It’s 2014, summer time to be exact and a mixtape titled “The God Complex” explodes across the entire DMV from GoldLink. The MC quickly garnered speed with his snazzy, upbeat, dance your night away hits like the intro “Ay Ay”, “Planet Paradise”, “Bedtime Story”, and “How It’s Done” across the eleven track tape. (including a remix courtesy of Flow-Fi) Fast forward a year later and we are given “And After That We Didn’t Talk” his debut album that stirred hip-hop, house music, and a continuity intentionally left on “The God Complex”. So, just how does the premiere rap album for the Soulection label and the debut album for the DMV rapper stack up? It’s really, truly a good time.
AATWDT released in November of last year and the immediate reactions were the album clashed many genres of music to great success. To call GoldLink an artist that understands how to fuse different genres to compliment his storytelling and flow is an understatement. Songs like “New Black”, “Dance on Me”, and “Spectrum” maintain their original beat and vibe with added sprinkles from an ensemble of producers that give the songs a new lease on life. You’ll be hard pressed to sit still when listening to any of the sixteen tracks.
The originial edition of AATWDT continued the story where “The God Complex” left off GoldLink tackling the topics of family, fame, women, violence, friends, and how it all can spiral out of control like the the car crash that opens up the album. Sevn Thomas adds a warmth and bubbly like quality over the verses where GL proclaims “And this just the intro, nigga, I ain’t even spazzin’ yet” Gravez winds down the speed and flow of “Zipporah” going through the familiar intro of any kid who didn’t want to get up to get ready for Church on Sunday. The song’s bridge, “Lord Lord, I need, your help, Lord Lord Lord, I need, your help, Lord” carries out the song to great effect especially regarding the subject matter of long lost lovers and what celebrity status can mean for relationships. With “Dark Skin Women” we are treated to three interpretations of the track thanks to Chris McClenney, Pomo, and Cosmo’s Midnight & Swindali each starting out unlike the others each one plays out like a separate take on an event. It’s the same event but a different perspective garners a different selection of beats and vibe respectively. Word to the wise, the song is practically GL’s ode to dark skin women everywhere and if you want to party effectively…play Pomo’s.
GEOTHEORY adds an urgency and EDM-tinged to “Spectrum” which was already a ecstatic single on its own. “Dance On Me” is a highlight track across the board, let’s get that out of the way. Each version of “DOM” is unlike the other, Mr. Carmack, Brasstracks, and Su Na let loose in a way all their own. If a remix every wanted to leave a lasting impression then it’s Brasstracks take on “DOM” you’ll be replaying this tracks for all upcoming functions if your feet allow it. Su Na can be counted as a slow dance with the rising and humming beat in the background allowing GL lyrics to be carried all the way to the end.
The last song on the album to (again) get three versions is “Late Night” which is one of the few tracks that features an artist already in the form of Masego. Swell, ROM, and Flacons all play to Masego opening verse with the slow intimate rise before the climax of sound and into GL second verse about talking to his lady about talking and messing around with other women throughout the night. The only other feature is none other than Anderson .Paak on “Unique” and the two artists compliment each other quite exceptionally and it shines through on the remix. GL lyrics bounce along the Louis Futon twists and Anderson shines through and covers the track in silk with his wordplay and smooth vibes. The track exits with GL caressing his girl with the chorus “Never, had a, love, quite like you, baby Like you, baby It’s all the same thing Never, had a, love, quite like you, baby Like you, baby.” and this works because the Motez version of “Palm Trees” keeps the steady rhythmic flow going that’d make you think “Unique” and “Palm Trees” joined forces for one long song about loving that special someone in your life. CRNKN gives a rather chaos and speedy take on “Polarized” and true to the title’s name is quite different than the love filled lyrics that GL is stringing together. 15 tracks later and we close with Shagabond on “New Black” where GL discusses just how racism, religion, and being real can swallow up everything you’ve come to know. It’s a track that warrants multiple listens so you can get the full gist of all that he’s saying and it’s well worth the listen because of the trying times we as a society are in right now.
Through the good times, bad, and all of the in-between moments GoldLink already crafted a great piece of work last year. AADWDT [the remixes] gives the album another spin, and in some eyes, a new take on the project for people that might not have gotten wind the first time around. All in all, GoldLink and the host of artists and producers accompanying him on this new spin on an old album delivered with resounding efforts.