One of the highlights of 2018 was watching the verbal jousting match between Midwestern rappers Machine Gun Kelly and Eminem, who exchanged shots via a pair of diss tracks, “Rap Devil” and “Killshot” toward the end of the summer over perceived slights from Em’s surprise album Kamikaze. In a year marked by near ridiculous levels of rap beef, Em vs. MGK was one of the few matchups that kept our attention riveted through bars alone.
One of the battle’s biggest fans was one of rap’s preeminent pioneers of lyricism. Redman, who is counted as one of Eminem’s early analogues and a huge influence on his style, dropped by the HipHopDX offices in LA to record some reactions, which were surprisingly favorable toward the younger MGK. He called Eminem’s “Killshot” comeback “amazing,” but gave props to MGK, saying, “When he released it, I’m not gonna lie … Eminem is my boy. But when I first heard it, I was like, ‘This shit is pretty clever.’”
However, there was one line that Redman took issue with. While he doesn’t seem too miffed about it, he did take a moment to address the Ohioan MC directly. “MGK, you did a great job on that f*ckin’ battle, but there’s one thing you never f*ckin’ do,” he said. “One thing. And that’s talkin’ about a man’s sweatpants. You can talk about his mama, but you do not talk about a man’s sweatsuit. I was like, ‘Damn, my boy Em is wearing a lot of sweatsuits nowadays.’ Maybe that’s his comfortability. For him to say, you know, ‘them corny sweatsuits,’ I laughed, but I sad you know what, he’s young and maybe one day he’s gonna understand what wearing sweatsuits is about when he gets a certain age.”
Whether or not Redman’s prediction comes true, it is funny to realize how many rappers got really into sweatsuits as they neared or crossed the 40-year-old mark. It seems there’s just something about the comfy duds that attracts rappers as they age, from Jay-Z and Sean Combs, to Rick Ross and yes, Redman himself. It doesn’t look like the trend is going anywhere anytime soon, so MGK may yet live to regret poking fun at Em’s wardrobe.