MITMondays: Is Goldlink's "At What Cost" already the DMV Album of the summer?
A few weeks have passed since GoldLink dropped his latest project entitled, At What Cost. This album has gotten better and better with each listen. GoldLink chose the perfect time to drop this album, just in time to take its place as the summer '17 soundtrack for the DMV. From the lyrics to the production to the skits, GoldLink paints the perfect picture of a typical summer in D.C. With that being said let's jump into why this album was simply "for the culture".&
In recent years, many artist have complained that the DMV music scene is just a bunch of crabs in a barrel. So much so that Chaz French incorporated that idea into the cover art for his latest single Way Out. It seemed nobody was looking out for one another which made it harder for the artists with potential to shine. With the release of At What Cost, GoldLink took it upon himself to change the crabs in a barrel narrative. This project it is packed with a lot of DMV artist from all walks of life. Some faces you might recognize such as Mya, Wale, and Shy Glizzy to those that aren't so familiar such as Ciscero, Brent Faiyaz, April George and Lil Dude. GoldLink uses the plethora of talent in DMV to give us the soundtrack for the perfect DMV Summer. With the lead single Crew, GoldLink lowkey merged the DMV music scene (Shoutout to my homie Tumie for the observation I had to use it). With Glizzy representing the trap side of the music scene and GoldLink & Brent Fayiaz repping the more soulful side, the trio combine to make the DMV summer anthem.
Not only is GoldLink trying to end the crab in the barrel narrative, he is also shining a light on the ups and downs of the DMV culture. Personally, At What Cost is the DMV's version of Good Kid M.A.A.D. City. There's several reason that helped me come to this conclusion. First off, they both follow a teen through a summer in their respective cities. Second, there is a girl who each artists is infatuated with. For Kendrick it's Sherane and GoldLink doesn't tell us the name of his girl. Next, both run into some trouble chasing after their girls. Lastly, violence is definitely involved and has a negative impact on each of them. One thing that stood out to me the most in this all was the skit at the end of Meditation. He shows us how quickly things can go downhill. The setting is at a party and as the music begins to fade...you can hear the crowd crescendo. You can feel the tensions rising and one guy tries to downplay it like these niggas faking. Next thing you know gun shots ring out. This is a story that is all too common 'where we from'. I feel as though GoldLink is using his platform to show us the error in our ways and wants us to come together and find a way to stop the violence.
GoldLink has definitely set the bar high for the DMV with this one. By staying at home and using home grown talent, he curated something for us to vibe to throughout the summer and for years to come. Not only did he give us great music and great vibes, he gave us a message. Hopefully that message doesn't fall on deaf ears. As Always....