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Rapper D’Anthony Carlos, better known by his stage name GoldLink, recently spoke with luxury lifestyle purveyor SSENSE for a discussion spanning different categories including what punk means to him, his favorite clothing, his new album At What Cost, giving life advice and more. As a self-described “quiet and aggressive perfectionist” with secretive projects underway, he’s mastered the art of letting his work convey its own message.

Here’s a few takeaways that we learned from the conversation.

…on the process of making his album At What Cost.

GoldLink: “I went home and channeled my inner city childhood. I just surrounded myself with people from D.C., and I stayed there the entire time. I didn’t go anywhere. I did my research — I was out, I was about, I was seen, I was everywhere. I kind of triggered the emotions out of myself and I got into a really solid place. I got a lot of people I felt understood it, which is only D.C. people, really, who can understand my sound. And then, we went for a full 10, 11 months straight into it and created emotion more so than sound. We started playing with analog sounds and certain things, trying to grab a lot of textures that don’t really exist in today’s music to mimic the unique layer that D.C. has. We tried to create a lot of things that people didn’t traditionally hear on records.”

…on what the word collaboration means to him.

GoldLink: “Collaborating is two minds coming together to make one thing. You get the best of what that one person does, and you give the best of what you do, and then you bring it together and make it something that syncs. I never really want to tell anybody what they should and shouldn’t do when they collaborate with me. Like, “I reached out to you for a reason, so you do what you do best and I’m just going to try and do what I do best and hopefully it works out.” That’s why the “Crew” record worked really well.”

…on his version of punk.

GoldLink: “For me, punk is just not conforming, not compromising or agreeing with the system and dressing to rebel against it. That’s what I do, I really genuinely do that.”

…on his favorite piece of clothing.

GoldLink: “I have so many good pieces now, I don’t have a favorite. There’s these Undercover scabs, they were the original ones that I got from my homie Kel. And the Undercover claw shirt is fire, it’s so sick. It’s yellow.”

…on vintage and thrift shopping.

GoldLink: “Yeah, but I’m more into consignment because it’s more of a one-on-one thing. Learning the history about things is really cool to me. I’m starting to get into that now. My homie Kel works at Horror Vacuo, it’s his consignment store. Every time I get a piece I’m like, “Man, what’s up with this piece?” He’s like, “Well, this is Rick Owens, it’s from his show in 92.” You know what I’m saying? He’s like, “Back then, he only gave out 500 of these, this why this is awesome.” That’s why I think I’m a piece guy, I love learning about them.”

…on giving someone a piece of advice.

GoldLink: “Be so good at what you do and be so confident in your craft that you don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. It’s easy to get caught up in trends, to get swayed. It’s very easy to be like, “Alright, so-and-so has this many fans, so I’ve got to go do what so-and-so does.” Stay true to what you do. People will respect you, and that’s what lasts longer. Take the slow road, don’t take the fast road. That’s what I would tell anybody in life.”

Head over to SSENSE to read the interview in its entirety.

In other news, here’s how Twitter reacted to Rihanna & Beyonce’s Diamond Ball reunion.

Words by Renz Ofiaza
Staff Writer

Renz Ofiaza is a Staff Writer at Highsnobiety and based in Brooklyn.

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