label: Venice Music