Amid all the rock stars and Black Beatles of hip-hop, Aminé is perhaps rap's biggest pop fanatic. You can hear the signs all over "Good for You," a debut album that finds the Portland rapper flexing and finessing old and new flames with clever wordplay, a playful energy and beats so bright you might need shades.
Beyond the lyrical nods to "SpongeBob SquarePants" and such classicist couplets as "Phone drier than Mojave /Daddy diabetic, so he eat his pancakes with agave," the best parts of Aminé's music are his addictive hooks. Many share the melodies of pop punk, as on "Wedding Crashers:" "This is dedicated to my ex lovers /Hope that you hear this, never find another," he sings, adding with a sneer, "Hope you play this at your wedding /Yeah, the one I won't attend."
That one is more Warped Tour than Rock the Bells, but Aminé really proves his pop bona fides on "Spice Girl." "I had to get 'Spice Girl' approved by every Spice Girl," he tweeted in July. "Really didn't think theyd let me release it but they are the GOATS." In the land of endless Biggie-or-Tupac and Jay-Z-or-Nas debates, only rap's most-dedicated pop star would call the Spice Girls the greatest of all time.
Show: Thursday at the Howard Theatre. Doors open at 7 p.m. 202-803-2899. thehowardtheatre.com. $25-$98.