During a recent interview to discuss his role in the Netflix movie Project Power, Machine Gun Kelly also wound up having to address the notion that he left hip-hop behind. The Cleveland artist was questioned by fans after the release of his new album Tickets To My Downfall, which found him switching lanes from the high-velocity rap that once saw him going bar-for-bar with Eminem in a rap battle to a pop-punk revival. MGK refuted the accusation that he’d abandoned hip-hop, citing some of his forebears and maintaining that he still had the “vigor” for the rap game.
“I’m not leaving hip-hop yet,” he told HipHopDX’s Trent Clark. “André 3000 said it my favorite way: ‘Hip-hop is a young man’s game’. So essentially when I don’t have, or when I’ve stopped living a certain way, or if I don’t have the right vigor to deliver my lyrics with, then I’ll stop. But I’m a fresh 30 and I’m still fully out there. So I don’t think hip-hop is going to stop for me at all.”
Explaining the new direction, he pointed out, “I would like to normalize how we think about doing multiple types of music. I didn’t ‘switch genres’; I’m versatile, and the wall isn’t boxed in. … Limitations would cause you to believe that, because I’ve put out four albums that are rap, I shouldn’t put out a fifth album that’s not rap.”
The timing on his change is uncanny, though; Another hip-hop outsider, Logic, recently announced his own retirement to stream video games, sparking a renewed wave of discussions on how some artists use hip-hop to build their brand before leaving it behind for greener pastures.
Watch Machine Gun Kelly’s interview with HipHopDX above.