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Macklemore Goes Solo For 'Glorious' Return

For more than half a decade Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have been an inseparable creative duo, racking up record sales and Grammy awards. But the premiere of "Glorious" — the first single from Macklemore's new, unnamed album — comes today with news that the Seattle rapper's next release will be a solo effort.

It's not a permanent divorce, but a temporary separation. The amicable split follows their 2015 release, This Unruly Mess I've Made. Failing to score gold sales, it fell far short of their platinum-selling 2012 debut The Heist. Macklemore explained the reasoning via Instagram:

"After the last tour, Ryan and I agreed that some creative space would be good for the both of us. Ryan Lewis is my brother forever. We have been working together damn near every day for 9 years and it felt like the right time. This decision came from a place of love for one another. I'm the best man at his wedding next month. There will be more M&RL music to come when the time is right."

"Glorious" features Skylar Grey singing the hook of a motivational anthem produced by Budo and Tyler Dopps. "It felt like the right record to come back with," Macklemore writes. "Embarking on this new chapter of life."

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Rodney Carmichael is NPR Music's hip-hop staff writer. An Atlanta-bred cultural critic, he helped document the city's rise as rap's reigning capital for a decade while serving on staff as music editor, culture writer and senior writer for the defunct alt-weekly Creative Loafing.