Artists rarely ever change the genre or style of their music because of the immense risk that comes with it. When an artist goes through a rebrand they risk losing fans while gaining new ones. In rap, it is difficult for a well-versed artist to try something new in a creative direction. Specifically, Machine Gun Kelly started his career as a rapper who constantly dropped new hits in the 2010s. As he gained more attention, listeners had plenty of comments, observations, and judgements about MGK’s music. While some people loved him, others absolutely hated him due to his similar rap style of Eminem. Despite how much hate he got, Machine Gun Kelly continued making mixtape after mixtape, album after album.
Through all of the adversity he endured he decided to do the unthinkable: Machine Gun Kelly changed his music. Not because of hate, but because he felt himself changing as an artist. Currently, he defines himself as a pop punk artist. He plans to inspire millions of fans through this new chapter of his career.
The Year Of MGK and Pop Punk
In 2020 Machine Gun Kelly made an impact that he longed for in the music industry. He surprised millions of people by releasing his album Tickets to My Downfall. This album was something that no one expected MGK to create. However, it was an album that was imperative in his career. He wanted to share the struggles that he went through while growing up in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. In past interviews, MGK mentioned struggling with bullies and never being taken seriously. He turned to music as a form of escapism and to help boost his confidence.
This album tells the story of the triumphs and tribulations that MGK went through as a child going into adulthood. He covers issues that many artists in the music industry face, including depression and drug abuse. MGK does this to portray his more vulnerable side to his audience. To be completely transparent, MGK did not leave out any struggle he has dealt with in his lifetime.
MGK’s Tribute to Himself
Machine Gun Kelly viewed this album as an art piece. He worked tirelessly to make Tickets to My Downfall more than just an album. To follow the album’s release, MGK premiered his visual album Downfalls High. Guest starring Euphoria‘s Sydney Sweeney and TikTok star Chase Hudson, the film accumulated 30 million views across all streaming platforms. The story follows a young man, Fenix, as he encounters love, loss, and fame all while in high school. The audience watches Fenix grow as he faces his bullies, much like what Machine Gun Kelly experienced in his life. Without spoiling the ending of the film, Fenix gets his chance to share the music he created despite his downfall.
As previously mentioned, Downfalls High is a tribute to Machine Gun Kelly’s tough upbringing. Much like MGK, Fenix turned to music as his sanctuary when he was at his lowest. Each song in Tickets to My Downfall added new layers to the visual story of undergoing different hardships. It stands alone as Machine Gun Kelly’s way to inspire viewers to never lose hope and to pursue their passions.
Throughout his career, Machine Gun Kelly has impacted millions by sharing his story with an open and unapologetic style. Through his own music or collaborations such as “Emo Girl” with Willow, MGK was able to embrace his new identity. Currently, he is taking the stage at festivals such as Bonnaroo while sharing his story with fans across the world!
Music Artists are Growing!
Recently, it has become widely accepted by listeners for artists to experiment with their identity throughout their career. Fans are beginning to realize that artists can fit in different genres and can gain stronger support and popularity by doing so. The best artists are able to adapt to any genre. Music artists like Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift, who were solely country stars, evolved into pop icons of the decade. I love to see artists change their vibe and style because it heightens growth and shows raw talent!