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Photo: Lucas Creighton
Photo: Lucas Creighton

KAYTRAMINÉ Declare an Early Summer on Their Self-Titled Debut

Combining Kaytranada’s tropical dance beats and Aminé’s confident and outlandish mic presence, this is one for the poolside. 

by Ben Boddez

Although most of the project was conceived and recorded in a jointly rented house back in 2021, a collaborative union between Montreal producer Kaytranada and Portland rapper Aminé has been nearly a decade in the making. Then a fan, Aminé remixed a Kaytranada track back in 2014 and caught his attention enough to reach out on social media, creating a lasting friendship that’s clearly based partially on shared musical tastes. On their debut as a duo, Aminé leans a little bit more into the funkier, more tropical side of his sound to meet Kaytranada in the middle, while the beatmaker shifts more into the mode of a hip-hop producer, turning his typically lush and complex soundscapes into experimental loops fit for a charismatic mic presence. 

While he is renowned by hip-hop enthusiasts for his technical abilities, to more general audiences, a sizable chunk of Aminé’s appeal boils down to his outlandish personality and the inability to predict what he’s going to say next. With a variety of hilarious pop culture references and creative wordplay – especially when it comes to his more X-rated bars – he continues to deliver on that promise. The duo also recruits a supporting cast of some of the only rappers who can match Aminé in the realm of a carefree attitude and a penchant for being a superior hip-hop court jester of sorts, including Freddie Gibbs, Big Sean and Snoop Dogg.

Despite all of this, however, Kaytranada’s beats are just as much the star of the show as the rap verses that they play host to. Tapping into something that only he and Metro Boomin truly share when it comes to inviting more notable guests to maneuver around their signature styles, the beats are initially captivating at their most bare-bones level, but continue to shift and change along the way, adding new flourishes to make for a much more engaging and dynamic listening experience. Veering between fun-loving sample chops, a touch of Afrobeats and reggaeton, and Kaytranada’s typical funk-laden dance beats, the album is a kick-start to summer that encapsulates the vibe of the two artists laid back on pool floaties on the cover.