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GoldLink – HARAM! (Album Review)

GoldLink takes a very strange route to make it to the finish line of “HARAM!.”


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TOP 5

 

HONORABLE MENTION. WHITE WALLS

Every day, “White Walls” grows on me.

Even though GoldLink continues to think that his raps sounding like they are being spat out of an 8-bit video game console sounds good, I do like the tenaciousness that he raps with on “White Walls.” In his verses, he calls out Sheck Wes (For some odd reason), he addresses critics of his new style, and he comes across as a braggadocios douchebag. I also like the flows that GoldLink raps with.

 

 

5. 202

As you may know, GoldLink is from DC, so it makes sense that he decided to call this track “202” (The DC area code). Well, in the song, he sounds like a guy from California that just turned 34 yesterday.

You get killer GoldLink in “202.” Throughout the song, he hits us with some amazing flows and lyrics that indicate that he doesn’t mind shooting folks and not playing by rules. I f**k with the track because GoldLink sounds like a straight demon on it.

 

 

4. RAINDROPS

This is one of the most normal tracks that GoldLink has made in a while.

“Raindrops” features smooth production, a hook by Flo Milli that is very catchy, and lyrics by GoldLink that are romantic, pimpish, and slightly rebellious.

While I love Raindrops’ vibes, I do think that the song as a whole is a little on the basic side (Look at me crying about GoldLink experimenting then complaining after he drops something that is not experimental at all… I don’t know what I want in life).

 

 

3. WILD AND LETHAL TRASH!

It probably sounds amazing listening to “Wild and Lethal Trash!” under the influence of toad back.

“Wild and Lethal Trash!” is powered by this uptempo beat that features sounds that you would hear on a Sonic The Hedgehog game. Over it, GoldLink hits us with one of his steadiest flows and lyrics that are as competitive as it gets. As for SantiGold and Fire!, they simply add colorful vocals and grungy vibes to the song.

 

 

2. DON’T CRY OVER SPILLED MILK

“Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk” definitely made my heartburn symptoms ease up a little.

The track is powered by a soothing instrumental and a soulful vocal performance by Jesse Boykin III. As for GoldLink, in the song, he raps about being better than his 2015 XXL Freshman peers, fame f**king up his career trajectory, and the DMV having major love for him.

I love how GoldLink flies through this song sounding both unbothered and slightly annoyed at the same time.

 

 

1. THUMP CHRONICLES VOL. 1

I read the title of this song as “Trump Chronicles Vol. 1” (Yeah, that alarmed me).

“Thump Chronicles Vol. 1” is easily the best song on HARAM!, to me. I absolutely f**k with the hard-hitting/hypnotizing beat that powers the track, GoldLink’s slippery flows and catchy hook, Digga’s rugged verse, and Pressa’s wacky-sounding but extremely trill verse. All in all, “Thump Chronicles Vol. 1” simply feels satisfying (There aren’t many tracks on this album that satisfies me).


SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN

1. EXTRA CLIP (2/5)

2. 202 (4/5)

3. WHITE WALLS (4/5)

4. SPIT ON IT (3/5)

5. TERRORDOME (3/5)

6. EVIAN (3/5)

7. RAINDROPS (4/5)

8. TWIN (3/5)

9. GIRL PACINO (3/5)

10. THUMP CHRONICLES VOL. 1 (4/5)

11. CULTURE CLASH (4/5)

12. WAYNE PERRY (3/5)

13. WILD AND LETHAL TRASH (4/5)

14. DON’T CRY OVER SPILLED MILK (4/5)

15. CINDY’S DAUGHTER (3/5)


RGM RATING

(C+)

 

There’s such a fine line between experimental and weird music, right? In my very humbling opinion, GoldLink walks that fine line in HARAM!.

I’ll be the first person to tell you that I do not fully understand HARAM!. To be more specific, I don’t get the appeal of GoldLink’s blurry-ass vocals, some of the sounds that he decided to mix together in a few of the songs, and how the album flows as a whole. I will say this, though: It is hella fun trying to figure out how you can make the music work for you. On a personal note, I started off the album asking “what the f**k is this,” but left it saying “this s**t is kind-of tight!”

In the midst of strange beats, unique hooks, UK accents, and muzzled audio qualities, you do get some pretty good rap performances from GoldLInk. Throughout HARAM!, he hits us with intriguing lyrics that tackle topics such as his standing in the hip-hop game, his competitive nature, and his love for smoke. He also hits us with impeccable rap flows (GoldLink is unmatched when it comes to flows). If we got more raps from GoldLink and less from others, I think this album would get a better grade from me.

As a big-time music fan, I admire GoldLink’s willingness to experiment with a bunch of different sounds. While I think it would’ve been a lot less risky if he experimented when he solidified his standing in the game, at the same time, us not fully knowing who he is makes the mystery of HARAM! even more enjoyable to decode.

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