Arts & EntertainmentWith Fame Comes Hate: Why does everyone dislike MGK?

With Fame Comes Hate: Why does everyone dislike MGK?


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Colson Baker, also known as Machine Gun Kelly, is one of the most polarizing figures in the music industry. He is primarily hated by fans of the rock scene, and more specifically the pop-punk scene. So why exactly does everyone hate Machine Gun Kelly, and are they justified? Do they have a point or are they just clueless haters?

In order to understand the hate towards MGK, we should start at the beginning. MGK’s music career really kicked off in 2010 with his mixtape ‘100 Words and Running’. He released this when he was around 19 and it gained a good bit of traction, especially in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio.

 His debut album ‘Lace Up’  was then released in October of 2012. This album went to No. 4 on Billboard and became gold certified by the RIAA. He then went on to become even more successful releasing four full-length albums between 2012 and 2019. 

His song, ‘Bad Things’ featuring Camila Cabello also charted at No. 4 on Billboard. His stardom continued to rise, but mainly in rap.

 The rock media really ignored MGK for the most part until 2020 when he released his pop-punk album, ‘Tickets to My Downfall’. This is really when the hate bandwagon for MGK started to take off…and the hate.

The most common complaint that people make is that his music just sucks. A lot of people think it is just a rehash of music that was already made by blink-182, for example, 20 years ago.

 To be fair, objectively, they aren’t that wrong. Travis Barker, who has been the drummer for blink-182 since 1998, is the drummer and one of the primary producers on this album. 

MGK’s music is not the most original ever made and his voice really doesn’t fit the mold for this genre as a lot of people would agree with.

 Don’t get me wrong, he’s a fine rapper, but not really the best singer, especially when it comes to a genre like this. His voice really doesn’t have a lot of range- it seems too low and out of place for this type of music. 

As much as many people dislike this album, it’s not that simple. This is a prime example of people not particularly hating the artist’s music, but the artist himself. 

If we’re being honest, I think that if someone else that isn’t MGK put out this album, there would be a much different reaction.

 A lot of fans from the pop-punk community believe that MGK is a failed rapper that was bullied out of the rap scene by Eminem. They also often believe that Eminem is the main reason that caused him to switch genres, therefore he’s a poser in the rock scene. 

Eminem dissed MGK in his song ‘Not Alike’ back in 2018. This was in response to MGK making an inappropriate remark on Twitter directed towards Eminem’s daughter, who was 16 at the time. 

MGK came back with his diss track in return, ‘Rap Devil’ and Eminem responded with another diss track directed solely at MGK titled, ‘Killshot’.

 Everyone agreed that Eminem was the winner, and therefore MGK was “bullied” out of the rap genre.

But the timing doesn’t add up to support this thought. And even then, he sort of always has had a connection with rock, but it just mainly went ignored. 

For example, he played Van’s Warped Tour in 2012 and was even featured on a song with post-hardcore band, Sleeping with Sirens. 

Rock fans continued to hate MGK even more when he had a short-lived feud with Corey Taylor of the band Slipknot. 

Taylor mentioned that he doesn’t like when artists switch genres as MGK did. This led to Kelly calling them out during a live performance where he even got into an altercation with a fan. This just added fuel to the fire as Corey Taylor and Slipknot specifically are very well respected within rock culture. 

Kelly has also had an infamous past as well. He’s gone on the record to make multiple inappropriate and crude remarks in the past on Twitter and in interviews. He never went back to apologize for these remarks either, which might have gone a long way, but we’ll never know. 

I think at the end of the day, the main reason MGK receives so much hate from the rock scene is that he simply just doesn’t fit into the culture. The rock and rap genres respectfully have quite different cultures. 

Rap culture often values status as one of its key forms of success. It really seems like everyone wants to be the top dog and it’s been like this for a while. Another trend in rap is that it’s quite common for rappers to beef with one another, while a lot of rock seems to value respecting tradition at a high level. 

Obviously, times are changing, but back in the day, rock valued things like using acoustic drums instead of 808s and playing everything live instead of using backing tracks or autotune.

 MGK has gone on to say things such as, “rock bands are lame for wearing comfortable shoes on stage” and that “they should dress more interesting”. 

This is a direct example of how rock fans believe that MGK doesn’t respect their tradition or their culture.

Nonetheless, as much as people aren’t a fan of MGK, you still can’t deny his success. 

Despite the hate, ‘Tickets to My Downfall’ is his most successful album yet, becoming his first album to debut at the US Billboard’s 200 and his first to be certified platinum by the RIAA.

 The success this album has had is good for the genre. I don’t think anyone can deny that this album has gotten plenty of new eyes on pop-punk, which is great for anyone who is a fan of this genre. 

Even I will admit that I had some songs on his album that I enjoyed. This doesn’t necessarily mean I like Machine Gun Kelly as a person, but at least I can admit that he has some good songs and can still respect all the attention he’s bringing to one of my favorite genres. 

All this being said, the hate and criticism will continue as he just released his second pop-punk album ‘Mainstream Sellout’ but I personally can’t wait to listen.

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