For the first time since December 2018, rapper Aminé returned to Portland on Jan. 29 for a sold-out show at the Moda Center’s Theater of the Clouds.
Hailing from the Woodlawn neighborhood of Northeast Portland, Aminé (born Adam Daniel) graduated from Benson Polytechnic High School and briefly attended Portland State University before dropping out to pursue his music career full time.
Aminé released his first two projects, “Odyssey to Me” and “En Vogue” in 2014, when he was 20 years old. In March 2016, the rapper released his debut single “Caroline,” and while it debuted at number 96 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, it eventually rose to number 11 and skyrocketed him towards fame. Within the next year he had signed to Republic Records, been named one of the 2017 XXL Magazine’s Freshman Class, released his first LP “Good for You,” and went on his first tour which he called “Tour for You.”
In the four years since this debut project Aminé has released three more bodies of work: one additional studio album and the first two installments of his “PointFive” series. These mixtapes, titled “OnePointFive” and “TwoPointFive” respectively, are somewhere between an album and a mixtape in terms of preparation, production quality and support from his record label.
“After ‘Good For You,’ I felt a lot of pressure from the industry to release another ‘album,’” Aminé said in a November 2021 interview with Complex magazine. “It was my first time ever having this many people care about what I put out into the world. With ‘OnePointFive,’ I just didn’t want to prepare for an album. I just wanted to make a bunch of fun music and put it out, and that’s what ‘OnePointFive’ was.”
This spirit held true once again in 2021, when the rapper felt that amid the chaos, confusion and turmoil of the past two years of the COVID-19 pandemic it was time to make music just for fun again. This was the impetus behind “TwoPointFive,” the 12-song project Aminé released in November 2021 and now is bringing all across the country on “The Best Tour Ever Tour.”
Jan. 29’s show was the first of the tour, and Aminé made it clear on stage that kicking the tour off back home in Portland, especially at the Moda Center, was extremely important to him.
“I used to drive past this building every day on my way to classes that I never wanted to take,” Aminé said on stage.
Two days before the tour started, the artist posted a statement on Twitter expressing excitement that the tour was beginning in this sentimental venue.
“My first concert I ever went to was at this arena … from then I frequently grew up coming to Blazer games … I went to many of my family’s graduation ceremonies at this arena and I would’ve had mine here too if I didn’t drop out, so I never really thought I’d be walking on this stage again,” Aminé tweeted.
Following four openers, three of whom were local Portland artists, stagehands transformed the plain rectangular platform in the middle of the floor into a microcosm of Portland culture. After about twenty minutes, a giant backdrop of Mt. Hood began to take shape, followed by a scale model of the Broadway Bridge – which the rapper later sat on to perform the song “Dr. Whoever” – and a façade of Alberta Market, a convenience store located on Alberta Street a few minutes away from where Aminé grew up.
The artist used the functioning door on this “Alberta Market” to make several entrances and exits throughout his performance. Finally, the stagehands brought in a small sign displaying “Woodlawn Park,” a reference to Aminé’s childhood stomping grounds.
“You all must think this set is very Portland,” Aminé commented to the crowd at the Moda Center. “Well I have news for you, this set is coming with me on tour, I’m bringing Portland with me all across the United States.”
With this the crowd erupted in cheers, and he was free to continue through his 31-song setlist, which included nine songs from “TwoPointFive,” eight from his 2020 album “Limbo,” six from “OnePointFive” and five from “Good For You.” Vince Staples made a guest appearance to perform his verse on “Pressure in My Palms,” and Vine star Rickey Thompson, who also narrates several interludes on both “PointFive” projects, also surprised the crowd by appearing on stage to introduce the main event.
All things considered, Jan 29’s show was a huge success for the 27-year-old. The next day, he tweeted that he feels like “a little kid on a field trip for this tour.” With 27 shows left, it remains to be seen whether this tour will live up to its name, but it has absolutely started out strong.