Imagine it’s 2014 again, a new wave of artists starts emerging off one specific platform. Artists including Playboi Carti, Lil Yachty, and Lil Uzi Vert, just to name a few, all had one thing in common. They all posted their music on Soundcloud and took off at an alarmingly incomparable rate. The time was different, the platform for developing artists was more unique than the over saturation seen today. There are important figures who helped these individuals through their own Soundcloud accounts and those who have come after them. One of them is GOLD, also known as Ryan Diaz, an important piece of this puzzle from Miami, Florida. He’s a pivotal figure when it comes to the underground scene and putting artists on to this day.
About three years ago, he actively began to support these up-and-coming stars. This created an entirely new brand of DJ. GOLD helped in various ways through his Soundcloud, that now has nearly twenty-thousand followers. Using his already well-known presence on the platform, GOLD would create playlists comprised of rising artists. As time passed and his influence grew, he would drop exclusive tracks and make mixes of the artists, who at the time were on the brink of stardom. He gave them that extra push, becoming a key component between the fans– especially those fans who truly care, delivering rare tracks of their favorite newcomers—and already beloved artists.
GOLD’s evolution is proof that he has been on the front lines of Soundcloud and the underground scene; dating back to the earlier days when he dropped a substantial amount of Lil Yachty exclusives. This transitioned into dropping rare tracks of almost everyone who was starting to catch a buzz. Artists including ThouxanBanFauni, UnoTheActivist, Playboi Carti, Pollari, Mar 90s, Lamont, Lucki, Warhol.SS, Yung Bans, and Terrance Escobar were just a few. The creation of 50K Radio, a separate account used to drop tracks and mixes, took his work to a new level. The mixes featured all the artists he was backing and would contain some of their rarest tracks, such as the “Gold Mix”, “White Gold Mix”, and “Steel Mix”. He had solidified his place as a crucial player within the underground scene.
Recently, he actively works to help artists that he believes in being one of the few who are still working for artists who have potential. The talent he has pushed this year alone are all worthy and visibly on their way to the next level within the industry. New faces including Chicago artist A Dot, St. Paul’s Lerado, and Freddy Solitary are found throughout his exclusive tracks and reposts. The support for all the artists prior hasn’t stopped though, they have made a name for themselves, so the support has less of an impact. Nonetheless, he has remained loyal to the underground as years pass.
GOLD’s role, while it may go unnoticed by an average listener, is the epitome of what developing artists lack. His position in exposing artists is monumental to their success, his cosign could mean mad support from fans and labels alike. Although those like GOLD are in the shadows, they still deserve to be given credit for their actions. Without him there wouldn’t be the same opportunities for artists to get the recognition they deserve. There is no question that GOLD is an integral piece of the underground. His commitment to artistry he believes in has turned out years of success for those who get his approval. His ear to the streets and keeping the originality of the artists he supports is what the game needs.