Goldlink is about to head out on the road with Mac Miller, but just before he sets off, he’s dropped a new video for the very dope ‘Dance On Me’.
I caught up with Goldlink recently and its safe to say he knows more about the UK scene than most people that live out here.
What’s happened since you dropped the ‘God Complex’ mixtape?
Just touring the world, creating more music, meeting new people, meeting Rick Rubin, working with Rick…so a lot has changed since I dropped the tape. My whole life changed.
What’s it like working with Rick Rubin? I mean, he’s the God! Hip hop and rock, he started Def Jam, one of the greatest hip hop labels of all time and he started American Records, one of the greatest rock labels of all time…not many artists get to get in with him like that, how did that come about?
When I first did the first London run I was doing the European run, so I was in Belgium, he reached out to the Facebook, and we didn’t like really believe it! So we were like eh “It’s not Rick Rubin! He’s not on Facebook!” and then it happened to be real, and he just really liked ‘When I Die’ and he wanted to meet us and come back, do music and everything.
So he’s really amazing to work with just because he’s so full of knowledge and wisdom, and like you said he has such a crazy rock-punk background, he has a crazy rap background, and talking to him is just amazing!
He pretty much started this, right? LL Cool J, Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, it’s the DNA right there.
Even Johnny Cash on American records in 1993! Honestly I’m more interested in the rock side more than anything else.
What’s the craziest thing that you’ve learnt from him – you’ve got unbelievable insight into working with him, probably more so than anyone else, what’s the biggest thing that you’ve learnt from Rick Rubin?
The biggest thing I learned was if you do the best that you can at what you do. He pretty much told me that if you make the best art that you possibly can, then everybody, everything else falls into place – that’s what he told me, verbatim. “If you make the best art you can, everything else falls into place.” Best advice I ever heard in my life.
Your focus must be on a different level right now.
It’s always been there, but he’s solidified where it should be. But it’s more like, damn, that’s all I was concerned about, making the best art, that was literally my thing from the jump, so knowing that somebody of that calibre, who’s made how many fucking millions of dollars doing that, must show that I’m doing something right!
You’re touring the world, everybody’s telling me about what you did at South by Southwest…what is the focus right now?
The focus is on the next project. Making the best art you possibly can, creative direction, aesthetic. Really everything being perfect at every aspect, that there is no flaw in any system, its the only thing that matters to me, nothing else matters to me than making the best art we possibly can – all around.
You’re a lyrical beast, animal on the mic, lyrically you tear tracks apart..is there anybody you feeling right now?
Yeah, Thomas and Nao the two UK singers are my favourite right now. The dude Kojey Radical is crazy, I think he’s one of the best out of the UK rap-wise. But really Tom, Mura Masa, Nao, Kojey are really, really exciting for me.
In what way?
In a way of…I wanna see what’s next for them. Like Mura Masa has a crazy platform, Sam G has a crazy platform, Tom Misch, these all…the thing about them is that they have crossover appeal. And that’s really interesting to me, everything they do is interesting, I listen to everything they’ve done, so very excited about that.
How important is the Soulection movement?
Very very very important, it’s very important to youth culture right now. I think it’s the most important thing in music right now. So being a part of that is fucking crazy, but I think it’s probably the most important thing in music right now.
What makes it different from the traditional rap route in America?
I wanna say because it’s our music. This is the only thing with actual identity that’s authentic and original. And that’s why it’s so important to culture, because this is something we can claim, this is something we can play in 20, 40, 50 years for our kids, grandkids and be like “This is ours!” We never had that yet and this is the first thing for it, so very, very important.