BY TIA DABNEY
On March 26th GoldLink rolled into his hometown, Washington D.C., while on tour to promote his debut album And After That We Didn't Talk. High off of the success of AATWDT, up until recently he has spent most of his time overseas touring and hanging out with Rick Rubin. So his return not only to the states, but also to the 930 club, was highly anticipated. The crowd of late teens to early 20-somethings patiently awaited his eminent arrival while listening to his opening sets Esta and Chris McClenney, also a DMV native. But they were there for Goldlink, and as soon as his DJ dropped the opening horns of "Bedtime Story", from his breakout mixtape The God Complex, everyones eyes turned towards the stage.
In true D.C. fashion, Goldlink entered the stage wearing a white Helly Hanson snowsuit, a popular brand among the DMV youth. He continued down the road of nostalgia, performing other tracks from TGC such as "Ay Ay," "Planet Paradise," and "Sober Thoughts" among others. You could have easily mistaken this show as promotion for his older mixtape, but you could tell he recognized that these songs were the reason he is where he is today. His energy was infectious as he bounced around stage dancing to his own tunes. A highlight of the evening was his music intermission where he danced and sang along to other artists songs like Rihanna's "Work" and Gucci Mane's "Traphouse 3" before leading the crowd into AATWDT.
Goldlink's personal brand of future bounce music is perfectly captured on AATDWT. As he performed standout songs like "Zipporah," "Dark Skin Women," and "Spectrum," produced by recurring collaborator Louie Lastic, even the coolest hipster couldn't help but to bounce along. During the performance of slower tempo songs such as "Palm Trees" and "See I Miss," Goldlink was able to showcase his impressive vocal range. His performances of old and new material, coupled with his signature visuals of colorful masks and animated, curvy women would please any true Goldlink fan. Towards the end of the show, he took a moment to show true appreciation for his city stating, "I know the metro is closed today, but y'all still packed out this mother f*cker, I appreciate it man. For real," referencing the closing to Washington Metro Authority Transportation Association.
As he closed out his show with his first single from AATDWT, "Dance On Me", you get a sense that you're witnessing something special. From beginning to end, Goldlink's show felt less like a performance and more like a party. His ability to command the crowd and hold their attention is a skill that takes most newcomers more time to acquire. In a short span of time, Goldlink has postured himself as a contender among the new generation of rap. And this is only the beginning.
All images above from Ahad Subzwari.