To keep it a hundred, blogging isn’t as fun for me as it used to be. I launched this website three summers ago because I had a budding passion for discovering new artists and wanted to provide those I discovered with a platform that was a little different from the rest. Over the course of the past few years, though, it’s become increasingly difficult to stay afloat as the music and blogs themselves have become more and more watered down. There’s an excess of product, a shortage of quality and as a result, generally lower standards. Too many bloggers operate on a strictly favor-for-favor basis – an “if you post what I’m pushing, I’ll post what you’re pushing” ideal – and that just leads to politics taking precedence over passion, which is tiring even when you choose not to give in to it.
I say all that to say this – GoldLink is reminding me why I started Fresh Heir in the first place. As incredible as his music is, I discovered it organically. It wasn’t pushed down my throat – it was well-marketed, well-branded and most importantly, really fucking good. There was an effective strategy behind its delivery and the product spoke for itself. I posted “Creep” in October and have waited with baited breath for each new drop since… and none have disappointed in the slightest. The latest – a video for “The God Complex (When I Die)” – arrives today via Noisey along with an official release date for the Virginia native’s debut tape, The God Complex.
It’s not a traditional music video, but rather a short film that doubles as an album trailer and provides a glimpse into the life of GoldLink and a look at the inspiration behind his music, all while continuing to keep his visual identity a secret. Starring in the film are members of a hip-hop collective from Baltimore called the 7th Floor Villains who depict a gang of adolescents who live and knowingly perpetrate a lifestyle that ends up leading to their downfall. It’s an incredibly real juxtaposition and one that GoldLink has made a central theme in his songs. Much like Kendrick, he’s a good kid from a mad city at the core but has seen it all and holds nothing back when telling his story on wax. He has a sound all his own – which he calls “future bounce” – that seems perfectly crafted for what hip-hop is yearning for right now, and the only artists that make for apt comparisons are legends of the genre. The new McCallaman-produced record is short but excessively sweet and poignant, the oscillating instrumental lulling listeners into a trance and each impeccably delivered bar sending straight shots to the heart. GoldLink’s trajectory is steepening with each release, and frighteningly, that might never change.
Watch the GoodBoy Media-produced video above (directed by Nathan R. Smith), and stay tuned for more. The God Complex drops April 1st.
“When I die I hope my mama get to read that poem, when I die I just want my father to apologize, when I die I hope my ex don’t uncover my lies…”