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GoldLink finishes concerts season

Luke – Takahiro Omura
Luke - Takahiro Omura
Concerts correspondent Luke Jarzyna. Photo by Takahiro Omura.

Grinnell Concerts will present the last concert of the spring 2016 semester this Friday. GoldLink, a rapper from Washington D.C., and Smino, a Chicago-based rapper, will be performing at the Harris Center tonight at 9 p.m. Concerts has brought a broad display of up-and-comers to campus this semester, from garage rock to psychedelic folk and from Jersey club to queer punk music. GoldLink’s fast, danceable brand of “future bounce” will be an ideal way to close out the spring series.

GoldLink made his debut with the 2013 mixtape, “The God Complex,” which features a short, concentrated and impressive sample of his talents. From the album’s first moments, GoldLink bursts through the gates. His flow is fast and stylish, reminiscent of artists like A$AP Rocky and Schoolboy Q. The thematic content of “The God Complex” primarily engages with sexuality and intimacy. If the album were any longer, it might seem overly saturated with these topics, however, at only a little over twenty minutes, GoldLink’s mind and explorations of ego is no problem at all.

GoldLink released his first full-length album, “And After That, We Didn’t Talk,” in 2015. Straying away from the braggadocio of his first release, this album primarily features Link’s ruminations on a past relationship. It met the hype that developed after the release of “The God Complex” and received positive reviews from critics and GoldLink’s fans.

GoldLink’s beats are infectious and pull from a wide pool of sounds and influences. Many of Link’s songs feature 1:00-1:30 minute stretches of solely instrumental music. This style explains why GoldLink describes his music as “Future Bounce”; the beats do not function as merely a canvas for Link’s vocals, but interact with his voice in a vital way.

The stylistic inflections on the album range everywhere from bounce to classic house music and go-go. His experimentations with go-go could be considered an homage to his stomping grounds in D.C., where go-go developed as a subgenre of funk music in the 1970s. GoldLink rides these high BPMs with confidence and creativity.

GoldLink is one of the most high profile acts that the Concerts Committee has brought to campus this semester. To accommodate for the fact that GoldLink usually plays much larger venues, the committee decided to hold this concert in the Harris Center.

“Bigger acts can be overwhelming to have in Gardner,” said James Marlow ’16, the SGA Concerts Publicity and Outreach Coordinator. “Gardner is better suited to more intimate acts, so it’s nice to be able to experiment with different spaces on campus.”

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