Banana badass Aminé played a lavishly intimate set after a long, dark and rainy Monday, delivering stunning hip-hop-inspired tracks to a sold-out crowd at Brooklyn Steel.
The intimate venue was very full — yet comfortably breathable — as I stood in one of the friendliest crowds I have ever experienced. There was no shoving accompanied with “I’m just trying to get to my friend!” or spilled drinks paired with passive-aggressive threats. It made perfect sense for his concert.
Aminé is undoubtedly one of the most humble and loving contemporary rappers. This was emphasized at the very beginning of the show. Aminé’s good friend and hype man, DJ Madison LST, began the set by urging the crowd to move around and be recklessly in the moment.
Then, Ricky Thompson’s glowing smile popped up on the stage screen and preached a classic ONEPOINTFIVE-brand speech demanding the crowd to get lit and ready for the dope music coming our way. Thompson is one of Aminé’s favorite upcoming comedians and narrates the entirety of his newest album with encouragement, self-love and full embrace of life.
This powerful introduction only strengthened when the highly anticipated rapper jogged out in an all-white fit with one eyelid painted bright pink. His first song was his most vulnerable track to date, “DR. WHOEVER.” Aminé explained the song as his version of a therapy session. The immediate atmosphere of support was tangible as kids across the venue belted Aminé’s poetic lyrics in perfect sync.
The show’s stage screen was both the most magnetic aspect of the show and the most stable catalyst for turning a concert into the inside of the rapper’s neon mind. During songs “CHINGY,” “BLACKJACK” and “Spice Girl,” the respective celebrities were collaged in exciting videos and pictures across the screen. Thompson returned to dance in his infamous style and give another speech as a quick intermission.
There were several motivating phrases such as “Life too short, smile n—a” and “dreams are easy to achieve, believing is the hard part” in simple block letters against bright backgrounds with a subtle digital drip of honey or banana here and there.
The most affectionate and memorable moment of the night, though, was when a gorgeously deep crimson sunset popped up behind Aminé and slowly flowed around a butterscotch bundle of bananas. The rapper then prompted us to try and completely forget about the yucky New York weather and pretend this was the current sky.
Throughout the entire set, he would continuously shout out “You’re beautiful!” in which the crowd had to reply with “I know!” with as much happiness as we could. Everyone clearly enjoyed the constant confidence boost and one fan was even picked out of the crowd to come on stage. He had a sign that said “I’M THE LATINO RICKEY THOMPSON LEMME TWERK 4 U” and even though we didn’t get to see twerking, he did get to sign Aminé’s pants.
His joggers were about a quarter-filled at this point and the rapper explained he picks fans to simply write a goal or aspiration they have as a way of collecting meaningful souvenirs. After this lucky fan moved side-stage, out came A$AP Ferg to surprise the crowd with a performance of “Plain Jane.” The New York crowd was more than familiar and more than hype for this cameo. The night ended with his banger “REEL IT IN” and there wasn’t a face without a grin in the house. Aminé’s ability to execute a true show while being both untouchable and unfathomably modest at the same time is uncanny.
Email Avani Jurakhan at [email protected]