• Gov't Name: D’Anthony Carlos
  • Twitter: @GoldLink
  • Instagram: None
  • Age: 22
  • Reppin: DMV
  • Notable Releases: Singles: “Sober Thoughts,” “Planet Paradise,” “Ay Ay,” “When I Die”; EPs: The God Complex
  • Label: None
  • Currently Working On: As-yet-titled next project
  • Surprised About Who Is Missing: “I don't know. Nah.”
  • Influenced By: “Rare Essence, the go-go band. Reaction Band, go-go. TCB, go-go. Old Wale music before MMG. I love mixtape Wale, that was amazing. His wordplay was crazy.”
  • As A Freshman In High School: “I was bad, always getting kicked out of class. Somehow still pulled like a 3.5. I don't know how and I still think about that all the time. I was bad. Girls were the only thing that mattered. And drugs. Drug dealing, you know.”

TRUTH: On Being A 2015 XXL Freshman: “I feel good. It's cool. It's prolific, it's surreal. I didn't even rap [growing up]. I didn't even know there was a cover until like three years ago, you know? But I never would have thought [I'd make it]. I never thought about it, but when I was asked, I was like, 'Yo, this is an opportunity and I never thought about that.' So I was like, 'Alright,' you know.

[I was] surprised a little bit [about the cover]. It's like, you knew it was coming, but you didn't know it was coming. I kind of [had a feeling], yeah; I was like, 'Yeah, I might get this.' Everybody was like, 'I think you're gonna get it,' and I was like, 'Yeah, I don't know.'

[The shoot] went better than I thought. I thought it would be super egotistic and mad unorganized, I don't know why. But it was the super opposite; it was really, really organized and not egotistic at all. Everybody was really nice or to themselves, nobody was rude to each other. So that was cool.

[I made] good music and made something that doesn't sound like anybody else. I grew up. I'm more focused. Rap is like my school, so I study it. If this was school, I study it every day. I go to school and I go to class five minutes before everybody else, I stay up and do my homework all night, I ace every test and I'm gonna graduate with honors.

I wanted to prove that—and this has nothing to do with anyone else—that someone from our area actually can do something and actually can be something. And that was the only thing I really wanted to prove, it wasn't nothing about anybody else. And at the same time, time will tell. Who will be here, who won't be here. Time will tell.

I’m such a dickrider for DMV people. 'Cause we don't have anything, so it's important that we have anything. I'm real adamant about that pride shit and home and all that. I'm really, really, really proud of Shy Glizzy. Really proud of him.

[I'm working on] a bunch of shit. A lot of music, a lot of ideas, a lot of expansion. I'm working on the expansion of what we've created, of what we've built to this point, trying to expand that. Just everything; the story that we built from the first tape to Rick Rubin. He plays the guru [role]. He's the kind of guy you come to, to center all the ideas you have, to level everything out. That's what I'm working on. And then trying to expand on that and just see how much bigger we can make it. I'm just creating right now.

I don't feel like it'll be more pressure. I feel like it's gonna be more eyes. I mean, we produce really, really, really good music, really high-quality music. I guess the only difference is there's gonna be more people paying attention, so they'll get to know how good the music is now. I think the best thing it's gonna do is going to expose me to people that don't know that dance, electronic exists. That's pretty much what I think it's gonna do. Widen the audience or something.

I just want to be considered in the class of people who actually graduated. I'm tryna graduate early.”—Dan Rys

Behind-The-Scenes: GoldLink