When XXL released their “Freshmen of the Year” cover a couple of weeks ago, I came across a name that I had previously not even heard of. This of course stirred up a lot of curiosity inside of me , like how could I not know this person? I’m supposed to be keeping tabs with all the upcoming spitters in the game right now. This little mystery went by the name of Goldlink, and I was determined to unravel it song by song.
After listening to his impressive assortment of tracks including his debut mixtape The God Complex , I made the executive decision to make sure everyone knows about this guy. I don’t think he even realizes what a valuable and unique little thing he is to Hip Hop right now. One things I noticed in his music right away is how he doesn’t assault you with bars immediately you play the song, there’s a short interlude where you can listen to the beats and feel the instruments and get into the vibe of the song itself. But the short wait is well worth it because when he finally came in with his zealous non-stop flow and clever rhymes , I couldn’t stop nodding my head.
As I listen to him, I can’t help but wonder how he can be so young(22 now I think) and have better rap skills than some rappers who’ve been around for ages. His content is mature way beyond his age and his music brings its own eccentric and uplifting vibe into the world of Hip Hop. His energetic and fast paced rapping style coupled with these up tempo, colorful, club music meets 90’s r&b kind of beats are magic ingredients into what makes his music so addictive. He has dubbed this unique sound “Future Bounce” alluding to how it feels, it’s organic, positive and exciting to listen to, like ear porn. He effortlessly raps over these house synths without undermining the art of rapping, and without reducing his content to only be about money and drugs. He tends to rap or sing about his past life experiences as well as sex, yes a lot of sex lol.
Nevertheless, he brings something different to the table in the era of generic trap music and that mainstream DJ Mustard type of sound.This is the kind of stuff you can rock to by yourself with your headphones on and also enjoy inside a club or party environment. His music is valuable because although it’s good for the dance floor it’s also more meaningful and he does not present you with weak verses and daft , amateur rhymes in an attempt to be catchy. His lyrics have a touch of arrogance but it’s sort of cancelled out by his more relatable lyrics about his mistakes and background.If you’re a fan of rap this will definitely open up your mind a little more as it can be tasteful and upbeat at the same time. I feel like shit for not having heard of him sooner but I’m just glad that I did, so shout out to XXL for that!
I can confirm that Goldlink is definitely the more talented rapper of this year’s XXL freshmen list . I personally love anyone who tries to bring any diversity into hip hop without compromising it. It’s evident that he takes his time to make his craft and present it to the world , and that he only wants to be known for his music(he literally doesn’t even give out his real name and stuff) and that’s so fucking attractive. I’m at the edge of my seat right now waiting for him to drop a full length LP, but as for now I’ll keep what I have on heavy rotation.
PS: My team and I will be releasing our own TCW’s freshmen list sometime soon, so stay tuned lol x