Categories
CULTURE ARCHIVES Datebook Events Listings MUSIC ARCHIVES NEWS & POLITICS ARCHIVES THE FRONT ARCHIVES

GoldLink Preps Major NYC Shows, Talks Love Fest With Rick Rubin

Get ready to do the Ice Cream Cone.

GoldLink prepares for his first major shows in the city this week at Rough Trade NYC on June 9 and S.O.B.’s on June 10, and is planning on debuting a summer-ready move. “You twirl with your right hand up in the air but you start low. Then you go high. Then you stay high for ten seconds and then go low,” the rapper explains to the Voice. Born D’Anthony Carlos, the 21-year-old is calling from the mall in his hometown of Washington, D.C., while waiting to get a table at Brio Tuscan Grille. Like many so-called internet rappers, GoldLink has been quietly garnering attention online with indie releases for the past few years. With his 2014 debut, The God Complex, he’s become one of the most interesting rappers to come from the DMV. He was ubiquitous at SXSW, and performed at MoMA P.S.1 with Sango in March.

Part of the fervor around GoldLink comes not from the rapper himself, but from the hype he creates. When he first came out, D shrouded himself with a mask. He wanted fans to focus on his music over his visage, and the covering created an air of mystery and intrigue. The artwork for The God Complex features a faceless, tribal-style mask in red and green. But in a genre that places a premium on ostentatiousness, subtlety can only take you so far. In April 2014, the self-professed “faceless sex symbol” was unmasked in a hometown show, and nothing was the same.

“I’m not as hidden as I was before,” GoldLink says. He laments that exposing himself has its drawbacks and he’s often recognized in everyday, inopportune places. “When I’m walking around doing something normal — if I’m on a date or trying to talk to someone or dealing with an issue, someone comes up to you either with a company pitch or asks for a picture or [is] rapping to you,” he says. “That’s the moments I kind of wish, you know…”

But being recognized comes with obvious perks, too. GoldLink has steadily racked up critical accolades, and last week, he attained every ascendant rapper’s wet dream by joining XXL’s coveted Freshman Class. “I don’t think there’s a lot of really new kids coming out with something that’s innovative and making people turn their heads,” he says, trying to explain the swell of interest in him. Being from a region that has been traditionally overlooked in mainstream hip-hop — save for Wale — also has something to do with it.

“It’s kind of cool seeing something we’ve never seen before. What we’re doing is new-age music. We’re making new-age music for the internet that nobody’s ever heard before.”

He’s not talking Enya. GoldLink is unifying hip-hop with D.C.’s distinctive go-go in fresh, innovative ways. On “Playah” he raps over a bonkers beat that should never be rapped over, in theory. One of his most popular tracks is the infectious “Ay Ay” from The God Complex. “Who knew a pussy-popping, strip-club song this year could be so smooth? People are interested to see what’s gonna happen next,” he says.

Critical nods are cool and all, but GoldLink has the co-sign of all co-signs: He’s working with producer Rick Rubin. And the elusive producer not only wanted to work with GoldLink, but reached out to him — on Facebook, of all things. “Man! This is bullshit. This nigga trying to act like he’s some nigga named Rick Rubin,” GoldLink laughs, recalling how he initially thought the Facebook message from Rick’s assistant was a Catfish moment. “Blah. Blah. Blah.” After ignoring several messages, the neophyte eventually responded. “Next thing you know, I was in Shangri-La with my shoes off. It kind of just happened.” The two are working on music, but GoldLink is vague when pressed. “Um. Me and him about to do a duet. A one-track duet. It’s called ‘I Love You Rick.’ He’s gonna sing and I’m gonna make the beat. He sounds like little Mike [Jackson] in the Jackson 5.”

It’s hard to tell if GoldLink is serious, evading details out of contractual obligation, or straight-up bullshitting. Rick Rubin sounds like a young Michael Jackson?! GoldLink does have a propensity to pull our leg. On “Playah,” the rapper touts that Kanye West tried to sign him to a (seemingly plausible) label deal, with the line, “Kanye said he wanna sign me/I said, ‘Nigga get a copy.’?” When asked, he clarifies that it was just wishful thinking. “I was just bullshitting with that one,” he admits. Even unmasked, GoldLink likes to keep us guessing.

