Machine Gun Kelly’s Return To Rap On EST Gee’s New Album Is Met With Both Love And Confusion

Before he was an emo-rock pop star (and became sort of cool to hate), Machine Gun Kelly released a string of relatively successful rap albums and was best known as a rapper, even appearing on XXL‘s 2012 Freshman Class cover alongside fellow future stars like Danny Brown, (ahem) Future, French Montana, and Macklemore (as well as Iggy Azaela, Kid Ink, and Hopsin. Not to be a hater, but this might have been the weakest Freshman class ever selected by that esteemed publication). However, he’s received the majority of his career accolades since shifting genres in 2020 with Tickets To My Downfall.

But now, he’s back rapping, thanks to fellow Midwesterner EST Gee’s new album I Never Felt Nun. Guest-starring on “Death Around The Corner,” MGK resurrects his rapid-fire flow to reflect on his father’s death, his commercial success, and the apparent joys of sipping lean. It’s a solid trap song and to be honest, not that far off the mark from the music he used to make prior to 2019.

However, rap fans’ reactions have been… let’s say “mixed” regarding the prodigal son’s return. In the last three years, he’s made quite the spectacle of himself alongside his fiance Megan Fox and with the general short-term memory of social media, it’s likely a lot of folks forgot — or never even knew — that he made rap, to begin with. That short-lived but eventful feud with Eminem couldn’t have helped much, either. He does have a few defenders, though, who were quick to remind their fellow users that he used to get bars off.

If MGK decides to stick to his hip-hop roots for the foreseeable future, though, rap fans might just have to get used to hearing him popping up on more features now that he’s a certified No.1-selling artist — even if he did have to switch his style up. Check out more responses to his collab with EST Gee below.