An MC who was lifted to the majors thanks to a groundswell of support, Washington, D.C.'s GoldLink mixes forward-looking hip-hop, jittery indie rhythms, and heavy danceable beats that hark all the way back to the '80s and D.C.'s go-go movement.
Active since the early half of the 2010s, he achieved and sustained prominence with the Grammy-nominated singles "Crew" (2017) and the Christina Aguilera collaboration "Like I Do" (2018). He has since followed his three mixtapes with an expansive debut album, Diaspora (2019).
Born D'Anthony Carlos, GoldLink launched his career as Gold Link James. Sharing his vibrant, busy tracks online earned him a following that steadily grew, then he paused for a bit, and reappeared in 2013 as simply GoldLink. Each upload gained more attention than the one that preceded it, as producers like Kaytranada and the Danish crew Galimatias & Joppe collaborated with the MC. When he dropped the street release The God Complex in 2014, he was contacted by legendary producer Rick Rubin, but tours with SBTRKT and Flume, plus work with Chet Faker on the track "On You," kept him from completing his official debut. Rubin earned a "mentor" credit on GoldLink's 2015 mixtape And After That, We Didn't Talk, which was released through Soulection.
A year later, GoldLink signed with major-label RCA and started fresh with another Kaytranada collaboration, "Fall in Love." At What Cost, his second mixtape, arrived in March 2017 and reached number 177 on the Billboard 200. It contained his breakout single "Crew," a collaboration with Brent Faiyaz and Shy Glizzy that was nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Rap/Sung Performance. The following year, he earned his second Grammy nomination with a featured appearance on Christina Aguilera's "Like I Do." Headlining singles "Got Muscle" and "Zulu Screams" preceded the mid-2019 arrival of his second RCA full-length, Diaspora, which he considers his first true album. The set entered the Billboard 200 at number 77. ~ David Jeffries, Rovi