GoldLink will play Rough Trade NYC on June 9 and S.O.B.’s June 10.

Categories
CULTURE ARCHIVES Datebook Events Listings Living MUSIC ARCHIVES NYC ARCHIVES VOICE CHOICES ARCHIVES Where To

Vince Staples

With associates like Odd Future and Mac Miller, fellow Californian Vince Staples was bound to make it. The young emcee signed to Def Jam last year, a move he covertly announced on the liner notes of Earl Sweatshirt’s Doris. Staples has released a steady stream of projects over the last three years — four mixtapes and one EP to be exact — and is slated to drop his debut album with Def Jam, Hell Can Wait. The lead single off the project, “Blue Suede,” features the young emcee kicking it with friends and rapping on a roof, an eerie beat serving as the backdrop to his desire for a pair of “Jordans with the blue suede in ’em.” Can’t really beat rapping on a roof, can you?

Wed., Sept. 24, 11 p.m., 2014

Categories
CULTURE ARCHIVES Datebook Events Listings MUSIC ARCHIVES NEW YORK CITY ARCHIVES NYC ARCHIVES VOICE CHOICES ARCHIVES Where To

Ratking

After releasing their first EP Wiki93 in 2012, Ratking took an almost-two-year hiatus to work on and release their 2014 debut album So It Goes. Comprised of members Wiki, Hak and Sporting Life, the New York natives have perfected their balance of raw energy, grimy beats and golden era hip-hop. Their debut album paints a vivid picture of the trio’s view of New York and how they mourn the changing city. But amidst Ratking’s palpable sorrow — something that could very well turn a listener off — the group’s youthful spirit shines through and pulls you right back in. You should expect a unbridled, high energy show where Ratking will probably have you at more than just nodding along.

Mon., Aug. 4, 9 p.m., 2014

Categories
CULTURE ARCHIVES Datebook Events Listings MUSIC ARCHIVES NEW YORK CITY ARCHIVES NYC ARCHIVES VOICE CHOICES ARCHIVES Where To

‘Hot 97 Who’s Next’ w/ Ransom+Black Dave+Anti Soundmasonz+David Dallas

Hot 97 Who’s Next Live is a showcase designed to give shine to some of the more encouraging independent rappers from in and around New York. Hosted by Hip-Hop “purist” Peter Rosenberg, this edition of Who’s Next features underground artists like Ransom, Black Dave, Anti Soundmasonz, and David Dallas. Put under the spotlight at SOB’s, the New York City hip-hop community will see if any of these artists have what it takes to really rep the city properly on the mic. If you feel like hip-hop hasn’t been the same since 2006 (or 1996, or 1986), this is a chance for you to hear some “real” MCs.

Thu., May 22, 9 p.m., 2014

Categories
CULTURE ARCHIVES Datebook Events Listings MUSIC ARCHIVES VOICE CHOICES ARCHIVES Where To

Andrea Echeverri

One of the hemisphere’s smartest feminist voices, Aterciopelados co-founder Andrea Echeverri has plumbed the mysteries of love, motherhood, environmentalism, and injustice on three solo albums. While last year’s Ruiseñora (Nightingale) doesn’t pack the same punch as the Colombian’s eponymous solo debut did, it’s still a worthy dispatch from a psychedelic soccer mom with punk-rock roots.

Thu., April 17, 8 p.m., 2014

Categories
CULTURE ARCHIVES Datebook Events Listings MUSIC ARCHIVES VOICE CHOICES ARCHIVES Where To

S CLUB SEVYN

Sevyn Streeter’s “It Won’t Stop” sounded like a hit since its May release. A song dedicated to the feeling of being in love and the man she’s loving, it had a relaxed bassline and convertible imagery that seemed like the perfect fit for summer ’13. But it didn’t pop until the winter, shortly after Chris Brown (whose “Fine China” she had helped write) jumped on the remix. And instead of adding a verse of his own, he sang harmonies that turned the song into a duet unlike anything else on the radio. Tonight, Streeter, who got her start in producer Rich Harrison’s RichGirl, a cult favorite, comes to S.O.B.’s, where she’ll be singing a few tracks off her “Call Me Crazy, But . . .” EP and possibly some material that might appear on an upcoming LP.

