A Connection, Not a Title

Recently, I wrote about the Ethiopian-American rapper from Portland, Amine, taking the rap scene by storm. His song ‘Caroline’ was an instant sensation for people of all ages, and today I want to look at one of his songs on the same album. The song ‘Baba’ was written by Amine and produced by the same guy who worked on ‘Caroline’. The song is upbeat and playful; the theme is a similar vein to his last hit in that it is about his relationship with a woman. Unfortunately, this song is not nearly as infectious. The sensual vibe sits in stark contrast to the beat it’s placed on. This makes the vibe of the song feel a little awkward, despite what would otherwise be the formula for another chart topper.

The most interesting thing about the song, in fact, is the name. Baba is the Amharic word for daddy. Amine is a first-generation American born rapper and he has no issue placing that front and center in his music. This might seem like a small feature but the ability to be your entire self in your art makes it way more impactful. He could have easily used a more common English expression for the term, but instead opted to use the term that only his culture could produce.  In a concert I attended at the time of his album’s release, Amine spoke about how he titled this song Baba because that was a term they grew up saying. This puts the potential for him to connect with his audience who has had a similar experience in a more authentic way, all before they even hear the first lyric. The song isn’t perfect, but it is a perfect reflection of the values of its creator.

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