There’s strength in vulnerability, and part of being strong is exposing your faults and admitting when you need help. That being said, my name is Jay Connor and I’m
infatuated with in an entanglement with completely and utterly addicted to Steve Lacy’s latest offering, Gemini Rights.
This isn’t my first brush with Lacy’s introspective musings, or his mutant ability to conjure up bouncy basslines out of thin air. Yet despite graduating summa cum laude from his intoxicating debut, 2019’s Apollo XXI, and my extensive studies in all things The Internet—as in the Grammy-nominated, Odd Future offshoot; not all these TikToks and selfies y’all are so obsessed with—nothing could prepare me for the euphoria of Gemini Rights coursing through my veins.
While Apollo XXI was a solo endeavor that’s almost as universally revered as the Greek god it drew its name from, its successor is much more of a bisexual, Black-ass block party, with the likes of Detroit staple Karriem Riggins, wunderkind Fousheé, and fellow The Internet alumnus Matt Martians among the many talented songwriters and producers in attendance. As such, the end result is a much more robust and progressive sound, as evidenced by the ethereal “Cody Freestyle,” in which the Compton native dissects his own codependency issues—he’s not particularly fond of “that tied-down shit,” unless, of course, you’re willing to “put the leg work in”—as well as one of my favorite dopamine hits “Static,” in which the 24-year-old fumes that he’s “looking for a bitch ‘cause he’s over boys.” (Just don’t ask if any of them are Black. It’s a touchy subject.)
But his sexuality isn’t the only thing that Lacy has embraced and become far more forthright and comfortable with, as Gemini Rights showcases his prodigious growth as a musician. Nearly every track is a master class in guile and seduction, as intricate guitar chords, casual ketamine references, and mellifluous melodies lull you into orgasmic bliss—right before they crawl into a cocoon and evolve into something entirely new by the end of each song. One of the best examples of this is “Sunshine,” a worthy frontrunner for song of the year, that starts off as a breezy ode to that complicated sexual dynamic between exes that your therapist keeps warning you about (“Why can’t we just get along? Or, at least, let’s get it on?”) before Lacy inhales a can of Popeye’s spinach and transforms the song into what I would imagine the birth of Christ sounded like—away in a manger and all.
No, seriously. Listen to this shit and try not to levitate off the ground:
Gemini Rights is the type of majestic body of work that has absolutely no business being so fucking good—please don’t get me started on the ghost of Biz Markie beatboxing on “Bad Habit” or how “Mercury” has me shamelessly campaigning for Lacy’s 2024 presidency in every last one of my group chats (Oh, y’all really thought I was running back Biden?)—as well as the exact type of album that’s had me on WebMD trying to self-diagnose my isolation, inexplicable mood swings, and other tell-tale signs of Gemini Rights-induced addiction since its release.
I quite literally can’t get enough of this album, and I strongly encourage you to skip rehab and scurry off to your streaming platform of choice to do the same.