Sometimes it can feel like artists move through the world in their own bubble, orbiting around each other but never touching, especially in hip-hop when biting and copying is a cardinal sin. But the truth is, music isn’t made in a vacuum. Everything is a re-arrangement and remix of what’s come before, and the best artists know how to draw on a world of influences and experiences and mold them into their own sound. That’s why we’ve started Real Recognize Real, a new interview series dedicated to talking to artists about the real music and people that inspire them.
After hearing about Hoodie Allen’s love for Outkast, we return with GoldLink, an intentionally enigmatic new emcee whose God Complex album made some serious waves when it dropped in April. Below, GoldLink talks about finding early inspiration in Beck, why Lil Bibby would be a dream collaboration for him, Shaq, robots and much more.
Who is the first artist or group that you remember hearing, which motivated you to pursue a career in music?
I can’t really say, because nobody inspired me to pursue music but me, by myself. More so, the lack of good artists out there right now inspired me to make music. But, what I can say is that the first time I was super intrigued by music was when I saw the Beck “Hell Yes” video. Beck’s “Hell Yes” video made me realize (for whatever reason) that this shit can be bigger than music. You just have to be creative enough to do it.
What was the last full-length album you listened to… from start to finish, uninterrupted?
Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon. Word to Double. That album has the fullness that I find necessary for an enjoyable listening experience.
Name a fellow new school artist, whose music you’re currently listening to and would recommend to others.
Why did you choose these artists? What about their music is attractive?
Lil Bibby, to me, is the most exciting young rapper out of Chicago - period. Especially his future endeavors and him moving forward, I’ve heard a lot of great things are happening for him. Shy Glizzy straight from my city (not my side), but my city nonetheless, and he’s the most promising thing that’s happened to the Southside of the city ever.
Fill in the blank: I would lose my sh*t if I found out that _______ would like to collaborate with me on a record.
Shaquille O’Neal…for “Shaq Diesel Reloaded.”
Name an occupation outside of the recording industry that you respect and think would be fulfilling in the absence of musical creativity.
Robotic engineering. I know for a fact that I could do that shit. I’ve always been interested in robotics since I was young, hence the Beck “Hell yes” video.
What do you have coming up in the next few months, which you’d like your fans and our readers to be up on?
Music, music and more music.
[Nathan S. is the managing editor of The DJBooth and a hip-hop writer. He also occasionally talks in podcast form and appears on RevoltTV. His beard is awesome. This is his Twitter.]