Here's a prediction: you won't be able to see rapper Amine at a venue as intimate as Toad's Place by the end of 2018.
The Portland, Oregon-raised rapper just released his debut album, "Good For You," in the summer. He's already established a confident visual style through a series of interconnected videos; bananas, Quentin Tarantino and strip-mall-style commerce seem to be recurring themes.
Amine has a winning and playful sense of humor, and the production and backing tracks on his songs have a nicely minimal and warped feel, with wobbly keyboard stabs and guitars processed with drooping effects on the trippy "Turf."
His breakout single, "Caroline," can bring to mind De La Soul and Outkast. It's seriously catchy: "Great scenes might be great, but I like your bloopers," goes one line.
For the video for "REDMERCEDES," Amine and two of his buddies wore white face, flaxen-hair wigs and melon-colored preppy get-ups. The video involves a play on profiling and stereotypes with employees at an all-black car dealership (the logo for which is another recurring visual tidbit in his videos) struggling to relate to the Jimmy Fallon-esque posse.
Amine's record is eclectic, bright (he's practically turned the color yellow into part of his image) and fun. His parents moved to the U.S. from Ethiopia, so, in addition to his sense of America's race-based complexities, he also has an immigrant's perspective that might allow him to connect with an even wider audience.
Amine performs at Toad's Place, 300 York St., New Haven, on Friday, Oct. 20, at 9 p.m. Tickets are $25. toadsplace.com, 203-624-8623.