GoldLink Hangs with Rick Rubin at 1015 Folsom in SF, 9/25 [Event Review]

Bedtime Story [Prod. Louie Lastic]

Upon our first listen of GoldLink’s debut project, The God Complex, we immediately knew he had the potential to change the landscape of hip-hop. From a technical perspective, the DMV-bred emcee has an impressive, quick-hitting flow with an equally adept vocal range making for a versatile, dynamic sound. What really sets him apart, though, is his openness to work with forward-thinking producers and, maybe even more importantly, the connection his unique, unabashed lyrics find with his audience. Whether it be fun tracks like “Ay Ay” or more introspective cuts like “When I Die,” GoldLink very much feels like a genuine voice that can represent his generation for years to come.


Last night, GoldLink and talented HW&W artists KaytrandaPomo and Mikos Da Gawd made their way to San Francisco’s 1015 Folsom in what turned out to be a triumphant night for the future of music. Aside from the excitement in the crowd at what was only GoldLink’s second show ever in the Bay Area, legendary producer Rick Rubin was in attendance to catch the young talent adding to the show’s significance. With the stakes seemingly at their highest, GoldLink delivered a flawless set feeding off the crowd’s energy simultaneously showing off his abilities as a performer. Hip-hop is often one of the more difficult genres to translate live, but the danceable future-bass production along with GoldLink’s usage of melodic flows made for a huge party in the crowd. The most memorable tracks from his set for us were “Bedtime Stories,” the Kaytranada-produced “Sober Thoughts”,  “When I Die” and a brand new song that sounded like an absolute banger.


The presence of Rick Rubin, who Link first met a few days prior to the show, was particularly meaningful as an affirmation of GoldLink and the HW&W and Soulection collectives’ emergence. For those who might not be familiar, Rubin was a co-founder of Def Jam Records and has produced for artists including The Beastie Boys, Black Sabbath, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Eminem, System of A Down, Adele, Johnny Cash, and Weezer (seriously check out his production discography because it is ridiculous). In his recent interview with Zane Lowe, the 7-time Grammy award winning producer talked about his method of working with artists. Rather than try to take full artistic control himself, Rubin’s zen-influenced approach focuses on creating the most favorable environment for the musician to be the best version of themselves. In his soft-spoken sort of way, Rubin most definitely seemed impressed with the performance having a brief exchange with GoldLink as they posed for a few portraits afterwards. Although there’s no official confirmation that he will be working with GoldLink, we can only imagine the potential impact a collaboration between the two could have on the broader scope of music.


All of the sets, including two hours of dopeness from Kaytranada, were phenomenal, but last night truly felt like the witnessing of a movement bigger than just the music. Both GoldLink and his homies in the HW&W and Soulection collectives seem ahead of their time not only sonically and culturally, but also in re-thinking the model of the traditional record label. With a dedicated group of fans rocking with them, this seems to be just the beginning for these trailblazing artists and we can’t wait to hear what the future has in store.

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Special thanks to GoldLink’s team for allowing us to capture such an eventful evening as well as to Rick Rubin for being so kind in letting us take a few portraits. Photo credit to the talented Steven Burk.