Not everyone is daring enough to make a politically-charged statement their first time on national TV but Aminé is an exception.
Still reeling from the pain inflicted by President-Elect Trump’s victory, many Americans who are less than thrilled with the current political situation have been using the streets as their platform to articulate their frustration with Trump’s policies, appointees and the Electoral College. Aminé had a different platform though – on Jimmy Fallon to be exact – where he performed his latest record ‘Caroline’. The record is a colourful and feel-good hip-hop jam but towards the end of his performance he took to a more sombre mood to address the recent election in his own terms:
‘9/11, a day that we’re never forgetting/11/9, a day that we’re all regretting/If my president is Trump then it’s relevant enough to talk about it on TV and not give a (gasp)/I’m black and I’m proud/My skin is brown and I’m loud/Everybody love it when a rapper tell some lies/That ain’t me homie, I guess that a surprise/America wanna act all happy and holy/When deep down inside they like Brad and Jolie/Caroline divine, and I won’t get specific/Club banana the illest and it’s too terrific/You can never make America great again/All you ever did was make this country hate again,’ Aminé rapped.
Dressed in a yellow leather jacket, rocking his Basquiat inspired haircut, Aminé confidently took on the issue of race but the most poignant part of the verse was “America wanna act all happy and holy/When deep down inside they like Brad and Jolie” which is starkly America’s reality now. It might appear as a quite tongue-and-cheek line on the surface but when deciphered some truth is evident. In this post-election world where divisions are extremely visible along America’s biggest issues healthcare, planned parent-hood, a Muslim-registry etc. America can’t pretend it’s all “happy and holy.” It has bitter tensions to resolve. Whether Trump is the man to do it is uncertain. One thing which is however, is that more artists like Aminé need to step up to mic, and keep America cognizant of the problems its citizens face as a voice is all many oppressed individuals have right now in America.
For those who don’t know Aminé, he’s one of the rising stars of 2016, gaining notability from underground Hip Hop fans through his Soundcloud. His unique sing/rap style and tongue in cheek lyrics will hopefully see him rise to superstardom as we move into 2017. The son of Ethiopian immigrants, Aminé is living the American dream and we look forward to experiencing the waves he makes in 2017.
Be sure to listen to his latest track ‘Baba’ and watch his performance on Jimmy Kimmel below: