Much like his predecessor and Washington-brethren Wale, each passing GoldLink release seems like it’ll be the one to launch the DMV [DC, Maryland, Virginia] to the upper spaces of rap. With his debut album, At What Cost GoldLink showcases his dextrous ability to tip-toe the line of mainstream hip-hop hits and underground respectability, yet don’t be surprised if GoldLink still flies under the radar despite his excellent new album.
GoldLink raps with a seemingly arrhythmic tempo. He deceptively flows through beats with a nonchalant flow and has the capacity to suddenly turn on the jets for some impressive rapid fire delivery.
The KAYTRANADA assisted “Meditation” combines GoldLink’s ability to venture towards Twista-levels of rapping pace with Jazzmine Sullivan’s ethereal, jazzy vocals. “Herside Story” is a tour de force rap/sung collaboration with the talented vocalists of Hare Squead. The emotive jam is a crossover waiting to happen, if only GoldLink had the airwave favours that the likes of Big Sean or G-Eazy gets.
In the Radiant Children-produced “Summatime”, GoldLink enlists the help of Wale-himself, and manages to prevent DC’s finest lyricist from completely stealing the show from him. Penultimate track “Some Girl” stands as one of the best and most irresistible song on the album, featuring the fast-rising Steve Lacy and a string-laden background that fires on all cylinders.
At What Cost is a terrific debut studio album for the up and coming rapper. Like his earlier mixtapes, the record exhibits GoldLink’s potential as a serious crossover rapper, but it also illustrates why he could very well snatch Wale’s crown as the DMV’s finest lyricist – just not quite yet.
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