Before he was an emo-rock pop star (and became sort of cool to hate), Machine Gun Kelly released a string of relatively successful rap albums and was best known as a rapper, even appearing on XXL‘s 2012 Freshman Class cover alongside fellow future stars like Danny Brown, (ahem) Future, French Montana, and Macklemore (as well as Iggy Azaela, Kid Ink, and Hopsin. Not to be a hater, but this might have been the weakest Freshman class ever selected by that esteemed publication). However, he’s received the majority of his career accolades since shifting genres in 2020 with Tickets To My Downfall.
But now, he’s back rapping, thanks to fellow Midwesterner EST Gee’s new album I Never Felt Nun. Guest-starring on “Death Around The Corner,” MGK resurrects his rapid-fire flow to reflect on his father’s death, his commercial success, and the apparent joys of sipping lean. It’s a solid trap song and to be honest, not that far off the mark from the music he used to make prior to 2019.
However, rap fans’ reactions have been… let’s say “mixed” regarding the prodigal son’s return. In the last three years, he’s made quite the spectacle of himself alongside his fiance Megan Fox and with the general short-term memory of social media, it’s likely a lot of folks forgot — or never even knew — that he made rap, to begin with. That short-lived but eventful feud with Eminem couldn’t have helped much, either. He does have a few defenders, though, who were quick to remind their fellow users that he used to get bars off.
This new EST Gee album is flames but why is MGK on this
— Ahmed/The Ears (@big_business_) September 16, 2022
nah man why is MGK on the est gee album i just noticed this
— shpee (@shpeeven) September 16, 2022
How EST Gee got Jack Harlow and MGK on the album the label got some explaining to do
— TMAC (@TMAC_DOIT) September 10, 2022
EST GEE released the pre order for his album #INEVERFELTNUN. He got a song with Machine Gun Kelly, and the comment section was… “feat mgk, trash, automatic skip, etc”
Niggas dumb, and don’t know — dude a run circles around your favorite, I stand on that shit
— #TogetherBlue 1-0 (@chubznxtdoor) September 10, 2022
If MGK decides to stick to his hip-hop roots for the foreseeable future, though, rap fans might just have to get used to hearing him popping up on more features now that he’s a certified No.1-selling artist — even if he did have to switch his style up. Check out more responses to his collab with EST Gee below.
EST Gee disappointed me, wtf is Jack Harlow and MGK on this track list for man…
— Kee (@Kee_Bully19) September 16, 2022
bruh why does this EST Gee tape have MGK and Jack Harlow features I don’t even wanna listen no more
— y (@hiremep1s) September 16, 2022
EST Gee doing a song with MGK makes me happy. Because the alternative coulda been a beef over the ‘EST’ moniker.
— he/himself (@ChicoHimself) September 16, 2022
EST Gee could’ve did without the MGK feature
— HipHopConnoisseur (@__RiseAbove_) September 16, 2022
Hearing MGK rap again on EST Gee’s album is so dope to hear.
— BLM (@Ben_Mervil_) September 16, 2022
This nigga est gee had the nerve to put mgk on a song that’s fire too why did he do that
— .. (@sticcmonsta) September 16, 2022
That nigga EST Gee got MGK on a track now that’s the Mgk I heard nd knew not that punk rock bs
— EasyMoney (@EasyMoneyFin) September 16, 2022