Back in 2018, Machine Gun Kelly made headlines when he released the Eminem diss track “Rap Devil,” a clap back to Em’s Kamikaze number “Not Alike.” Eminem settled the beef shortly thereafter by obliterating Kelly with the follow up “Killshot,” which incidentally became one of the most-viewed YouTube premieres in history. While Kelly put the beef behind him and is now celebrating his No. 1 pop-punk album Tickets To My Downfall, he can’t help but blame the diss track for his 2019 album’s flop.
In a recent conversation with actor Dave Franco for Interview Magazine, Kelly explained why his beef with Eminem was to blame for the poor reception of his album Hotel Diablo.
“That was the first time I really expressed my true self with no outside influence, meaning the label. As a hip-hop album, it’s flawless front to back, and also a hint at the evolution of how I went into a pop-punk album. But it was coming off the tail-end of that infamous beef [with Eminem]. So no one wanted to give it the time of day. It’s like if you make a sh*tty movie and then you come out with a great movie right after, but people want to focus on the fact that they hated whatever you just did. What I did in the beef was exactly what it should be, but that project wasn’t welcomed. The next album came from already feeling like I’d counted out, so I didn’t even care what the public was going to think. That’s why the project was ironically my best received one, because it was the most effortless, with the least outside influence.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Kelly spoke to how critics received his pop-punk pivot:
“I made four albums straight-up not giving a f*ck what critics had to say. But this one, when the numbers were what they were, and the fans were as excited as they were, and the fact that we against all odds got the number-one spot, it was really weird to see that critics couldn’t even be like, ‘Hey, man, way to stick it out and finally show the world that you can conquer all the obstacles.’ It was weird to see people be like, ‘Well, now because you got success, I need to go out of my way to go against the popular opinion and tear away at it.'”
Tickets To My Downfall is out now via Interscope. Get it here.