DMV dance-rap provocateur GoldLink announced yesterday that he will be delivering his full-length debut After That, We Didn't Talk on November 13 via L.A.-based music collective Soulection. The album features production from GoldLink's forever-collaborator Louis Lastic, as well as contributions from a few fresh names like Demo Taped, Galimatias, Medasin, and Tom Misch. Additionally, it will include sax work by Masego, vocals by April George, and an accidental vocal sample from Missy Elliott on a song called "Spectrum."
"It was actually a placeholder," GoldLink told The FADER, explaining the bit of "Misdemeanor" that was lifted to be the chorus of "Spectrum" during a visit to our New York offices. "Louis made the beat, and was like, 'Here's the beat. We're gonna put Missy in here, I don't know why, we're just gonna placehold it.' But then I kind of rapped based off of what the chorus was, and it made sense so we kept it."
While he was here, GoldLink also elucidated the album's evocative title and told us about that time Rick Rubin sent him back to the drawing board.
The title, And After That, We Didn't Talk, is quite evocative, what does it mean to you?
GoldLink: The concept of the album was about a relationship I had when I was a teenager, like 16. It's about the relationship, but really about the aftermath of the relationship. That situation, that heartbreak stemmed into me to go other things like selling drugs, or do a lot of girls, and do a lot of things that are illegal. I was trying to mask something I wanted to hide, or try to prove something to her but in the wrong way. "I'm a man, I can take care of myself, I got money, I can do it. I can be a father if I wanted to." The concept is actually like a moment of clarity for people. It's maybe a rape, or a killing, or a death of a family member—it's a moment of clarity that changed your life in order to direct the path of whatever you became today. Whether it's negative or positive. That's really the underlying theme of the tape.
This will be a departure from Soulection typical release, and perhaps their biggest to date. Why have you chosen to release this with them ?
We're like a family. They supported me early on and pushed me out. They brought me into their culture and housed me. I like Soulection's brand because it is strictly based off of the music, the culture of music. Nothing else really matters. That's what I stand for, so I might as well align myself with somebody who believes in the same things I believe in.
Do you feel like you fit in with Soulection sound-wise?
The thing about Soulection is that there's not just one standard sound. It's a complete spectrum of sounds, you can't really categorize or hold down what Soulection actually is. That's the same for my music.
How has your musical process changed in the year since you released God Complex?
This project is more vulnerable. I had to dig deep within myself and do extensive research on myself, which I didn't really do with The God Complex. The God Complex was coming from being 20, 21 years old, being angry, poor, black in America. Then getting out of that, and being able to travel and see things and not being in that same predicament anymore. It gave me a lot of time to reflect on how I even got there. I did my homework on myself, brought people in, brought old classmates in, got a Facebook [laughs]. I really tried to relive each moment and then write from that perspective.
So this album will showcase a new GoldLink—tell us more about this GoldLink 2.0.
He's a wiser, more centered person. More in touch than when he was out of touch and really angry all the time. I'm still aggressive, but aggressive in an emotional way. I'm really aggressive emotionally on this record, as opposed to just being an aggressive person going against everybody and everything I didn't understand. And now I'm more aggressive to things that I understand, if that makes any sense. I understand myself more so I can aggressively push.
Did Rick Rubin have any advice? Was there anything he said to you that you had in your mind while working on this?
Mainly it was just, create the best art possible and everything will fall into place. I played him the first verse of the first draft, which is nothing that has to do with [the final product], and he was like, "This is cool, I guess? I get what you're trying to do, but I think you should back and do that again." Reality check.
What did you change?
I changed literally everything. When he said it, I was like, "He's wrong, fuck him." After, I was like, "He's right. I'ma prove to him that I can make great music." And it ended up working out, this [version] he thinks is actually phenomenal.