Macklemore took a risk with his new album Gemini, and it seems to be paying off.
It’s odd to talk about new Macklemore music and not mention Ryan Lewis, the rapper’s frequent producer and collaborator. Gemini is the first solo-credited album for Macklemore (real name Ben Haggerty) in twelve years after a successful partnership with Lewis that culminated in two albums and no. 1 singles like “Can’t Hold Us” and “Thrift Shop.”
The decision to take a break from his professional relationship with Lewis was one that caused critics to question the rapper’s future success. However, when soulful lead single “Glorious” dropped, worries quickly vanished, as vocalist Skylar Grey adds an uplifting element to the track that feels reminiscent to older collaborations with Lewis.
Gemini is still very much a team effort, as Macklemore features guest collaborators on all but one of the 16 listed tracks, going completely solo on “Ten Million.” The album’s brightest spots come in with special features from Kesha (“Good Old Days”), Lil Yachty (“Marmalade”) and Dan Caplen (“Intentions,” “Miracle”).
While it’s unknown if the rapper will find the same heights of commercial success without Lewis, he certainly proves capable of doing just fine all on his own.
Macklemore is hitting the road to support Gemini, with 22 tour dates scheduled to begin October 6 in Portland, Oregon and travel across the U.S. before wrapping up December 22 at Seattle’s KeyArena. Browse tickets for his Gemini Tour here.