Two years ago, the Washington, DC rapper GoldLink released a really great album called At What Cost. On that album, GoldLink explored the black musical history of his hometown, digging into the soul and go-go and underground-rap sounds of the District’s past few decades while still keeping his own driven, propulsive, insightful voice strong and clear throughout. Along the way, he scored his biggest-yet hit with “Crew,” the luminous-but-anthemic Brent Faiyaz/Shy Glizzy collab. And today, GoldLink follows that album up with something even more ambitious.
Today, GoldLink releases his new album Diaspora. As the title implies, the album looks into the global legacy of black music the same way that At What Cost explored DC. At various points, the album toys around with a ton of different sounds: Afrobeats, trap, dancehall, funk, straight-up tribal chanting. But when that could be a messy and over-ambitious sprawl, GoldLink keeps it tight — only 40 minutes — and makes sure it stays focused and personal.
GoldLink will spend the summer opening up Tyler, The Creator’s entire Igor tour, and Tyler makes an appearance on Diaspora. There are some other big guests, too, including Pusha-T, Khalid, and WizKid. (There are famous people involved in the cover art, too. The girl on the cover is GoldLink’s girlfriend, the singer and model Justine Skye, and her friend Hailey Bieber shot the photo.) You can stream the album below.
And last night, GoldLink was the musical guest on The Tonight Show. Together with the British-Nigerian singer Maleek Berry and with a crew of pretty amazing dancers, GoldLink performed the single “Zulu Screams.” Here’s that performance:
Diaspora is out now on RCA.