Macklemore’s “Glorious” Return with Solo “Gemini”



Macklemore’s first solo album in 12 years debuted at number two of Billboard’s Hot 200 Chart.

Caitlyn Truong, Photojournalist

Grammy-award winning rapper Macklemore released Gemini, his first solo album in 12 years, on September 22. The album debuted and peaked at number two on Billboard’s Hot 200 Chart with leading single “Glorious” selling nearly 400,000 copies and, according to Billboard, certifying double platinum in Australia. Gemini features several other collaborating artists, including Skylar Grey, Kesha, Lil Yachty, Eric Nally, Offset, Dan Caplen and more. Macklemore raps on the album’s 16 tracks which were recorded in studios in Seattle and Los Angeles beginning in 2016, according to Rolling Stone.

Macklemore announced his departure from his longtime partner, Ryan Lewis, in June for his upcoming album. The rapper first met the DJ in 2006, after recording his debut album and first solo album The Language of My World in 2005. The pair began officially working together in 2009 and released The Heist in 2012 followed by This Unruly Mess I’ve Made in 2016. The Heist performed overwhelmingly, with hit songs “Thrift Shop”, “Can’t Hold Us” and “Same Love” certifying the album double platinum and winning the duo Grammy Awards for Best Rap Album, Best New Artist and Best Rap Performance. In an Instagram post, Macklemore announced, “Ryan Lewis is my brother forever. We have been working together…near every day for 9 years and it felt like the right time. This decision came from a place of love for one another.”

When you leave here, are you stepping forward? Can you remember your intention when they question yours?

— Macklemore, 'Excavate'

Macklemore has been known for addressing controversial topics with his music, including the song “White Privilege” as well as “Same Love”, which supported homosexuality. With Gemini, however, Macklemore keeps the tone light and fun without any opinionated lyrics. He describes his latest album to Rolling Stone as “not extremely politically motivated or heavily subjected or concept-oriented” which he wanted to “get into my car and listen to”.

Gemini is a 16-track album featuring several well-known artists. Its leading single, “Glorious”, collaborates with Skylar Grey to describe revivals and comebacks with a catchy chorus and upbeat tone similar to Macklemore’s previous hit, “Can’t Hold Us”. “Good Old Days” highlights Kesha’s vocals for a nostalgic tone longing for the past with a slower beat much like the past “Same Love”. In “Excavate”, Macklemore and featured artist Saint Claire realize the important things in life with meaningful lyrics, singing “What you looking for? What you headed towards / What’s your name worth when they mention yours? / When you leave here, are you stepping forward? / Can you remember your intention when they question yours?”

Taylor Tran (10), a fan of Macklemore, praises his album, saying “My favorite song would probably be ‘Good Old Days’ because it’s catchy and reminds me to appreciate the present. In general, Gemini is pretty great and I listen to it all the time.” Gemini is a powerful return to Macklemore’s solo career and is sure to win several accolades.