To date, up-and-coming Virginia rapper GoldLink‘s output has largely exercised his elastic flow in the service of blending party rhymes with the occasional poignant observation about himself and his surroundings, utilizing a collection of beats from producers recognizable to many trawling the Soundcloud waters (Ta-Ku, Kaytranada, BMB).

For latest single “The Heart,” GoldLink grabs the instrumental from Kendrick Lamar’s deeply personal “The Heart Pt. 2” and manages the difficult task of doing the original justice, digging a bit deeper and sharing details of a difficult youth, rapping as passionately and skillfully as on any prior release. A strong way to start the year for one of the rappers to keep an eye on in 2014.