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Album review: GoldLink’s 'Diaspora'

In Summary

• Diaspora could easily be ignored simply because of the rapper's influence in the rap scene, but for any music enthusiast out there, GoldLink deserves a listen.

• He is back with another powerful effort dubbed Diaspora, which sees the inclusion of his girlfriend Justine Skye on the cover art.

GoldLink's "Diaspora" album artwork
GoldLink's "Diaspora" album artwork
Image: Courtesy

Title: Diaspora

Artiste: GoldLink

Genre: Hip-hop/ Rap

 
 

Release: June 12

American rapper D'Anthony Carlos, known to the public as GoldLink, has for the longest time now stayed true to certain constants. He has been in the game for a while now, and every time he’s done it, he’s found new power.

It all started in 2014 with his debut mixtape The God Complex, which was followed by his 2015 mixtape And After That, We Didn’t Talk, which was supported by tracks like Late Night and Palm Trees. 2017’s mixtape At What Cost was truly a game changer, with the project’s lead single Crew topping charts and earning the artiste the spot.

GoldLink has been on the verge of solidifying his place in the hip-hop scene and somehow has carved out his own niche. The truth is, now more than ever, he exhibits so much ambition probably with the aim of being mentioned among the best to ever do it. He is back with another powerful effort dubbed Diaspora, which sees the inclusion of his girlfriend Justine Skye on the cover art and a mind-blowing concept that explores diversity.

In an attempt to unite R&B, Afropop, reggae fusion and pop music as well as celebrate black diversity, we witness GoldLink explore in his selection of guest appearances. Incredibly, he maintains his style, form and at no time in the entire production does he appear to be struggling with these new creative heights he ventures into. The artiste opens the album with a 19-second intro christened //Error, which ideally captures heavy breathing, dogs barking and eerie sound effects.

Ari PenSmith offers his vocals on the first full track Joke Ting that highlights GoldLink’s success in the music scene. Maniac presents itself as one of the essential tracks on the project as it details his mission to make a living in order to provide for his children. Khalid is recruited on the R&B-inflected tune Day Like This, which finds GoldLink reminiscing about his past and addressing his mental state.

Zulu Screams featuring Maleek and Bibi Bourelly was the album's lead single and highlighted the rapper going back home. Coke White/Moscow is a two-part track featuring Pusha T. The first part Coke White see Push highlight his drug-dealing days. Moscow sees the beat switch for a verse from GoldLink. Tyler, the Creator and Jay Prince join on U Say, a track that focuses on women.

 

WSTRN helps deliver the reggae-inflected tune Yard and Wizkid is present for the Afro pop-influenced No Lie. Kenyan polymath Blinky Bill plays a very crucial role in the production of Tiff Freestyle, a track that explores GoldLink’s success. Lil Nei and Jackson Wang offer their brilliance on the trap track Rumble before closing out the project with Swoosh.

Diaspora could easily be ignored simply because of the rapper influence in the rap scene, but for any music enthusiast out there, GoldLink deserves a listen. The project houses quite a number of inviting tunes that exhibit a creative of this generation who is not afraid to experiment with sound.  Truly, the artiste knows what he has accomplished and just like that has extended his market reach, especially the African scene. This is his best project ever and one that’s deserving of great recognition.

Star rating: 4 out of 5