The Juice Podcast: Little Simz & GoldLink Talk Upbringing, Inspirations & Major Labels
Presciently, GoldLink arrived favoring an uptempo sound, and he has honed this approach since the release of last year's God Complex mixtape with a series of sexual, groovy club tracks. He collaborated with Zhu -- the young producer behind pulsing, hypnotic numbers like "Faded" -- on "Paradise Awaits Part 2," a slinky, needling track with a "Thong Song" interpolation thrown in for good measure. "Future Part 1," a one-off with Bipolar Sunshine, is even more thrilling: blurping hip-house at a time when house-rap combinations from Chris Brown, Jeremih, and Nicki Minaj are consistently rising high on the charts.
Nicki Minaj, Drake & Kid Ink: The Evolving Relationship Between Hip-Hop & House
The world has taken notice. Earlier this year, GoldLink hit the studio with the legendary Rick Rubin. And last week, he was named a member of XXL's 2015 Freshman Class, along with several artists including Dej Loaf, Fetty Wap, and OG Maco (all who have radio hits).
During his show at Rough Trade in Brooklyn last night, the rapper was quick to remind the crowd to bounce. On several occasions, he ordered the audience "to bounce like we don't give a f---." To GoldLink's credit, he didn't just give commands; he set the tone with an eruption of movement that approximated a petulant child throwing a temper tantrum on steroids, a ball of limbs expanding and contracting with kinetic, uncontainable zeal.
Exclusive: Watch GoldLink's Sultry Video for Kaytranada Collabo, 'Sober Thoughts'
But the best bouncing is self-motivated. This occurred when the MC reached into the back catalog for "One Step Back," a fleet combination of come-ons and vocal samples. A similar response greeted "Dance On Me," a driving and lascivious track less than 48 hours old with a savvy loop that sounds like Jai Paul's "BTSTU."
At times, GoldLink ignored his own prescription, like when the DJ cued up TLC's "Creep" or a Craig Mack remix. Reaching for throwbacks seemed like a cheap trick from an artist offering what's next. And playing these tracks wasn't just a nostalgic move, it was also a departure from the bounce: '90s R&B and hip-hop often leaned more towards the bob.
Importantly, homages of this sort don't have to exist in an explicitly backward-looking space. Towards the end of the show, GoldLink played "Sober Thoughts," a Kaytranada production with a staggered, clean, forceful beat. The song masterfully updates '90s boom-bap, while also offering a compelling path to the dance floors of the future.
GoldLink - Live At Rough Trade Album Review