Machine Gun Kelly has reflected on the disappointing commercial performance of his fourth studio album, Hotel Diablo, chalking it up to his public spat with Eminem.
In a new feature with actor Dave Franco for Interview magazine, the Cleveland artist admits that his beef with Eminem may have left a sour taste in fans mouths, which reflected in album sales. Hotel Diablo debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 with first-week sales totalling 39,000 equivalent album units.
When asked by Franco if MGK had ever considered giving up on music because he felt misunderstood, Kelly mused: “Yes. Hotel Diablo is that for me, because that was the first time I really expressed my true self with no outside influence.”
He continued, “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.”
Machine Gun Kelly went on to bring up the highly-publicised feud he was engaged in with the Rap God. The beef has been ongoing since 2012, and was sparked by MGK’s tweet faux pas where he wrote that Eminem’s then-16-year-old daughter, Hailie, is “hot as fuck.”
The tension escalated in March 2018 when Kelly threw shade at Em on Tech N9ne’s song ‘No Reason’ with the lyrics: I pop cherries and pop stars, you popsicles is not hard / Popped in on the top charts out the cop car / To remind y’all you just rap, you’re not God / And I don’t care who got bars.
The diss prompted a rebuttal from Eminem, who, in August 2018, dropped his record Kamikaze. With album track ‘Not Alike’ going for Kelly’s jugular: But next time you don’t gotta use Tech N9ne if you wanna come at me with a sub-machine gun / And I’m talking to you but you already know who the fuck you are, Kelly / I don’t use sublims and sure as fuck don’t sneak-diss.
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Kelly went on to drop another Eminem diss track ‘Rap Devil’, which Em followed up with ‘Killshot’.
Check out the Machine Gun Kelly Eminem diss track, ‘Rap Devil’:
“It was coming off the tail-end of that infamous beef,” MGK acknowledged. “So no one wanted to give it the time of day.
“It’s like if you make a shitty 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.”
He went on to detail that the release of Hotel Diablo profoundly influenced the way he approached his pop-punk fuelled offering Tickets To My Downfall.
“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.”