Goldlink wrapped up his year at Toronto’s Mod Club joined by TO’s own River Tiber and Atlanta’s J.I.D.
The evening’s activities begun with River Tiber, real name Tommy Paxton-Beesley, who took the stage for a DJ set. Having seen Paxton-Beesley perform his original broody tracks with a band more than once this upbeat DJ set came as a bit of a surprise. Tiber toured across a couple decades, remixing and sampling 90s top hits and newer hip hop tracks. In between the various melodic lesser known tracks the crowd pleasers came out: Drake’s “The Language,” A$AP Ferg’s “Shabba” followed by a throwback with Busta Rhymes & Mariah Carey “Baby If You Give It To Me” and “That Shit Cray.” For nearly an hour River Tiber teased the crowd, packing them in closer to the stage and continually surprising them.
After a very brief break and uncommonly on time J.I.D’s DJ begun to warm up the crowd with the likes of Kendrick Lamar “King Kunta” and other urban favourites, the floor was vibrating and every track had the crowd singing along. Now that we’re all warmed up let’s meet J.I.D, a rapper from East Atlanta signed to J-Cole’s Dreamville Records. Since releasing his debut album, The Never Story in March J.I.D has been gaining attention. His lyrics are clean and sharp, often politically and racially charged, that power of the language was particularly felt during quiet rhyme, or as the guy standing behind me called it “poetry,” though admittedly not everyone in the audience was down with the significantly more serous vibes, at this point quite a few members of the crowd were well liquored up.
At 11 sharp the screens around the room lit up as Goldlink came out on stage and for the rest of the night screened A Big Dog Productions film in the background. For the next hour Goldlink went back and forth between his recent album At What Cost and And After That, We Didn’t Talk though the crowd didn’t seem to favour one over the other, everyone was dancing and singing along with so much ferociousness that very few phones were up in the air, this show was an experience IRL. From “Dark Skin Women” to “Some Girl,” “Crew” and “Meditation”, which originally featured Jazmine Sullivan and KAYTRANADA, followed by a brief break sampling Pharrell and Jay-Z’s “I Just Wanna Love U” and back to “Herside Story” from At What Cost and “Dance on Me” from AATWDT.
“Can you all count to four?” he asked “Can you all count to four!” oh I know where this is going, and so did the rest of the room – “Late Night” or 3, or 4. Goldlink didn’t really talk much between tracks and his rhymes were breathlessly smooth and sharp, as always. For many people this show wrapped up the year and with those good vibes many people dabbed is as the best show of the year while storming out into the cold night.