Despite being one of the more polarizing artists in rap of this decade, Macklemore has also been one of its most widely successful acts alongside producer Ryan Lewis, with the duo churning out a string of multi-platinum singles that have dominated the Billboard charts. Gripes about privilege and sonic preference aside, Macklemore has proven himself to be a capable songwriter and lyricist, two attributes that may have been undervalued surrounded the debate and comparisons that accompanied his name amid his rise to fame. Many may have pegged the rapper as an overnight success and the product of cultural gentrification, but Macklemore is far from a manufactured product, having put in over a decade of work before his star turn.

Originally a solo artist and rhyming under the moniker Professor Macklemore, in 2000, the Seattle, Wash. native released his debut mixtape, Open Your Eyes, before dropping the Professor from his name and crafting his official debut studio album, The Language of My World, in 2005. The following year, Macklemore would meet Ryan Lewis, with whom he would ultimately release the multi-platinum studio album, The Heist, in 2012, as well as the group's sophomore effort, This Unruly Mess I've Made, last year.

However, this past June, Macklemore announced that he and Ryan Lewis would be going on hiatus as a duo and that he would be resuming his career as a solo artist, with his first release being his new studio album, Gemini. His first solo body of work in nearly a decade, Gemini finds Macklemore in a rejuvenated state artistically, delivering a collection of songs featuring the likes of Offset, Kesha and more that ranks among his best work in recent memory and will continue to quiet doubts of the veterans worth as a credible lyricist.

XXL gave Macklemore's latest long player a focused listen and highlights 20 of the best lyrics on Gemini.

  • "Ain't Gonna Die Tonight"

    Macklemore Featuring Eric Nally

    "They gon' learn from me, this is our church to be/Life of a champion, ugh, so Freddie Mercury/Sneakin' into Hov concerts in nosebleeds/The Hov bein' like, 'Whoa'/Yeah, independent, keep killin' these people and don't sleep/Even the pigeon-toed still standin' on both feet" - Macklemore

  • "Ain't Gonna Die Tonight"

    Macklemore Featuring Eric Nally

    "Wake up, bitch, I ain't dead yet/And if I was in heaven, I'd be the best dressed/My closet lookin' like a swap meet in Texas/And maybe it's excess, but we ain't cut from the same cloth, player/Talkin' to a boss player/Checks like a ball player/Easy money, all layups" - Macklemore

  • "Glorious"

    Macklemore Featuring Skylar Grey

    "I heard you die twice, once when they bury you in the grave/And the second time is the last time that somebody mentions your name/So when I leave here on this earth, did I take more than I gave?/Did I look out for the people or did I do it all for fame?/Legend it's exodus searching for euphoria/Trudging through the mud to find the present, no ignoring us" - Macklemore

  • "Marmalade"

    Macklemore Featuring Lil Yachty

    "Look at the way that I’m shining/I don’t be checking the mileage/She said how much is that Rolie?/I said don’t worry I’m timeless/Watching Toy Story 3, that’s a great fucking movie/City of Jimi, Kurt, Quincy/City of me, Eddie, and Bruce Lee" - Macklemore

  • "Willy Wonka"

    Macklemore Featuring Offset

    "R.I.P. Willy Wonka, watch the roof come off/I pull up in that candy paint, call it Veruca Salt/You cheated and you lied, you broke the rules, my dawg/Now you wanna come around when there's food involved/Let the truth be told, I'm in that Coogi robe/With the Dookie rope, and Lil Boosie on/I'm eating sushi rolls, doin' the tootsie roll/Thinkin' ’bout future goals, hater what you been on?" - Macklemore

  • "Willy Wonka"

    Macklemore Featuring Offset

    "With my daughter, singing, 'Hakuna Matata'/Why they hootin' and hollerin'/I'm maneuverin' out to Budapest/And my baby mama duckin' the audit/The IRS been callin', tryna get in my wallet/But they ain't gettin' all of it/I put my feet up on the ottoman, I ought to be relaxin', y'all" - Macklemore

  • "Intentions"

    Macklemore Featuring Dan Caplen

    "I wanna be a feminist, but I'm still watchin' porno/I wanna eat healthy, but I'ma eat this Digiornos/We live on social media, read other people's thoughts/Tweet about justice, but don't show up to the march/I think about the earth, and I think about the eco/What am I willin' to sacrifice at the expense of my ego?" - Macklemore

  • "Levitate"

