Best 3 songs
1) Zulu Screams (feat. Maleek Berry)
“Snatch their wig, possess their soul”
“Zulu Screams”, the best song on Diaspora, features an infectious upbeat production that oozes African influence. On top of the great production, we see Goldlink utilize reminiscent and witty lyrics to further create a fun listening experience. “Zulu Screams” shows how far Goldlink has come in his career. While Goldlink has always been able to create radio classics, he hasn’t consistently shown a mastery in conceptual themes and lyrics. On this song, Goldlink’s improved lyrical talents are put on display with clever lines like the standout lyric above. Because of the improved lyrics on this song and of course the classic great Goldlink production “Zulu Screams” came in as the number one best song on this album.
2) No Lie (feat. Wizkid)
“Went from duckin’ coppers, now we duckin’ paparazzi now”
“No Lie” features a heavily Nigerian influenced sound with a great feature from popular Nigerian artist Wizkid. In many recent mainstream albums beat switches have been used for no apparent conceptual reason, but for the sole purpose of following the trend set by Travis Scott. “No Lie” follows this trend by using a beat switch, but does so in a conceptually pleasing way. In the first part of the song Goldlink speaks about the best part of his career and fame over the top of a smooth beat, but then as Goldlink gets into the nitty gritty of his career, death and violence, the beat switches to signify the change in lyrical theme. Obviously many artists speak on this topic, but Goldlink’s take is unique on “No Lie” allowing for it to be the 2nd best song on this album.
3) Coke White / Moscow (feat. Pusha-T)
“Made self made millions, rap hero turned villain
RCA made a monster, new coat crocodilian”
“Coke White / Moscow” is the first collaboration between rapper Pusha-T and Goldlink. Similar to “No Lie”, this song features two parts separated by a beat switch. In the first part Pusha T is seen discussing his drug-dealing past, aptly handling the half of the song “Coke White”. Then in the 2nd half the beat changes with the induction of Goldlink’s verse which references his wealth describing it similarly to how a Moscow born Russian Oligarch might. Obviously this beat switch isn’t as good as “No Lie” because the main purpose of it was to transition into Goldlink’s verse. Even though this song has a lackluster beat switch it does contain great lyrics and production that made it the 3rd best song the album.
Overall Album Rating 70/100
Diaspora is Goldlink’s debut studio album. The album boasts features from Khalid, Pusha-T, Tyler, The Creator, and more. The word diaspora is defined as “the dispersion of any people from their original homeland.” On this album, Goldlink embraces many African themes, such as war cries and musical styles, representing the “diaspora” of African music. Goldlink explores these themes throughout the album through songs on oppression, wealth, and identity. This album is by far Goldlink’s best produced and conceptual project yet, but it does seem to lack fully developed lyrics. While there are many standout verses in this project, Goldlink does seem to reuse many common themes and concepts. This can be seen on swoosh with lines like, “drippin’ round my town, town”. Besides the lyrics (which were good, but not exceptional), this album showed major improvement from Goldlink’s last project. If you’re a Goldlink fan you should be excited for the future as he continues to develop his talents and find his own unique sound.