Now that Machine Gun Kelly is back rapping on songs like EST Gee’s “Death Around The Corner” (which had fans feeling conflicted upon its release), he seems very keen on convincing people he never actually stopped for success.
That’s probably because it’s such a common narrative in the music world and it very much seemed like he followed the blueprint to a tee. In the past, artists like Justin Bieber, Justin Timberlake, and Post Malone have drawn criticism from using hip-hop to gain their initial popularity, then switching to “safe” genres or breaking out their acoustic guitars in order to engage that coveted Middle American demographic. (For what it’s worth, this criticism is probably a little overblown, even if it accurate.)
However, in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, MGK insists that he never “departed, left or switched” up on his rap career, despite releasing a pair of albums in the pop-punk/alt-rock mode at a time when he was under tremendous scrutiny for going toe-to-toe with “rap god” Eminem. “I’m talented as f*ck and I added on to my catalog of four great rap albums,” he said. “So what I did was I added on, never departed, left or switched. Because in the same year I was the most viewed YouTube video putter-outer with all rap, which was my lockdown sessions, which gained more views than almost any of my other videos. And it was hundreds of millions of views of me rapping.”
He elaborates that he “picked up my cell phone and put this thing on and wrote my ass off and rapped my ass off weekly, giving YouTube reactors ways to make content and giving audience members at home who are like, ‘Maybe I didn’t even like him, but he’s the only content coming out right now, so I’m going to watch it just to see what’s going on.’ And then you watch it and you’re like, ‘Damn, he’s actually saying some shit.’ I was rapping. And then later on we dropped a number one album that was a pop-punk album. So when they say ‘departed’ or when they say, ‘Oh, man, you switched.’ Motherf*cker, are you dumb?! That’s literally telling you two plus two doesn’t equal four. It’s on paper, it’s black and white, it’s right there in front of you.”