KAYTRAMINÉ – Self-Titled review

KAYTRAMINÉ is a newly formed MC/producer superduo consisting of Portland emcee, singer/songwriter & music video director Aminé as well as Haitian-Canadian producer & deejay KAYTRANADA. One of whom I was introduced to in the 2017 XXL Freshman Class & the other notable for being 1/2 of The Celestics with his younger brother Lou Phelps The first time we heard these guys cross paths was when Kaytradamus laced 3 joints off Aminé’s sophomore mixtape Calling Brío, but are reuniting to release a full-length debut of their own.

“Who He Iz” is a groovy opener to the album calling himself misunderstood & living where the coochie live whereas “letstalkaboutit” featuring Spreadie Gibbs discuss their wealth over a glistening instrumental. “4eva” gives off a more hip house vibe to it with some afro house & contemporary R&B undertones refusing to let anything come between his forever leading into “Westside” works in some string sections talking about being hot & cold at the same time not wanting to be compared to these fools out here.

Moving on from there, we have Big Sean coming into the picture for “Master P” blending these hi-hats with a vocal sample as they tell everyone in the game right now to watch it just before “Rebuke” is a pop rap/contemporary R&B ballad with some elements of neo-soul sprinkled in calling himself the type that you remember when you go to sleep. “Sossaup” talks about upgrading his bitch with a wavier beat in the fold, but then “STFU3” continues the trilogy that Good for You started & 1.5 continued with a J Dilla inspired sound.

The song “Ugh Ugh” brings back the synths talking about hustling 5 days of the week except for balling on Fridays & cuddling with his girl on Sundays while the penultimate track “Eye” featuring Snoop Dogg goes back into hip house turf 1 last time so the trio can discuss having to get focused locked in & never being unbelievable. “K&A (KAYTRANADA & Aminé)” ties up the album by talking about doin’ what we want ’cause we want accompanied by an impeccably smooth ass instrumental.

If this is only the beginning of what’s to come from KAYTRAMINÉ, then it has me anticipating what’s in store from them in the future because this is a highly enjoyable debut album from the duo. KAYTRANADA’s production gives heavy summer vibes, Aminé gives some of the finest performances of his career, the feature list is brief yet tight & I’m really amazed by simply how well everything flows together throughout the 34 minutes.

Score: 4.5/5

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IDK – “Simple.” review

IDK is a 29 year old British-American rapper, singer, songwriter & producer who broke out in the spring of 2014 off his debut mixtape Sex, Drugs & Homework. This was followed up with Subtrap & The Empty Bank, but his profile began to significantly increase in 2017 when he signed to William Street Records put out a 4th tape entitled IWasVeryBad to critical acclaim. He continued the grind by putting out a debit EP IDK & Friends as well as the full-length album Is He Real? & a 2nd EP IDK & Friends 2, but his sophomore effort USEE4YOURSELF last summer was very underwhelming. That being said, I was very much looking forward to his 3rd EP right here after learning that KAYTRANADA would be producing the whole thing.

“Drugstore” is a hip house opener about seeing that money talk & after the “Southeast to Paris” skit, Denzel Curry tags along for the jazz rap banger “Dog Food” with a fresh Lil Wayne interpolation during the hook. “Zaza Tree” returns to hip house turf & the hook here interpolates the late Soulja Slim very well.“Breathe” is a more atmospheric ballad talking about catching his breath leading into “Taco” incorporating some funky house influences settling some beef. Mike Dimes comes into the picture for the final song The Code” to discuss their #1 rules over a piano instrumental & “Paris to Southeast” ends the EP with yet another skit.

This is definitely much better than USEE4YOURSELF & I’ll even say that this is the crown jewel of IDK’s discography so far. Not only because he sounds incredibly laser-focused & comes through with some fantastic subject matter, but KAYTRANADA’s production is a breath of fresh air as it’s the most detailed it’s ever been on any project that Jay has put out previously.

Score: 4/5