Rav Report Live: GoldLink @ Westway.

 

I’ve been a fan of GoldLink’s for a few months now. I pushed him onto my Twitter followers, albeit cautiously. I tend to be an early adopter on artists but I thought I saw something in him that perhaps other’s didn’t. I was wrong, as every song of his that I posted (or reposted on my Soundcloud) someone asked me about him. I was put on by the writer of this interview (I know her, does this count as a flex??? Probably.) His first widely released project “The God Complex” is where I began listening. From there, I knew I had to catch him live at some point soon. As per USUAL, cool ass DJ Toy threw me info about him performing in NYC yesterday…so I had to go.

 

So I made my way to the Westway (REDUNDANT SENTENCE!) from a birthday happy hour in Midtown. Now, I’ve never been to the Westway. The Westway is DEEEEEP. I felt like I was sneaking off to Shredder’s lair for some raps. Seeing as how I’ve been to a good amount of events in SoHo/TriBeCa etc., I am almost used to this feeling. Regardless, I just walked towards the water and kept my eyes peeled for people who were dressed like they stepped out of Tumblr. This strategy will never fail you if you’re trying to find a show.

I get to the front door and I’m a LIL’ antsy; just hype to see GoldLink. I get in smoothly (and the bouncer dude laughed at the stupid abbreviation on my ID), and the first person I see is Rob aka Octavion, who I’ve known since undergrad and was def in my friend circle at ODU. From there I bump into more of my friends/peers from VA and its just a snuggly little reunion. Yaaaaayyyy. Shoutout to Serge and Mike too. I also slid to the bar and got rum and coke number 1. I took it easy because I’ve already had enough alcohol in my body to dissolve myself from the inside this week.

Another reason why I came to this vent was to check out Gianni Lee(link). I’ve seen him DJ at Trillectro (what up, DC), but I wanted to see him nearly a year later, in a more intimate venue. I was thoroughly impressed, as he dabbled in his own mixes and even played reworks from his peers. Overall, I appreciated what he did, as he definitely kept the energy up.

 

Next, DJ Kidd Marvel came on the set. He’s GoldLink’s DJ, so he dove right into shit that would push the crowd into a frenzy. I was pretty amazed at how this crowd reacted so positively to Threatz and Awwsome, by Yung Simmie and Shy Glizzy, respectively. I’m kind of a Glizzy stan at this point, so I was definitely happy to see NYC appreciate that.

 

IMG_0595

While he’s doing this, Toy walks by for the second time that night and says loudly…”ITS SO HOT IN HERE….I HAD TO BRING MY …

Toy's Fan.

….FAN!”

Now when I tell you, she whipped this fan out of her pocket (or pulled the shit out of the shadows) and opened it one smooth motion before she finished the sentence….son. I think she rehearsed it. ANYWAY,  Marvel caught me off guard when he bought GoldLink out. I was totally unprepared. Or still stunned by Toy’s fan based sorcery.

GoldLink comes out with a leopard print hat on, a black tee (that we would later find out was ALEXANDER WANG..yes HE TOLD US!), and some tiny ass cut off shorts. Definitely above the knee. Troy Ave is DEFINITELY not doing any songs with him, lets take that off the table now. I personally thought his fit was perfectly normal; would blend in perfectly with people from around the nearby area. Actually, if he was your typical SoHo street runner, he’d have on some silly ass Power Ranger intergalactic SNEAKER BOOTS. But he didn’t. Thank you, GoldLink. Another interesting thing about this is he usually performs while hiding his identity. He’s starting to warm up to the idea of showing his face; very cool that he chose to do so here.

IMG_0592

The guy is a ball of energy. He’s just cruising through songs from his (fantastic) Soundcloud page and “The God Complex”. He does “Creep” which he asks before he starts “HOW MANY CREEPY NIGGAS IN HERE??”. I stayed silent, because I am the ULTIMATE GENTLEMAN and know nothing about those things. Still, I rocked, cause I liked the song. He did “On & On”, which is just smooth and worked the crowd over. As I keep watching him rap, it’s hitting me how HARD it is to actually rap these songs with such dexterity and stay on cue. He did this for the duration of his roughly 30 min set, with no slip ups. He even calmly rapped through some mic volume issues, restarted the song, and most importantly… he wasn’t rude about it. I hate seeing rappers flip out on the sound guy; he just swam through it.   As you can see, I was standing in the sexy bordello section; my phone wasn’t ready for all that. Speaking of sexy, there were SOME baes present. One of which came with her dude and as soon as GoldLink came out, her jaw hung agape the rest of the show. So hopefully, he didn’t MISPLACE her.

 

As his set comes to a close, he goes into “Ay Ay” aka “the video that had all the titties and butts in it and is NSFW“. The first time I saw the video, I actually was at work. I saw the first 15 secs or so and had to scramble for an escape like I forgot my homework in high school. The song slaps; he did it justice live. Another one of the later  songs he performed was “Wassup“, which flips “Indian Flute”. Don’t you dare ask me what Indian Flute is either!!! I really dug that he closed with these songs. he also did a song from his upcoming EP, with Chaz French. Chaz is linked to my friends and he did his thing, so I’m all about that.

