Album Showcase: At What Cost
D’ Anthony Carlos, best known as GoldLink, is a DMV native. In 2014, he released his first mixtape The God Complex. In the following year he was apart of the XXL Freshman Class. Later that year he released his second mixtape, And After That, We Didn’t Talk. His debut studio album, At What Cost, was recently released on March 24, 2017.
In this debut album, GoldLink pays homage to his hometown of Washington, DC. and the essence of go-go music. In his single “Meditation” GoldLink highlights a night out that takes a swift turn. In his interview with Lakin Starling, GoldLink touches on how the go-go scene changed after someone got shot “because go-go music wasn’t really apart of it anymore.” When he was asked to speak on the single, GoldLink assured he was “not trying to highlight go-go as a negative thing” but touch on the issues that came along with the music. There was a divide throughout the community, that bled into all aspects of life.
In comparison to his mixtapes this album is not as “bouncy.” GoldLink told Starling that he wanted a futuristic, minimalistic, and tribal sound in order to get his message across. This style of music allows the listener to be submerged in the story of life and death. The “Opening Credit” sets up the whole journey that the listener will be taken on. Then the listener is introduced to the love interest in “Have You Seen That Girl?” But we soon find out that the two would be star-crossed lovers. Their love leads to the escalation in the club. Even though there is no rapping on “Hands On Your Knees” it sets up the club scene before the climactic gunshots in “Meditation.”
It is safe to assume that on this journey “Herside Story” takes place after a significant amount of time. It speaks upon the return to the streets, and despite the fame and fortune he still has love for his ride or die. “Roll Call” introduces the importance of coming back home, and throughout the rest of the album it pays homage to the streets. In his hit single “Crew” GoldLink brings on DMV natives, which plays into to the representation of home. But after this song the album takes on a darker tone. GoldLink states in an interview with Yoh “As an area, we suffer from a form of PTSD from that era alone. That’s where the darkness comes from,” in reference to the album.
The juxtaposition throughout the album of the beauty and violence derived from go-go culture shed light onto the importance of “Pray Everyday.” As a byproduct of the hood we are exposed to tragedy of all forms at an early age. Our faith (religious or not) is what gives us a sense of hope in a society that tells us we are hopeless.
If you enjoyed Vince Staples Summertime ‘06, or Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city this is an album for you! It can be found on both Spotify and Apple Music.