Mon., March 24, 8 p.m., 2014

Categories
CULTURE ARCHIVES Datebook Events Listings Living MUSIC ARCHIVES NYC ARCHIVES VOICE CHOICES ARCHIVES Where To

WORLDWIDE TING

Tropical bass monthly Que Bajo!? is going to be popping regardless of guest, but it sure doesn’t hurt that their first party of the new year flew in Lady Leshurr from the U.K. and this, their second, brings Kumbia Queers up from Buenos Aires. Though the group’s name is somewhat self-explanatory, their one-sheet offers a little more history, explaining that they are what happens when “six crazy punk and roller girls decide to self exploit the cumbia queer side of their personality by means of what they called tropipunk.” As usual, residents Geko Jones and Uproot Andy will be 
holding it down for the rest of the night.

Thu., March 6, 10:30 p.m., 2014

Categories
CULTURE ARCHIVES Datebook Events Listings Living MUSIC ARCHIVES NYC ARCHIVES VOICE CHOICES ARCHIVES Where To

Dolla Dolla Bill, Y’all

A couple of years ago, when we caught up with L.A.’s Ty Dolla $ign (then styled “Ty$”) while working on a story about his city’s minimalist, post-jerk, post-hyphy sound (dubbed “ratchet music”), the young producer and MC was best known for having his hand in YG’s “Toot It and Boot It,” a funky ode to loving and leaving with a ’60s bassline that required some serious crate-digging to find. It came as no surprise, then, that Ty had a large record collection (more than 10,000 albums, he told me) and came from a musical family (his dad played in the funk band Lakeside). And it’s no surprise now that, two years later, Ty continues to expand his sound, producing singular, dynamic tracks like last year’s “My Cabana” and adding his own syrupy r&b vocals.

Wed., Jan. 22, 9 p.m., 2014

Categories
CULTURE ARCHIVES Datebook Events Listings MUSIC ARCHIVES VOICE CHOICES ARCHIVES Where To

Talib Kweli

Talib Kweli returns to form on December’s internet-only Gravitas, his second full-length of 2013. Whereas May’s Prisoner of Conscious featured his standard array of hyper-literate lyrics, its embrace of mainstream production styles meant that the majority of its tracks were ill-suited to Talib’s deft, jazzy flow. This disparity between beats and rhymes has been reduced somewhat on Gravitas, with its more organic, gritty vibe providing sufficient grounding for Talib’s sometimes highfalutin, but always well-intentioned wordplay. Songs like “State of Grace,” and Prisoner’s “Favela Love” will certainly stand nicely next to solo classics like “The Blast” and “Get By,” showing how much Kweli’s lyrical skills have remained consistent during his nearly two decades in the game.

Sun., Jan. 19, 9 p.m., 2014

Categories
CULTURE ARCHIVES Datebook Events Listings Living MUSIC ARCHIVES Neighborhoods NEW YORK CITY ARCHIVES NYC ARCHIVES VOICE CHOICES ARCHIVES Where To

Antibalas

Since forming in 1998, a year after the death of Nigerian afrobeat creator Fela Kuti, Brooklyn-based 12-piece Antibalas has built on the sound’s elastic formal perfection, polyphonic pleasures, horn-heavy arrangements, and rabble-rousing lyrics. Having worshipped at Fela’s musical temple in Lagos, singer Sifu Amayo is a charismatic conduit of deep Yoruban soul and spirit. And as longtime members of the Daptone stable, Antibalas definitely know how to throw a party.

Tue., Dec. 31, 8, 10 p.m. & 12:30 a.m., 2013