Even though black identity is a deeply rooted tree with an infinite amount of branches, I often think that many of us have shared experiences.

It’s the singe on the back of your ear from the hot comb.

It’s smooth melodies of 70s or 80s or 90s tunes strutting into your ears on a Sunday morning as you stumble out of a good night’s rest, signaling: it’s time to clean.

It’s Chamillionaire. (I don’t even have to explain that further, you just know.)

GoldLink’s Diaspora is a celebration of blackness from all across the globe. Afrobeat, jazz, reggae, scat, hip hop, and R&B are cut and pasted together into a collage that fits because they all have the same foundation weaving them together.

I’ve been a GoldLink fan since his mixtape And After That, We Didn’t Talk released in 2015. One of the main things I enjoy about GoldLink as an artist is that his presence is distinctive. From the way that he flows to the song structure to the tone of his voice, you know who’s behind the mic. It’s the same thing with Diaspora, GoldLink cuts through every song and makes his presence known.

One of my favorite cuts off the album, U Say, has gold-star features from Tyler, the Creator and Jay Prince.

Rumble is another bright spot and has already landed on my workout playlist as well as Zulu Screams.

As for spots that are not as great, I wasn’t too big of a fan of Khalid’s feature on Days Like This. Knowing that he really can sing, hearing him being pushed off into some a boring yet, less awful rendition of Future’s melodic mumblings on King’s Dead was annoying at best.

Even at the album’s low spots, it still wasn’t bad. Each song transported me to a celebration of a different realm of black culture. Each song made me wonder. Within Diaspora, there’s a vibe for anyone and everyone to enjoy. But, at the same time, it feels like it was made specially for you.



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