A Conversation with GoldLink
Trust me, I know. You’ve been a hermit in Bird Library for the past week, (midterms, you’re an asshole), but Jerk’s here to fill you in. Just in case you have yet to hear, GoldLink opened the University Union Bandersnatch show for Trippy Turtle this past Tuesday, and they both killed it. GoldLink might not be a household name yet, but that only gave him more of a reason to win the ‘Cuse crowd over. After the show, I had the chance to interview GoldLink, roundtable style, and it was a very engaging conversation that made me even more of a fan.
Surprisingly enough, GoldLink confessed that his performance at SU was his first college show ever. He went on to say, “It’s weird because I’ve never been to college… but it’s nice because everybody’s your age. I guess that’s a difference from going places where everyone is older than you.” When asked about his beat selection, which many describe as uniquely futuristic, he explained his methodology behind picking each beat. “If I hear the beat and I keep playing that same beat 50 times and it can make me feel the same exact way, then I’ll choose that beat, so I pretty much choose it off of an emotion,” said GoldLink.
While listening to GoldLink’s music, it really makes you question what kind of artists could lend influence to GoldLink’s eclectic but unique sound. “Like old Dr. Dre and Kurupt; mainly old west coast, Death Row shit… and old school Jamaican swing, and that’s it as far as old school [influences go].”
GoldLink’s debut mixtape, The God Complex, dropped recently and I was curious as to what that concept really meant to him. He elaborates that, “The God Complex is two meanings into one, so pretty much the first definition was everybody should strive to be like God because God is perfect, and then the other concept was someone who’s very arrogant, egotistic, ego-driven, super cocky, overly confident; so it’s kind of trying to take two of those and kind of make it like a conceptual album is what I really tried to do, so it’s a lot of braggadocios, ‘I think I’m so cool, all girls like me’ shit…and then it’s more of ‘I’m a human being’ so I try to balance out the ego with some kind of humbleness.”
My last question for GoldLink was how he felt about the current state of rap music, considering he doesn’t exactly fit the “mainstream mold.” His initial reaction —“It’s bad! But it’s good…because there are artists that are good, and I can see it kind of coming back around… I don’t know man! Rap is bad, rap is just terrible! But music is becoming better to me, if that makes any sense, because the genre lines are blurring… I don’t know; rap, now, isn’t my favorite thing, but it could be something we can all love again.”
GoldLink’s blunt yet candid responses honestly made me more of a fan of his, and ultimately I hope my conversation with him turned you into a fan too. GoldLink is definitely an artist whose name you’re going to hear a lot in the near future. Just remember he got his first start performing for college students at no other place than ‘Cuse — because what better school to get started at? We’re number one for a reason, people.
Photo by Max Redinger