TiKA (Simone) is a great human being because of the amount of knowledge that she has stored in her head. Not only is she a student of the game; she’s so observant in the scene as to who will come about in the game next. She’s been up on a lot of acts whom are damn-near household names now, and GoldLink is one of those names that she mentioned earlier on when he was doing his underground tours before he was an established artist coming out of the DMV, which has a variety of sounds and isn’t just one part Wale or Fat Trel. Where I found appreciation for GoldLink, outside of his distinguishable voice, was his vibe that carries a House music sound. D.C does have Go-go music, which is derivative of Funk, but unique in its own right, and thus that’s probably why it fits his nature as an artist. Either way, when I first heard The God Complex, I knew that there was something there that I would enjoy in the future, and just another correct prediction by the incredible TiKA. She doesn’t miss. Period.
After dropping And After That, We Didn’t Talk, the expectation of his bright spot coming to light was proven true, because that was the project that truly put him in the space where a respected craftsman in the field, and everyone was starting to notice (hello, Palm Trees is still my shit and is currently playing as I write this review). I was happy at the fact that I had discovered a new artist that brought a distinctive sound. Hearing him on Kaytranada’s 99.9% and the loosies that dropped before At What Cost dropped, the excitement was growing and it gave me great reason to look forward to the album.
Gospel has been a real source of inspiration for a lot of artists as of late in terms of influencing their sound, and I’m here for all of the soul that they provide. The reason being, is because, when you’ve spent a good majority of your adolescence in Church, that lingering feeling of the ‘spirit’ will always carry on and forever be embedded in your cerebrum, only to be unlocked by the sullen organs or choirs that come with them. At What Cost certainly provides, as GoldLink takes the pulpit and not that he necessarily preaches, but he delivers a sermon that is sonically & lyrically fulfilling. It also proves to be a love letter of sorts, as the romanticism is brought about in an entertaining fashion as exemplified on Meditation, in which the Kaytranada laced production brings it so much life.
You can dance for the duration of the album, because as much as the lyrical content has its moments where it gets a little dark, you probably couldn’t tell around the fact that your head & shoulders can’t stop moving along with your legs & feet. It’s contagious, but it’s all for the right reasons. I bonded with my Chicago brethren Delancey over Crew (although I still don’t care for Shy Glizzy’s appearance), and Pray Everyday makes me Milly Rock severely whenever I hear it and shows that his ambitions are high in terms of where he sees his career ascending.
“Goddamn, young lean straight from the slums runnin’ shit here
You don’t know what I been through for us to start gunnin’ round here
Main bitch always stressin’, talkin’ ’bout, “Why you never ’round here?”
If a nigga owe me money, put it in a bullet, aim it right there” – We Will Never Die
My overall consensus of this album is that if it’s the first time that you’re listening to GoldLink, you won’t be disappointed because you likely haven’t heard someone of his ilk around, or at least in the manner in which he presents it. He does have some trap-esque fillings, but it doesn’t sway from the overall dance party experience that you get from start to finish. I am very satisfied with this album, and when the weather gets nicer and the amounts of layers of clothing peel away gradually, there will be more of an appreciation for it, for sure. But in the meantime between time, this is my opinion, this is my review,
That’s My Word & It STiXX