While I must admit, I was disappointed by some song omissions (namely “CTRL”, “How Its Done”).  However, it was his first headlining show in NYC. His job was to complete a condensed set and impress; he did that. I really think he has something and will be a big deal, very soon. He has talent, energy, thinks outside of the box and really loves to make music.

Also, Kevin Liles wasn’t too far away from us. TAKE THAT AS YOU WILL. No, I didn’t say anything. I didn’t know what to say….I mean…he’s Kevin Liles. I was too busy trying to be cool and not play myself.  I was also lucky enough to meet Rome Fortune in the venue. I’m a fan of his and very proud of his progress. I stopped, showed my appreciation, and that was that. Very cool guy and I’m really glad we got to chop it up for that limited time.

 

Overall, it was a good night. I finally got to catch GoldLink, I managed to not get drunk, and I made it home without disintegrating from exhaustion. WIN WIN WIN.

 

To wrap it all up….

 

Drunk Levels: Low  (2 Rum and Cokes). I barely wanted to drink. If they had orange juice straight, ida had that.

Bae Levels : There was some work in there! I think one who looked at me a lil strangely…so clearly…..she wanted me(or I’m just ugly). I’m not gonna factor in the girls I knew who were already there cause that would juke the #BaePowerRankings stats. So uh let’s say somewhere between 6.5/7 out of 10? Yeah.

Show quality : 7/10 -8/10. Only real complaints are that it was short/song omissions. As a performer, he did great. He’s a real showman, too.

Venue : I’ve never been to Westway before but its nice. It’s a little tight inside but I never really felt uncomfortable. It also used to be a strip club…so center stage is a catwalk. Yes, GoldLink threatened to strip on it while Ginuwine played.

Until next show! As always, if theres a show in NYC, hit me on Twitter. Always open to suggestions for the next Rav Report Live.

 

 

Advertisements

a few things.

 

 

2014 has been good. 2014 has also been…. strange. The only way to survive when you are literally rebuilding your identity and getting in touch with your sense of self daily….is to try to stay level. I’ve soared just as much as I have struggled (ok, maybe I’ve soared more), but I see things differently.

I’ve admittedly been struggling to write, as I teeter on the line between “trying to write the very things you are experiencing as they happen” and “revealing too much and fucking your life up”. I haven’t really written anything in a while (other than a poem/song while on a bus), so I’m just gonna play the list game. I hate lists, and I hate when people acknowledge they haven’t written in a while. *SIGHS*

 

Having the purest of intentions will always help.

I can hear you sighing and rolling your eyes from here. When I say things like this, people pile on me with their examples of things not going their way when they had pure intentions.

“It didn’t work out with me and my ex who is a goober but….”

“I keep trying to pass this class but….”

“My jumper is broken and none of my friends pick me to play 5 on 5 help. I shoot every day even in the rain SON! I deserve this!”

 

The real problem here is, I’ve noticed human beings have this innate feeling that things are just supposed to go in their favor. Not the way life works. I too have been guilty of this, but I know better now. You can be the best person ever, you can always do the right thing, you can still take the hugest L ever. What defines who you are is whether you use that as an excuse to be a shithead. Don’t be a shithead. Understand that you don’t “deserve” anything but respect and love. Everything else, you have to work towards. But most important of all, you have to be honest with yourself, and do the right thing. Try your absolute best, pour yourself into what you do, and let that be it. If it doesn’t work, admire yourself for your efforts and try again. Or take your energy somewhere else. That’s a call YOU will have to make.

 

 Don’t be a shithead.

I’d like to think I’m a pretty nice guy nowadays. I can honestly say that being nice to people and spreading as much postive energy as you can just feels better. Having people around you who are happy, comfortable and smiling….can’t really be beat. I now think people who are always out to abuse and torture people have deeper issues that need to be addressed. A high percentage of those people are hurting over something else; I certainly was.

 

You don’t owe anybody, anything.

Not an explanation, not a conversation, not a phone call, text, email, smoke signal, tweet…none of that.  I’ve noticed that people have come to feel that I “owe” them contact. I do not. if I don’t wanna talk, I will not. If I don’t wanna attend something, I’m just gonna tell you no. I’ve grown tired of feeling obigated to give people my time when I don’t want to. Minutes, seconds and hours are valuable. Don’t waste yours just because you feel like you “have to”. You do not.

 

and lastly….

 

Most people will not get “it”.

When it comes to the choices you make in life, a lot of people will disagree. Most of these people, I don’t care about them because they’ve never taken a stand for anything. If you’ve never stood up in your life or put your neck on the line for something you believe in, why would I care about your thoughts? Sometimes, its not that cut and dry. Sometimes people you love will disagree. Friends, family, something more…it’s bound to happen. With that said, you still have to push on and do what your heart desires. Most of the time, those very people who disagreed come around when they see your conviction and passion. A lot of people don’t step out and go against the grain because they are scared to death. By pursuing what you really desire, you become an outlier. So, of course people will treat you strangely. It’s not about them and it never was; this is solely about you. When you are trying to grow and lighten your load, the journey is strictly about you. Don’t let ANYONE distract you from that. First you help yourself, then you help the world.

 

See you soon.