Kelly’s sixth studio album, ‘Mainstream Sellout’, was announced yesterday (March 14) with a track-list and album art being shared. Upon the reveal of the cover art, Rolling Stone drew a parallel between it and the cover of ‘Jubilee’ for its positioning and placement of coloured tomatoes.
Zauner initially responded to the comparisons via Twitter, joking that she had stumbled into the “feud of the year” on account of them. Kelly himself responded to this tweet, noting that he had not heard ‘Jubilee’ prior to the comparisons and was a new fan of Zauner’s work.
“so should we beef over tomato’s or…should i thank them for introducing me to your album, because i just listened and i really like it,” he replied.
so should we beef over tomato’s or…should i thank them for introducing me to your album, because i just listened and i really like it 🎶🔥
— blonde don (@machinegunkelly) March 15, 2022
Zauner has since spoken to Pitchfork about the comparisons, noting that she doesn’t think ‘Mainstream Sellout’ looks “anything like” the cover of ‘Jubilee’.
“I think it’s very funny that Rolling Stone put up an article about it just because there’s a circular fruit in the foreground,” she said. “I mean, his is people throwing tomatoes at him, and mine is persimmons peacefully hanging around me, so I think they’re very different concepts.”
Zauner also added that she has not met Kelly personally. “He seems like a fine person,” she added. “I can’t imagine having rock beef with anyone – but if I had to choose, it would probably be Machine Gun Kelly.”
This is the second time in as many weeks that Kelly has found the authenticity of his work falsely questioned, taking to TikTok to disprove allegations that he did not play guitar live.
‘Jubilee’, the third Japanese Breakfast album, was released in June 2021. In a four-star review, NME praised the album as “a personal and musical breakthrough”.
“After making her name writing about the most difficult topics possible, Zauner proves here that it’s within your grasp to grab joy from that pain even when it feels impossible,” it read.