In 2016, when rapper Aminé ended his breakout year with a sold-out homecoming performance at Roseland Theater, the Portland native showed both his star potential and his inexperience.
While commanding onstage, he didn't yet have the material for a full headlining set, filling his time with jokes about Benson High and the Blazers, multiple cover songs and surprise guests. He was so new at that point that some fans didn't know he was even from Portland.
This year, there was no confusion.
Returning to the Roseland for the second of a two-night stand on Dec. 28—his first Portland appearances since releasing his well-received major label debut, Good for You, last July—the crowd was electric with anticipation and, as per his instructions, covered in glitter.
Clad himself in an all-denim outfit that was studded from seam to seam, then drowned in glitter, Aminé looked like Freddie Mercury going out for a night at the Thunderdome.
"Y'all know where I'm from, right?" he joked after he ripped the night open with "Baba." He made the same joke last year, but it landed better this time.
The performance was tight and impeccably orchestrated. There were some miscues. There was a long lag in the show when Aminé brought a fan on stage to sign a pair of pants and the large, inflatable "Good For You" sign kept losing air. He encored with "Spice Girl," a puzzling choice, given that he'd already played it.
But by the time he got to "Caroline"—which started slow, built with quiet surges, then exploded with 808s and confetti cannons—it was clear that this is a much different Aminé from last year. If his last homecoming showcased his potential, this year's fulfilled it. Finally, Portland has a true rap star to call its own.