40 Best Rap Albums of 2017

Migos, Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar and more of the year in rhymes

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Aminé, 'Good for You'
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14. Amine, 'Good for You'14/40

14. Aminé, 'Good for You'

What happens when you score a major hit single and then fulfill the promise of that hit with a quality debut album, only to watch everyone ignore it because they just want to play the hit over and over again? This was largely the case with Aminé's debut Good for You, which failed to equal the chart success of his utterly charming single "Caroline." And though he goofed that he wanted to "get gory like a Tarantino movie" on "Caroline," the young Portland MC spent much of the album adding insightful context to his immigrant story. He makes frequent note of his heritage, boasting on "Sundays" that "I'm not loud, I'm Ethiopian rowdy." On "Turf," he yearns to escape the torpor of his hometown, where "the po-po up in P.O./Dirtier than B.O." Most of all, amid backing vocals from Uncle Charlie Wilson and cameos from Migos' Offset and Ty Dolla Sign, Amine presents himself as a "yellow mellow fellow" making the tumultuous transition into manhood, often cynical but still romantically inclined. "I don't know when I'm going to die," he and indie-pop duo Girlpool harmonize on "Beach Boy." "I won't trip if it's meant to be." M.R.

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