At What Cost (8.5/10)

July 22, 2017

 

 

For those of us just finding out, GOLDLINK is a DMV artist who’s an alumni of the 2015 XXL Freshman Class - an honor that’s been depreciated over the years - yet even still there’s always a few diamonds in the rough and by all accounts GOLDLINK seems to be one of those few exceptions (although this latest class is looking reeeeaaaaallllll shaky but that’s another story). GOLDLINK already has two mixtapes under his belt (The God Complex, & And After That, We Didn’t Talk) yet this third release and his debut album sounds like it’s about to be a gamechanger, highlighted by the single Crew that as far as internet fame is concerned has officially made him a household name.

 

At What Cost is critiqued track by track below, and from front to back it’s definitely a solid debut.

 

 

Opening Credit

 

“I'll will never rest in peace, Not even when I'm dead” Cryptic into that sounds cinematic, I’m tuned in

 

 

 

 

 

Same Clothes as Yesterday ft Ciscero

 

“I'm gettin closer to food that's booster flow, I'm wakin everybody up that's rooster flow, and you ain't I you just booty, moe, you ain't fly, you just Rufio” Decent opening record but not crazy at all, also an interesting choice to let Ciscero set the tone and be the first rapper to spit on the album, just an observation but either way this one’s only halfway decent.

 

 

Have You Seen That Girl

 

“Damn, uh summertime, feelin good, feelin great, real ***** with the leg on the dock, feelin straight, all the drug dealin ***** with their gashes out, bad hood ass bitches with they asses out, talkin bout goddamn, have you seen that girl? have you seen that girl?” Produced by KAYTRANADA this record is good money for the summer time. I’ll co sign this one.

 

 

Hands On Your Knees ft Kokayi

 

“I see you out there, playboy, I see you out there, playgirl, look what up, oh my God” A nice interlude nothing more nothing less

 

 

 

 

 

Meditation ft KAYTRANADA & Jazmine Sullivan

 

“I wanna be more than homies, I wanna feel your body on me, I wanna be your lover, your lady, just wanna be your baby, your one and only” This is another infectious record produced by KAYTRANADA, with a perfect hook from Jazmine Sullivan that’s also her best placement in many years

 

 

 

Herside Story ft Hare Squead

 

 

“Whenever the sun don't shine on the west side, you know I'm sitting pretty right by your side, baby I'm down for you, I'm down for you” This is a remake of Hare Squead’s original record of the same title, which was the breakthrough record for the trio from Dublin, Ireland last year, off their EP titled Supernormal. This instrumental is classic…

 

Summatime ft Wale & Radiant Children

 

 "I haven't seen you seen you since the summertime, true, I used to think about you all the time, back when I was still tryna make you mine, these days you don't even know me, these days you don't even phone me, it's a love crime, it's a love crime” 🔥🔥🔥 hook provided by Radiant Children, who I suppose are a group from the DMV that I’m unaware of. Nonetheless GOLDLINK does his numbers and the Wale verse blends together with the one of the record perfectly. In my Star voice I fux with this one heavy.

 

Roll Call ft Mya

 

“got in fights with my girl last year, she the main reason why I got a girl this year” Produced by DMV native Louie Lastic this one is a DC reunion and tribute record highlighted by a guest feature from Mya 🔥🔥🔥 <<< and that’s major… definitely a feel good album cut that their home base should represent to the fullest.

 

 

The Parable of the Rich Man ft April George

 

“In this world mother, no one can love me, in this world they do not know how to love me, where is that pure loving love, where is that truly loving me, where is that pure loving love, where is that truly loving me” I’d personally SKIP the first 2 minutes and 20 seconds but that final 2 minutes is absolutely 🔥🔥🔥 a complete deviation from the first half of the record and idk if that’s original music or an excerpt from some kind of horror film but that outro is absolutely incredible.

 

 

Crew ft Shy Glizzy & Brent Faiyaz

 

 

“She see money all around me, I look like I'm the man, yeah, but I was down and out like last week, tell me where have you been? you came out of hiding, girl, don't act like I'm your man, you just a fan…” Produced by Teddy Walton and highlighted by the hook from Baltimore singer Brent Faiyaz, this is one of the breakthrough songs of the year that truthfully deserves all the recognition (mind you the Shy Glizzy verse isn’t necessary but even still this record is super fire)

 

We Will Never Die ft Lil Dude

 

“We will never die, real niggas, they multiply, I watch my mother cry, my man watched his mother get high” Idk Lil Dude yet but this guest verse is one of the standouts on the project, GOLDLINK does his numbers as well.

 

 

 

Kokamoe Freestyle

 

“Runnin' from police, they almost had me when I steal, way, way back I almost started sellin' then, round the same time bumpin T.I. vs Tip, I ain't know who went harder, made me wanna sell a brick” All bars but pretty much all filler even though he coasts relatively well using his Wale flow and the production from Swindail (highlighted by that bridge) makes this one worth a listen

 

Some Girl ft Steve Lacy

 

“Searching for compatibility, looking for the one that's right for me, where do I go? (Oh-oh-oh), where do I find her? (Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh)” Steve Lacy from the Internet back with his bass guitar and smooth vocals and this one’s cool in a Steve Lacy kind of way. For those unsure those are indeed the same strings from Cole’s Folding Clothes, and many more classics from one of the most talented groups on the rise.

 

Pray Everyday (Survivor’s Guilt)

 

“Pray everyday, say your grace *****, keep the haters, keep the demons way, fam, pray everyday, say your grace *****, keep the haters, keep the demons way, fam” And GOLDLINK got another superfire record this time produced by Axl Folie, Syk Sense, & Sevn Thomas, and ultimately this is the perfect outro to GOLDLINK’s debut studio album, where he honestly has a debatable classic.

 

 

 

 

In conclusion this is 10000000x better than I was expecting in respects to my relative low expectations for XXL Freshmen and social media love, whereas this is one of the very few times that I can say they got it right… this artist from the DMV makes 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 music and I officially accept my late pass and I’m officially a fan. Truth be told this is the level of quality I expected from Wale these last few years, and not to cause any divide or friction but this body of work right here is lightyears better than Shine, thus I’d say it’s already fair to question who makes the best music from the DC area.

 

 

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