Goldlink Is Authentic and Captivating on "Diaspora"

The rapper's sophpmore LP is the album of the summer

Washington, D.C.'s vibrant music scene is known for its continued evolution. The city served as the birthplace of Moombahton and a continued source of inspiration for Thievery Corporation's experimentation with reggae and lo-fi trip-hop.

It inspired the ethereal melodies of Duke Ellington and later churned out Tank and Ginuwine, the pinnacle icons of early 2000's R&B. Wale, whose continued experimentation with Afropop, R&B, and slam poetry has historically been met with mixed reactions, is credited with being one of the first big mainstream rappers out of the area, and despite his 13 years in the spotlight, he continues to chase versatility, with each of his projects sounding vastly different from the last.

Even so, continued experimentation can lead to issues. Wale was recently accused of cultural appropriation for the Major-Lazer assisted single "My Love," and Moombahton quickly became a dated subgenre as Afro melodies seeped into the mainstream. When Goldlink announced Diaspora, many were trepidatious. For a rapper who was lauded for his experimentation on his debut At What Cost, the project's follow-up appeared to be an attempt to capitalize on past praise, and it was difficult not to worry that the 26-year-old was having a Wale-esque identity crisis.

"I keep my energy calibrated" Goldlink raps on "Rumble," and it's true. Everything about Diaspora is subtle and fine-tuned. Tight wordplay and sophisticated experimentation are sprinkled throughout the album and give way to rewarding moments. Goldlink samples the best of D.C.'s budding Afro-influenced underground acts without raising questions about its legitimacy, while demanding the most out of his eclectic features. While Maleek Berry sounds right at home on "Zulu Screams," WizKid is asked to challenge himself on the lo-fi instrumentation of "No Lie." Even Khalid sounds relatively out of his comfort zone as he takes on mumble rap in his "Days Like This" hook. Despite the 14-track project having 11 features, none of them overshadow the lyrical prowess of Diaspora's protagonist. Goldlink takes plenty of moments for himself, letting loose on "Maniac" and "More" and then reining it in for a quick humble-brag on the album closer, "Swoosh." He goes blow for blow against Pusha T on "Coke White/Moscow" and comes out unscathed, then immediately dives into a relaxed bossa nova experiment with "U Say."

The album ebbs and flows as frequently as D.C. culture, yet Goldlink never gets lost along the way. "I'm committed to the movement, you committed to the wave," Goldlink raps on "Moscow." The album cover, a candid photo shot by Hailey Bieber of Goldlink's love interest, Justine Skye, further questions the idea of identity and diaspora (Skye famously got into an Instagram debacle over identifying as Jamaican despite being born in the U.S.). Like Justine, Goldlink's sophomore effort is authentic and influenced by multiple cultures. Putting Skye on the cover finalizes his thesis: We are each more than just our nationality, and Goldlink is more than just another rapper.


To Donald Trump: 5 Ways You're Actually a Flawless Being Doing a Beautiful, Unbelievable Job Right Now

You could resign if you want to, but then who will keep America so GD great?

With Donald Trump making a visit to Bangor, Maine today, the editorial board of the Portland Press Herald issued an op-ed calling for President Trump to resign.

The harshly critical piece entitled "To President Trump: You Should Resign Now" was framed as an open letter to the president and got straight to the point with this opening plea, "We're sorry that you decided to come to Maine, but since you are here, could you do us a favor? Resign."

In recent days even George W. Bush has been critical of President Trump's response to protests, so this new piece quickly became a trending topic on Twitter. Obviously this is another baseless attack from the lying news media—AKA lügenpresse. Considering how delicate our president's ego is—he's our special little guy—we can only hope that Donald Trump didn't see the letter; but just in case he did, it's worth writing another one to lift his spirits. So here's our best attempt—with lots of pictures and flattery to keep him reading:

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RELEASE RADAR | Loote remixes Eighty Ninety's "Your Favorite Song"

PLUS-- Maleek Berry, Young Galaxy, Denny White, Will Varley, Moon Taxi, Hibou, and GARABATTO x Charlie Muse.

Happy Friday! Just before you head out to "cheers to the weekend," we've got this week's hottest new releases lined up for you. This week, one of our favorites is back with a remixed version of their song. Indie pop/rock band Eighty Ninety visited us for Popdust Presents a few months ago. Around that time, their new song "Your Favorite Song" had just come out. Now garnering over 350,000 listens on Spotify and an awesome music video "Your Favorite Song" seems to have become a fan favorite. Along with Eighty Ninety here's who else dropped new music this week: Maleek Berry, Young Galaxy, Denny White, Will Varley, Moon Taxi, Hibou, and GARABATTO x Charlie Muse.

