GoldLink’s newest LP fulfills fantasies

by Amanda Harvey

With the breadth and depth of lyrics that spit from GoldLink’s mouth, it’s hard to believe that the DC artist is a mere 22 years old. “Tell me what you really wanna say?” he whispers to the listener on the track “Polarized” from his forthcoming LP And After That, We Didn’t Talk. Listening to the album, it’s evident that he’s an artist who isn’t afraid to speak his mind.

Citing influences that include Edgar Allan Poe, Grimes and Pink Floyd, GoldLink’s self-described future bounce sound is singular in hip-hop: his music carries a heavy, palpability that isn’t easy to categorize.

Born D’Anthony Carlos, he was a relatively elusive figure up until recently, adding to the intrigue of his music. He’s been slowly making his way into the public eye the last two years, and his slick, fast paced rhymes alongside his pristinely produced beats have gained him praise and notoriety. GoldLink’s first LP The God Complex was self-released last year, and this past summer he headlined his first North American tour.

And After That, We Didn’t Talk opens with a crash – literally. Initially disorienting, the first track “After You Left” slowly slips into a shimmering synth and mellow beat as GoldLink begins telling his story. His lyrics wax poetic social and cultural injustices: sometimes he’s so quick it’s hard to catch how well crafted the narrative is.

The album’s forth track “Spectrum” takes influence from classic house, it’s melody bumps along with a sultry feminine lyricist. “Late Night” is brutally honest: “You’re not the only woman in my phone,” he lets an unknown admirer know. These harsh lyrics are cross cut with rolling trap drums and a female voice confessing her obsession with the artist – but really, who can blame her? GoldLink knows how to make a person crush. “Palm Trees” is soft, sweet and reassuring. Polyrhythms, classical strings and standard hip-hop beats take the listener to the beach: “Listen to the waves, I can be your fantasy” – definitely.

GoldLink’s sound is a fantasy for the music obsessed. His album flawlessly fluctuates between genres; all of his vast influences are able to find their place. Afro-Caribbean drum patterns cradle gospel vocals; hometown funk influences seep in, intertwining with his distinct, tight-lipped voice. Everything is neatly tied together: And After That, We Didn’t Talk is really an ethereal, yet candid, dream.