Macklemore, ‘Marmalade’ | Track Review
Seattle rapper Macklemore enlists Lil Yachty (!) for “Marmalade,” a song that despite its title, isn’t about any sort of jam or jelly.
All indications suggest that Macklemore and just Macklemore intends to release a new album sooner than later. Throughout late 2016 and into 2017, he’s released a number of singles. His latest is the most surprising. The first surprise is the title, “Marmalade.” Why title a song after jelly? Complicating things even more, “Marmalade” isn’t about jelly! The next surprise the featured guest, Lil Yachty. Lil Yachty certainly isn’t for everybody, and Teenage Emotions was certainly a simple listen in my eyes. The final surprise? The sound of the record.
Before debating how Macklemore fits with the sound of “Marmalade,” here are some observations. The production is quite slick. The upper register piano is always a selling point, adding a dash to soulfulness anytime it’s used. The drum programming provides a nice anchor, giving this slowish cut some drive. The sound considered itself is indeed sound (get it). More on that sound now.
It’s a very modern rap sound. It’s not that Macklemore didn’t have swag previously or lacked contemporary prowess, but “Marmalade” sounds very now. That’s is somewhat polarizing. On the one hand, “Marmalade” sounds like it has hit written all over it because it assimilates to the times. Add Lil Yachty to the mix on the third verse, and hit-status feels like a done deal. The downside for Macklemore is, we’ve come to know him for his eclecticism, transcendent themes, and in a sense, nonconformity. Here, he sounds conformist. AND, he sounds like Lil Yachty.
So, “Marmalade” is different. It has its pros and its cons. It sounds like a hit, but, this certainly doesn’t sound like most Macklemore songs. One lyric most folks can get behind from the MC: “Watching Toy Story 3 that’s a great f*cking movie.” True. Can the same expletive be used in regards to “Marmalade?” Eh, might be pushing it.