D.C. Music’s Brightest Stars Come Together on GoldLink’s Excellent New Album, ‘At What Cost’


For Kokayi’s February Beats and Beans conversation, the veteran D.C. singer-songwriter and producer invited GoldLink to share his experiences as a rising hip hop artist. This was after the skilled MC signed with a major label–RCA Records–and just before releasing his full-length album, At What Cost. Despite his growing fame outside the region, a member from the audience asked if D.C. still influenced his music.

“No matter where I go in this city, D.C. always manages to inspire me,” he said, beaming with a level of pride only exuded from someone who undoubtedly loves their hometown. At What Cost is not only GoldLink’s most expansive work to-date, but it also serves as a sonic love letter to the city that has had a profound impact on his music. The star-studded list of D.C. collaborators featured on At What Cost add to the diverseness of the album, rather than acting as passive contributors. Collectively, they inject a sweeping range of influences and sounds that cohesively fit on the record.

At What Cost has the bells and whistles of big names like D.C.’s own Wale and Mýa attached to the project, but GoldLink’s longtime local collaborators are the real highlight of this genre-defying album. Following the opening credit, the record dives into the bouncy, buoyant track “Same Clothes as Yesterday,” featuring a tongue-twisting performance from D.C.-based rapper Ciscero. Kokayi brings the psychedelic funk on “Hands on Your Knees,” a song that keeps the hype and energy flowing as the record pushes forward. Further into the album, “The Parable of the Rich Man” includes a fantastic vocal performance from April George (of April+VISTA), who carries the single’s hook.

At What Cost is an ambitious record that cements GoldLink’s place as one of the most promising names in hip hop, and his love for D.C.’s music scene.

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