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KAYTRAMINÉ: KAYTRANADA And Aminé’s Collaborative Culmination

Written by on May 22, 2023

KAYTRAMINÉ, the new project from KAYTRANADA and Aminé, dropped their debut collaborative album on Friday, bringing listeners a sparkling 11-song compilation for chilled-out summer days.

KAYTRANADA and Aminé have had an artistic relationship spanning nearly a decade, starting in 2014 when Aminé remixed KAYTRANADA’s “At All” for his track “Not At All” (and the two got connected via Twitter). KAY later sent Aminé beats for his 2015 mixtape Calling Brio – referenced in the KAYTRAMINÉ track “UGH UGH” (“K sent me free beats back in 2015; now it’s 2023 and we got racks in our jeans”) — and has produced several of Aminé’s songs over the years.

“[KAYTRANADA] was one of the first people to recognize my music,” Aminé recalled in a May 16 interview with W Magazine.

The latest fruit of their nine-year working relationship is KAYTRAMINÉ, an 11-song album lush with layered production, inventive samples, refreshing vocals and curated features from Snoop Dogg, Big Sean, Pharrell Williams, Amaarae and Freddie Gibbs.

Wide-ranging inspirations aren’t unusual for KAYTRANADA; his work regularly draws from an array of sources, from Chaka Khan, Sister Sledge and Kool & The Gang to obscure ‘60s and ‘70s global instrumentalists.

The album opens with part of Puff Daddy’s introduction to the Notorious B.I.G.’s London performance that took place on March 9, 1995. Meanwhile, some prominent tracks in the sample department include “letstalkaboutit” — which samples Jermaine Dupri and Clipse’s 2002 track “Let’s Talk About It” and the 1976 instrumental “Phobos” by UK jazz-fusion group Both Hands Free — and “Rebuke” — which samples soul singer Trina Broussard’s ‘97 gem “Inside My Love” and Brazilian artist Lô Borges’ 1979 song “Tudo Que Você Podia Ser.”

The album is also filled with celebrity name-dropping including Seth Rogen, Anderson .Paak, SZA, Ari Lennox, Jennifer Coolidge, Kourntey Kardashian and Will Smith, plus more mundane references to the store Uniqlo and to selling clothes at Buffalo Exchange to pay for studio time. 

Throughout, Aminé’s vocals leave nothing to be desired. He flexes his range, swapping from rapping to singing all the while coming across as sensual and self-assured as he boasts statements such as:

“Bask in my blessings, so I’m never really jealous … Knock it out the park, I don’t know what a ‘L’ is” (“Master P”), or, “Y’all can keep countin’ me out, I’m just gon’ count my carats … I’m Calvin Klein and you are Kenneth Cole” (“K&A”).

Much of the album takes a more relaxed tone than its first single “4EVA” hinted toward; “Rebuke,” released just days before the album, proved more of the tone-setter with a chilled-out beat, mind-soothing samples and Aminé’s melodic vocals to get stuck in your head all day long. Masterful from start to finish, KAYTRAMINÉ’s debut is less the “party” album of the summer as many had anticipated and instead something to be appreciated in more depth (and one to catch live, judging from how much fun the duo seemed to be having at their LA listening party).

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Written by Morgan Ciocca

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