Whilst in London this summer for his sell out show in Shoreditch – that Andre 3000 of OutKast casually decided to come along to and watch – we thought it only fitting that a rapper with such eclectic musical taste, should be shown around one of London’s finest record shops, Rough Trade East (also in Shoreditch), to partake in some good, old-fashioned crate digging and a bit of a chat.
Below are the records that caught GoldLink’s eye, grabbed his attention and evoked some memories. Making the music solely about the music and refusing to show his face, we also managed to get some great candid shots of him rummaging through the crates.
Curtis Mayfield – ‘Superfly’
When I was growing up this was good music. This is like a super sample heavy album. ‘Pusherman’!? Oh, my, God. I love this shit man, this actually encouraged me. Curtis Mayfield is so smooth.
My Mother played a lot of Gospel and my father was into this shit. Gil Scot-Heron, Womack and fucking… Otis Redding… you know? Shit like that. Real soul shit. My Dad used to be like, ‘you’re never going to understand it until you get older…and when you get involved with girls’ [laughs].
I’ve gone back and brought a few of these albums. I’ve gone back to understand what it really was.
My father probably owns all of this shit, but I’m very selective when I buy CDs. I think the last CD I brought was probably ‘Late Registration’ when I was in 7th grade. I’m a very big listener, not really a buyer. Cohesiveness is a big factor. This, Curtis Mayfield ‘Superfly’, I would but right now, because it’s so cohesive. If you can sit there and play the whole thing and not skip one song, it’s a good buy.
Washed Out – ‘Paracosm’
This is like, “Chill” I would describe it as beach music. It’s like ‘diiiiiing’ and really slow and just chill. I like this. It’s really calming to me. I went through this phase in middle school. The new wave, post punk, industrial shitty phase and shit. I play Fifa and they had all this stuff on there. That’s when I started getting into bands like Washed Out. Fifa has the greatest selection, man… but not me! I’m going to get on there… If I don’t I will be very upset.
Little Dragon – ‘Nabuma Rubberband’
Oh turn up! Look who I found, Little Dragon. I actually OWN this album. What? This is the first one!? Nigga what!? ‘Little Dragon’ no way… I’ve got to get this one too. This is my shit right here. I like this. This is one of my favourite albums that came out this year. I like ‘Underbart’. I like ‘Paris’ and I love ‘Pink Cloud’ and ‘Let Go’. It’s like fast, then slow and they make very eccentric black music for such a diverse band. I love Little Dragon, man. They’re like, my favourite band.
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – ‘Days of Abandon’
I saw this album on Pitchfork when I was being reviewed and I fell in love with the artwork. I always meant to look it up and now I keep seeing it around all the time.
The White Stripes (in general)
The White Stripes are dope as fuck, man. I’m actually a huge fan of The White Stripes. My friend in LA put me on to Jack White and he was telling me about the band, what he’s doing now and how it all started, what he fell in love with and what his favourite records were. Fucking love them. It’s so innovative to me. Their visuals are amazing. They are very, very inspiring. This guy, Jack White, has also made the first ultra EP, where it’s like on a vinyl, but it has like a hologram and two different intros… its dope as fuck, man.
N.E.R.D – ‘In Search of…’ (1st Edition, White Vinyl)
Turn up, code red! This is one of my favourite albums. I love ‘Lapdance’ and I love ‘Baby Doll’ and I love ‘Run to the Sun’ (the original version), I love ‘Am I High’, I love ’Bobby James’. ‘Stay Together’ is me and my ex girlfriend’s favourite song… it fucking sucks, so fuck that… but I love this whole album. I don’t know what the fuck ‘white vinyl’ means… it doesn’t mean shit to me, but it looks nice [laughs].
Lauryn Hill – ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’
Easily one of the greatest records of all time… ‘Everything’ is perfect, ‘X Factor’ is always on repeat, then ‘Doo Wop’ – her bars were crazy. ‘Matters’ with D’Angelo was crazy. I love this album.
Snoop Dogg – ‘R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta)
This album was dope… actually it wasn’t. It sucked. ‘Rhythm & Gangsta’ was terrible, but I loved the album. It was very inspiring. ‘Signs’ was nuts, like the beat… ‘Drop it Like Its Hot’…
PN: Basically, all the songs produced by Pharrell?
GL: [Pause] Yes, actually [laughs].
Ice Cube – ‘AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted’
I listened to this in class all the time. I did terrible in school. Like, so bad… so bad. I skipped school for like, two and a half months. I went to the library. I skipped school for two months and went to the library [laughs]. The thing is, in American schools, they teach you what they want to teach you. It’s kind of like, ‘we’re America, we did this, everyone else is bad, fuck them’ and it doesn’t teach you anything substantial. I don’t remember shit from school, but I’m doing better then everyone else I graduated with so… I skipped, then I got a court order to go back, then I passed everything. I’m very smart. I just don’t like school. Just sitting there listening to someone, like… talk to me all day?
Words by Trina John-Charles
Photography by Samuel Falusi