A quick Google search on GoldLink, and you’ll discover that it’s tough to find out much about this 21-year-old rapper. Describing himself as a “very private person”, he’s a young talent who doesn’t rely on obnoxious gimmicks to get attention: he just lets his music do the talking.
Since his early mixtapes, GoldLink has been on a solid upward trajectory developing a sound which has been described as ‘future bounce’ - it’s a signature that bops between genres. With his first ‘official’ release - the impressive and attention-grabbing ‘The God Complex’ - it was immediately obvious that GoldLink is something special, and it wasn’t long until everyone and their mother was jumping on the bandwagon - including Rick Rubin. It could be a lot for any newcomer to take on, but this guy isn’t fussed. “Not even in the slightest do I feel pressure. I don’t really pay attention to outside expectation. I’ve always had a goal in my head since before I was known and I’m sticking to it.”
When GoldLink trades blows between different genres, words stream out of him like he’s not even trying. “It’s easy for me to manage the ideas solely because the influence of black culture is something I can easily channel, which is why I root back to funk, jazz, and gospel. I just feel like it was something I was born with and grew up in, so I just use nostalgia to fuel my records.”
“I've honestly achieved everything I set out to do. Be alive, not in jail, be successful, remain sober and humble, make my city proud.”
Debut album ‘And After That, We Didn’t Talk' is a massive step up from ‘The God Complex’, and like a game of hopscotch it jumps from one trademark influence to the other - in each case, GoldLink proves he’s more than capable of taking on the heavyweights.
Political undertones drive tracks such as ‘Zipporah’ (“fuck the government, fuck the man, fuck the Feds, fuck the law”), and at no point is the Washington, DC rapper going to step down and apologise for anything he says. “Music is a powerful tool to unapologetically say anything you want, and everybody has no choice but to respect it if it’s coming straight from you… That’s what makes it powerful.”
For all the bravado and grand statements, GoldLink still has his feet firmly placed in what he believes in. “I've honestly achieved everything I set out to do. Be alive, not in jail, be successful, remain sober and humble, make my city proud.” It’s not about flashing the riches, late nights or girls - it’s about making music and pushing things forward and pushing himself creatively in every aspect of his life. And what does the future hold? Well, if what we've already is seen is anything to go by, GoldLink will be in it for the long haul and in his eyes, the sky’s the limit… “Now I just aspire to be as great as I decide to be, help my city be the greatest city in God's earth, and get an NAACP award for doing so.”