After more than nine years of collaboration and two albums with Ryan Lewis, including Grammy award-winning Best Rap Album The Heist, Macklemore releases his second solo album Gemini. The American rapper’s solo career started in 2005, with The Language of My World, and then took a break until now. However, Gemini is far from being a solo album, since among sixteen songs, there are fifteen collaborations.
Ain’t Gonna Die Tonight opens the record. For this track, Macklemore reunites with Eric Nally after collaborating with him on Downtown in 2016. The song is about self-motivation and confidence. It starts with Eric Nally nearly shouting the short and inspiring chorus and it then continues with Macklemore’s rap. As for the rest of the record, piano and choruses are strongly present.
Halfway through the album, there is a surprising rap-rock song: Firebreather. It is characterised by a flaming electric guitar sound played by Budo, producer of the record, and a collaboration with the American indie rock band Reignwolf.
In other songs, like Marmalade and Willy Wonka, the sound recalls trap music, thanks to the collaboration with Lil Yachty and Offset respectively. Marmalade is a joyful song, with high pitched piano and a catchy chorus. Willy Wonka, comparing the fictional character to the two rappers, has a good flow.
Overall, Gemini clearly displays different Macklemore styles; there is something for everyone. Even though there are sixteen songs, the album can be considered as an easy listen. Most of the songs are relatable, catchy, and easy to remember.