Loote x Eighty Ninety | "Your Favorite Song" Remix

Eighty Ninety sat down with us to talk about their new remix. They said, "we love Loote's hard hitting minimalist pop approach with their own music — they create these relentless hooks surrounding really nuanced and emotionally authentic storytelling that just feel and sound so good." They noted that Loote's other remixes were really impressive especially how they, "are able to work the best parts of a song into something new and totally undeniable."

Collaborative in nature, the brother duo said that when they heard Loote's music they could tell they "shared priorities as musicians," that being a tell-tale sign that it would be a good collaboration. Because "Your Favorite Song" was Eighty Ninety's "popiest leaning melody yet," they decided it would be the perfect first song to have remixed. They said that Loote was their top choice and, "needless to say we were happy they said yes."

Seems like the feelings are mutual. Loote spoke highly of Eighty Ninety. They said, "Eighty Ninety has an ability to deliver songs that first strike you emotionally and than get totally stuck in your head, and they make it feel totally effortless. Thats what drew us to Your Favorite Song. The song grew on us so much as we worked on it. We probably spent longer on this remix than any other because it felt like one of our own and we wanted it to be perfect!" Eighty Ninety also complimented Loote on their knack for storytelling so the collaboration was all in all a match made in heaven.

It's a big year for Eighty Ninety who just announced that they'd be performing at coveted SXSW. "Our first announced show during SXSW is a showcase on March 11th hosted by one of our favorite music blogs, In the past the showcase has hosted some artists we really admire so we're excited to kick off the festival that way. Details on our socials, as well as more show announcements soon!"

In addition, they'll be playing several shows in NYC and releasing new music throughout spring until the release of their EP Bowery Beach Road.

Best for: A beach bonfire - I know it's too early for that but SOON.
Perfect if you like: Tame Impala

Follow Loote on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Follow Eighty Ninety on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Maleek Berry | "Own It"

I love the percussiveness of this new track from Maleek Berry's new EP First Daze of Winter. The EP has six brand new songs. I love the mood of all of Berry's music. It's very chill but also very hard hitting.

Best for: Play it while you're doing boring computer work to make the time fly.
Perfect if you like: The Weeknd

Follow Maleek Berry on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Young Galaxy | "Under My Wing"

This song is perfectly chill. The soothing sounds of the minimalistic synth layers will relax you no matter how stressed you're feeling. "Under My Wing," is Young Galaxy's newest single following their 2015 album Falsework.

Best for: Before bed.
Perfect if you like: Class Actress

Follow Young Galaxy on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Denny White | "Torn Up"

It's impossible not to move to this tune. Though laid back White has the ability to strike a groove that hits you hard and gets under your skin. His voice is flawless and rides the unique track.

Best for: Your next house party playlist.
Perfect if you like: Justin Timberlake

Follow Denny White on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Will Varley | "Seven Days"

The song hurts so bad it feels good. Ever need to be in your feelings? This is the perfect song for that. The visceral vocals and powerful rhythm guitar take you to a reflective state. I especially love the animated music video that comes with. A la an old video game, the all black and white visual compliments the song perfectly and weirdly makes you relate.

Best for: Being in your feelings.
Perfect if you like: The Lumineers

Follow Will Varley on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Moon Taxi | "Not Too Late"

Moon Taxi is awesome. If you haven't seen their recent performance on The Megyn Kelly Today Show, definitely check it out here. This song feels like a generational anthem. In fact, I'd love to hear it live because though the track feels complete with all of the intricate guitar riffs and the roaring vocals, I could see stadiums singing along to this one.

Best for: Your Superbowl Sunday playlist
Perfect if you like: Wild Cub

Follow Moon Taxi on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Hibou | "Fall Into"

Hibou just dropped this music video for his recent song "Fall Into". I love his stoic performance. It's somewhat 80s reminiscent and the details are obviously prioritized from the extreme close-ups and slow rolling cinematography. This song seems to be a warning that all good things have cons as well. It seems to be a reminder that falling in love is just as much dangerous and messy as it is wonderful.

Best for: Your winter cleaning playlist
Perfect if you like: Caleb Hawley

Follow Hibou on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

GARABATTO x Charlee Muse | "Infected"

This gritty track combined with Charlee's powerful vocals make this the perfect song to blast when you need to dance it out. The dynamic of the track and the vocals hand in hand compliment each other at times and contrast each other at other times making it truly interesting and always keeps you guessing what's next.

Best for: Getting the bad energy out through dance.
Perfect if you like: Dirty Palm

Follow GARABATTO on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Follow Charlee Muse on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

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