GoldLink is one of the rising stars to watch in 2014. You know that already. I mean, you've seen his work over at Pigeons & Planes, and at the legendary HOT97, and of course here. He is a staple of the blogosphere. What you don't know is that his first full length, God Complex, is finally on tap to be released, and with it he's prepping to become a staple of the entire known universe. Some rap is trapped strictly within the confines of the internet, and despite the medium's expansive reach, the genre will always be most at home in the streets that birthed it. GoldLink is a uniter of the two worlds, and a complete body of work will undoubtedly solidify his status. As an appetizer, the candid, captivating MC is premiering his first record of the year with us. The song is entitled "The Heart," and though it may sound like the appropriate title for a ballad, it is anything but.
"The Heart" is GoldLink's interpretation of Kendrick Lamar's "Heart Part 2" from Overly Dedicated, which is a reworking of the intro to The Roots' ninth studio album How I Got Over (aka it's a good find), and it's more or less a war cry championing complete apathy, yet there is an emotional undertone that defies the literal interpretation of its content. On the surface GoldLink presents himself as a rather stoic, indomitable fellow, but the strain in his voice betrays his attempted indifference. "Brothers turn to haters and my sisters turn to bitches / and my niggas turn to killers and my mind just goes ballistic," he spouts, rage permeating every syllable, and his aggression continues to snowball dramatically as he shares the deepest and darkest details of his life. He doesn't always spell it out for you; sometimes he'll imply something expecting you to draw a certain conclusion ("My Nintendo was my outlet / We were broke we had no money like the white kids / Still wearing Jordans like the white kids"), and it's that kind of skilled storytelling that continues to make his music so enthralling.
The backdrop proves to be a fitting one, and as vocalists Amber Coffman and Angel Deradoorian and Haley Dekle (all of Dirty Projectors) harmonize, the Virginia native bears his soul, almost as if he is compelled to do so. At one point, he takes a detour from telling his story just long enough to proclaim that he's the greatest rapper ever from his city, and you are compelled to believe him. Who knows, with the right motivation he could prove to be far more than that.
Checkout the premiere of GoldLink's "The Heart" below, and be on the lookout for his debut project, God Complex, due out later this year.
"The Heart" [Premiere]