    Macklemore Featuring Otieno Terry

    "Watch out, I'm about to pull this new watch out, ta dow/Puttin' in work, we don't clock out/How 'bout, we go and cut the rug at the pow-wow/Get to movin' and breakin' and poppin' like wild style/Electric boogaloo/She movin' that body like a booty in a hula hoop/Gave her that look like, 'You don't know what I'd do to you'/And she was like, 'Oh my god, I just googled you'" - Macklemore

  • "Levitate"

    Macklemore Featuring Otieno Terry

    "Plaid on me, dancin' like a one man army/Turn a funeral into a dance party/Meet the Holy Ghost, I'ma catch me a body/You don't wanna see me when I start doin' the zombie, Thriller/Master P, barbecue chip, Percy Miller/That's a rap snack, I'm a fat dad, got some fat abs/Sweatin' like I'm eatin' jalapeños out in Baghdad" - Macklemore

  • "Firebreather"

    Macklemore Featuring Reignwolf

    "What the fuck you think I'm doing it for?/Hungry like it's my rookie year, and I'm new to the sport/The game is tied up, they looking at you in the fourth/Do you take the shot or pass it, this is ten-thousand hours/And I'm working on my Master's, liabilities, and assets/And I'm showing up to practice, shooting early, getting baskets/There's no father to my style, I'm just a freckle-faced bastard/An animal in the jungle, running, hunting with a habit" - Macklemore

  • "How to Play the Flute"

    Macklemore Featuring King Draino

    "Who's that peeking in my window? CeeLo

    I was on that Khujo, that Big Gipp and that T-Mo/Dolce and Gabbana, cappuccino, gelato/In a grotto out in Cabo, amateurs so apollo/Whip this bulky like Costco, I'm out here and dodging 5-0/I hit the block with that top low, a dookie rope with a poncho" - Macklemore

  • "Ten Million"

    Macklemore

    "I paid my dues, now I'm really on/Prince of the SEA, put my city on/Left the condo for a bigger home/Everything clean like my chicken bones/I work hard, I work hard for it/Had to go back to the chalkboard/We was tourin' countries all foreign/Now I don't gotta open car doors" - Macklemore

  • "Zara"

    Macklemore Featuring ABIR

    "I know you're troubled, girl/I seen you on Tumblr/February, dressing like a summer girl/Mini skirt on, no underwear/I wanna take you shopping/Blow a bag of Prada/She say, 'Those clothes expensive'/So we end up at Zara" - Macklemore

  • "Corner Store"

    Macklemore Featuring Travis Thompson and Dave B

    "I'm pushin', movin' work, improvin'/There's commas on the way/Put the pussy on pedestal/Blow the medical to the face/It's evident on my face/Rollin' heaven in my new Wraith/Declinin' the call from labels/Still grubbin' on struggle plates" - Travis Thompson

  • "Corner Store"

    Macklemore Featuring Travis Thompson and Dave B

    "Shit, I'm hardly on, not quite broke/Off the wall, but on the border/Pushin' pen to the paper for peso/They wanna Lego/Close construction, no room for the huevos/You gotta love it/That's Benny, he like Montego, he save you like the gecko/He not gon' pay to date you, you get ousted, OG Maco" - Dave B

  • "Miracle"

    Macklemore Featuring Dan Caplen

    "It's been a long night/I just might wake up on the wrong side/I tell myself it'll be alright/Sunlight peakin' through the dark sky/Bottle it up, fall in the cut, all out of luck/Drownin' in this quicksand and I'm swallowin' mud" - Macklemore

  • "Miracle"

    Macklemore Featuring Dan Caplen

    "If these walls could talk, they'd have a lot of blackmail/Is karma real or not? I can't tell/The Devil complimented me and said, 'You dance well'/The praise won't save me, and neither will the fan mail/I'd be a sinner, but thank God I'm not religious/And I'm addicted, drugs and women, there's no difference" - Macklemore

  • "Church"

    Macklemore Featuring Xperience

    "New state of mind, I feel like taking my time/And that laid-back reclines, still pushing that ’85 Lac/Windows down, city passing by, like a timelapse/The weatherman be trippin', so that ceiling got that white rag, ay/We came so far, just some kids in the city tryna make some art/Leave some change in the fountain, hope to make my mark/You see I was given a role, never played my part" - Macklemore

  • "Excavate"

    Macklemore Featuring Saint Claire

    "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?" - Macklemore

  • "Excavate"

    Macklemore Featuring Saint Claire

    "I had this vision of my death/Surrounded by people I love and respect/In the baby blue Cadillac hearse/Pullin' me 'round the block that I rep/The greatest fear that I've ever kept/Is dying with regrets/Like was I just alive for success?/Or did I leave a better life for the rest?" - Macklemore