Aminé brings tour to San Diego

Aminé performed hits like “Caroline” at The Observatory North Park last Friday.
Celina Tebor/The USD Vista

Portland-based rapper known for the hit song “Caroline” is on his first world tour

Celina Tebor | Feature Editor | The USD Vista

Hundreds of young adults shuffled around anxiously last Friday night, waiting for Aminé to come on stage. The crowd was a sea of yellow, representing Aminé’s color, which he wears frequently and features in many of his music videos in the form of bananas. The Observatory North Park was packed with fans for the sold-out show.

Aminé began his career in Portland, Oregon when he was a teen. His large following in the Pacific Northwest spread across the country after he released his song “Caroline” in May 2016 which hit over 200 million views on YouTube. His fame continued to sweep the nation after releasing his album “Good For You” in July 2017.

His music is a mix of hip-hop, pop, and rap with an influence from his hometown Portland. His songs contain many references to the 503, Portland’s area code, and to his Ethiopian heritage. His high-energy beats attract mostly high school and college students, but some adults could be seen jamming in the back of the concert.

First-year Sarah Kushner attended the concert and has been a fan of Aminé since his debut single.

“I initially was into Aminé when he released ‘Caroline,’” Kushner said. “I wasn’t really into his music until my friend showed me the song ‘Spice Girl,’ and since then I’ve been listening to his whole album. And I was really excited since the tickets were so cheap.”

The rapper seemingly took an eternity to get on stage, which clearly annoyed his fans. His three openers were unknown by most, and by the time the third one came out, his rowdy rap songs did nothing to hype the crowd up for Aminé himself.

Kushner was one of the members of the audience who was displeased with the amount of time Aminé took to appear onstage. 

“I didn’t think the opener was bad, but it went on for quite a while, and I think the whole crowd was getting antsy for Aminé to come out,” Kushner said.

Aminé’s set started with his single  “Baba,” with inflatable letters spelling “Good For You” acting as his backdrop. After finishing his first song, he paused to talk to the crowd.

“We like to promote a lot of self-confidence here,” Aminé said. “So when I say ‘you’re beautiful,’ you say ‘I know.’”

He called out “you’re beautiful,” to which the crowd responded “I know,” throughout the night. 

Aminé rapped every song on his album, along with a few songs from different artists. Near the beginning, he paid respect to Kanye West with “Gold Digger.” After singing one of his more popular songs “Spice Girl,” he finished with “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls, to which the whole crowd sang along.

The majority of the crowd only knew a few of Aminé’s most popular songs, which he finished his set with. “Wedding Crashers,” “Spice Girl,” “Red Mercedes,” and the hit that started off his career, “Caroline,” had the crowd yelling the lyrics and jumping up and down, while some of his other songs only had a few of his dedicated fans singing along.

Kushner said that she was impressed with Aminé’s performance.

“I would for sure to go to his concert again,” Kushner said. “A lot of people were saying he wasn’t very good live or a very good singer, but I was very impressed. The price of the ticket was so inexpensive, especially because I love Aminé so much, so it was definitely worthwhile. ”

The Observatory offered a good view for spectators with its slanted floor and chairs in the back of the venue. Fans over the age of 21 could enjoy a drink at the bar while jamming out to Aminé.

For Kushner, The Observatory was a good venue, but not what she was expecting. 

“I personally liked the venue because we could get really close to Aminé, but I was expecting a bigger venue,” Kushner said. “I know that he’s small, but I wasn’t expecting that small of a venue.”

To remember every city he visits, Aminé wears the same pair of pants at every concert and adds a patch with a word or phrase that represents the city. He called a fan onstage to help him decide what to put on San Diego’s patch.

After a few minutes of deliberation, the crowd decided to take the patch-naming into their own hands and chanted the word ‘tacos.’ Aminé got a good laugh out of the cries for tacos, and let the fan that he pulled up on stage write it on his pants.

Aminé finished with his hit song “Caroline,” and quickly exited off the stage after saying goodnight to San Diego. However, as fans began to shuffle out of The Observatory, he ran back on stage with an encore of “Spice Girls,” leaving the crowd buzzing with excitement and energy.

While Aminé is a smaller artist, his fanbase is growing exponentially, as shown by the sold-out performance in San Diego. While his openers went on for far too long, his own performance was spectacular, singing every song on his album without missing a beat. With $20 tickets and a venue like The Observatory, Aminé’s performance was well worth the wait.