Over the course of the past decade, a new crop of talented rappers have risen to the fore as the next generation asserts its voice. One of the artists that have emerged as a leader of the new school is Goldlink, who has evolved from an enigma with a strong buzz into one of the more acclaimed MCs of the moment; and he's accomplished that feat within the span of three years. Now that he has established himself as a major force and a budding star, the Washington D.C. native has unleashed his official debut album, At What Cost, which is an exploration of Goldlink's hopes, fears, and dreams, in addition to showcasing his roots within the District of Columbia and how the city has shaped him.

His first release since, And After That, We Didn't Talk, (his breakthrough 2015 mixtape), At What Cost is a sonic adventure that runs the gamut of powerful highs, depressing lows, and all points in-between. Featuring appearances by Wale, Jazmine Sullivan, Mya, Shy Glizzy, Kaytranada, and others, At What Cost is a loaded long player.

We've handpicked and ranked what we feel are the five strongest offerings from At What Cost. Did your fave make the cut?

  • 4

    "Some Girl"

    Goldlink Featuring Steve Lacy

    At What Cost is stacked with a bevy of lively tracks, one of them being "Some Girl," a collaboration between Goldlink and bassist/singer Steve Lacy of  The Internet. Lacy, who commandeers the hook, crooning "Searching for compatibility/Looking for the one that's right for me," continues to step into a starring role of his own with this appearance, as he and Goldlink team up for a string-laden jam that hits on all cylinders.

  • 3

    "Crew"

    Goldlink Featuring Brent Faiyaz, Shy Glizzy

    "She see money all around me/I look like I'm the man, yeah," vocalist Brent Faiyaz croons on "Crew." Produced by Tddy Walton, the track is steeped in references to Goldlink's Washington D.C. stomping grounds and finds him partnering up with his more goonish compatriot from the District, Shy Glizzy, who introduces himself with the lines "Hey, nice to meet, I’m Young Jefe, who you be?/Got my piece in Southeast, got her clappin' to this beat." With an intoxicating hook and a woozy beat, "Crew," which was released as the first single from the album.

  • 2

    "Summatime"

    Goldlink Featuring Wale & Radiant Children

    Arguably the two most high profile spitters out of Washington D.C. connect on "Summatim," which pairs Goldlink with Wale for a breezy number catering to warm weather and carefree vibes. Produced by Raidiant Children, who also tackle the song's hook, "Summatime" is one of the more favorable compositions on At What Cost and another example of Goldlink's immense artistry.

  • 1

    "Meditation"

    Goldlink Featuring Jazmine Sullivan & Kaytranada &

    Jazmine Sullivan and Kaytranada lend Goldlink a helping hand on "Meditation," a percolating number that instantly induces a head-bop and a slight bounce upon pressing play. Produced by Kaytranada, who infuses his house-inspired sound with Go-Go drums, "Mediation" finds Goldlink flexing his nimble flow, rhyming "I got a light-skinned bitch who look like Beige Loaf/And she fight and fuck me in the same clothes/But when I put that daddy, baby daddy, papa stroke/She curl her toes and close her eyes, I finish up, she adios." With a syrupy hook provided by Jazmine Sullivan to complete the cipher, "Meditation" is a dance-floor scorcher.

  • 5

    "Pray Everyday"

    "Pray Everyday," At What Cost's final cut, also doubles as on of the more superior songs on the album and finds Goldlink in a stat of introspect. "Pray everyday, say your grace nigga/Keep the haters, keep the demons 'way, fam," Goldlink drawls, before urging people to keep their faith in God and their energy in away from the evils of the world. Produced by Axl Folie, Syk Sense & Seven Thomas, "Pray Everyday" may be more subdued in comparison to other offerings on the album, but is the most poignant and soul-stirring standout.