Throughout history we’ve seen a handful of rappers collaborate with R&B singers. Some have become legendary like Ja Rule & Ashanti, and recently formed duos that have the potential to be legendary like Twenty88 (Big Sean & Jhene Aiko). Recently I stumbled upon this new record called ‘Heebiejeebies’ by Amine and Kehlani, and thought that this may be the perfect twosome to represent this era of hip-hop and R&B.
Story | Nico Blitz
Image | CLBN LLC/Republic Records
It all started back when I went to an Amine concert a couple months ago in Los Angeles. For only $10 I was blessed with the opportunity to see Amine, who brought out Kyle, MadeInTYO, and Kehlani in between his hour-long set. After Kehlani triumphed on stage with hits from SweetSexySavage, she had nothing but kind words for Amine, and co-signed the Portland prodigy for his talent.
This story immediately popped in my head when I saw headlines stating Amine and Kehlani had instilled a song together into the Internet. And as soon as I heard the first drop of the instrumental I thought to myself, “This is exactly how it’s supposed to sound.”
If you’ve kept up with Kehlani since Cloud 19, you’ve noticed she’s maintained a cohesive sound that’s undoubtedly hers. Furthermore, her discography shows she’s worked with only a handful of rappers on her projects – the most notable amongst them all being Chance the Rapper on ‘The Way.’ Why bring this up? It shows that she doesn’t just work with anyone. Her sound is so unique that it takes an unorthodox revolutionary rapper like Chano to make it on her music. Amine is on the same boat.
Amine has a distinctive voice and can shift between sentimental, ratchet, catchy, and lyrical within a single track. Take ‘Caroline’ for example. It’s the go-to track that contains the simplicity of today’s hip-hop era; he sings to sprinkle a hint of his sentiment, and it’s highly contagious. Not to forget that he’s also garnered a remix to ‘Red Mercedes’ with Missy Elliot.
Although the accolades between his singles isn’t enough to mark Amine as a revolutionist just yet, it’s foolish to say the beginning stages of his commercial career has been unsuccessful. Answers this: who else has Missy Elliot worked with?
My point is Amine’s one-of-a-kind sound paired with Kehlani’s one-of-a-kind sound creates a duo that can do damage in hip-hop and R&B’s history books. Their chemistry on records like ‘Heebiejeebies’ is only a glimpse of more collaborations we may see in the future. I personally don’t want them to have a name other than Amine & Kehlani or vice versa because it has a nice ring to it like Ja Rule & Ashanti.
Amine will be on tour in Houston, Manchester, Virginia, and Chicago over the summer.