Machine Gun Kelly defends his pop-punk success: “I earned that shit”

"I know it kills certain bands in that community that I got the success that I got"

Machine Gun Kelly has spoken about his success as a pop punk artist, explaining that he’s “earned that shit”.

2020’s ‘Tickets To My Downfall’ gave Machine Gun Kelly (real name Colson Baker) his first US Number One album and with new album ‘Mainstream Sellout’ out later this week (March 25), he’s been confirmed to headline festivals like Lollapalooza alongside a lengthy arena tour of his own.

However, he’s long been criticised for his pivot from rap to rock. Speaking about the backlash in a new interview with Billboard, Baker explains: “I know it kills certain bands in that community that I got the success that I got. But I earned that shit.”


“Dude, I was fucking loading up the van with our drums and amps in 2010, driving to Indiana and Chicago, playing Warped Tour. I can tell you the fucking Wi-Fi codes to venues in Blackfoot, Idaho. Can you say that shit as a band,” he added.

Speaking about his role in the pop-punk revival, Baker added: “The 2010s was great for singers and rappers, and I was part of that. But I think we needed something else: We needed an instrument. Kids come up to me like, ‘Dude, the first time I ever saw someone play guitar in concert was at your concert — and now I take guitar lessons.’ ”

“Never once was I like, ‘I need to be touted as the greatest guitar player,’” he continued. “[Rock] needed a defibrillator. Who cares who gives it, just as long as that motherfucker doesn’t die?”

The comments come as rapper Joyner Lucer has hit out at his own position on the Lollapalooza lineup and the size of his name on the poster, while criticising MGK’s position as headliner.


In a series of tweets, Lucer said that he turned down the festivals “weak ass offer” but claimed they “put me on the flier anyways”.

​​“Then you got this goofy ass n***** headlining? Smh how sway?” he wrote alongside a photo of Machine Gun Kelly. “Ain’t nobody worried bout a n**** who paints his nails.”

Earlier this week, Alice Glass asked Machine Gun Kelly to apologise for his “predatory behaviour towards underage girls”, based on Kelly’s comments in old interview footage.

Glass shared footage of a 2013 interview with Fuse in which a 23-year old Machine Gun Kelly admits his celebrity crush is a 17-year old Kendall Jenner. In the clip, the interviewer then asked “are you counting down the days until she’s 18?”

“I’m not waiting until she’s 18,” replied Machine Gun Kelly. “I’ll go now. I’m not a creepy age. I’m 23, she’s 17 and a celebrity – there is no limits.”

“Please address this @machinegunkelly,” wrote Glass. “Tell your fans this was a bad take. Tell them this was wrong.”

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