GoldLink: “At What Cost” Album Review

Written By: Christine Reynolds

Twitter: @CIntrinsic

GoldLink’s actual name is D’Anthony Carlos, and he was born in 1993. GoldLink was a hungry rapper who took to Bandcamp to release some tracks. His name back then was Gold – Link – James, and he changed his name in 2013 to GoldLink; releasing numerous free material on SoundCloud. His early material was promising, and followers would say that ‘one day he would make it.’ His first 2 mixtapes ‘God Complex,’ was released in 2014 and was placed at number 19 by Spin. Complex named it one of the best projects in the opening of 2014, while other publications liked the mixtape mildly.

‘And After That, We Didn’t Talk,’ had GoldLink working with Rick Rubin in 2015. He had changed directions here and aimed for a different approach to this mixtape. He still wasn’t ranked that highly for this mixtape release, but he was named in the XXL Freshman Class. He signed with RCA Records in 2016, and since then has had some connections with other labels like Soulection and Squaaash club. So then, let’s look at the album …

“At What Cost” has a variety of associations that come on board to help the album flow into different directions. What I mean by this is the first few tracks on the album have a stream of GoldLink’s individualism: ‘Same Clothes As Yesterday’ (Feat Cicero) was bloody brilliant! It expressed exactly how I felt about GoldLink’s prose and speed. If you had to measure his speed per minute I would say he definably clocks as a contender. ‘Have you seen that Girl’ is also a nice third entry with some suave to the fact that he sexually wants her but admires her respectively in the same way. ‘Meditation’ (Feat Jazmine Sullivan & KAYTRANDA) is a nicely produced track with the essential reverberation that KAYTRANDA is known for; with a whole load of melody and GoldLink/Jasmine singing provocatively.

And, that’s it. Done. Dusted. And finished. The rest of the album fell to the wayside for me after the 5th song – in. The tracks from 6 – 14 did what I hoped it wouldn’t do, it became like the recycled hip-hop that is thrown around with artists like Rae Sremmurd and Future. Even ‘Roll Call’ (Feat Mya) was nothing exceptionally special. I did give the album a few more listens but I was disappointed. I looked past GoldLink’s content that is majorly about p**** and scoring women. It’s the usual content that these Americanized hip hop rappers push out, and although it’s entirely up to those in charge it lacks personality.

I would rate the album 3/5 just because I officially liked 3 songs on the album. I know GoldLink has it in him to release the content of his choice and to not fit – in with the current trend. Being under a label like RCA can hamper his individuality, and I do hope he tries a more independent root because there was a clear division in-between the albums beginning, middle and end.