Machine Gun Kelly quits rock music

After launching two chart-topping pop-punk albums, Machine Gun Kelly announces he’s quitting rock music for hip hop.

A mere month after the release of his second no.1 pop-punk record, Mainstream Sellout, Machine Gun Kelly has announced that he’s officially done with rock music for the moment, and plans to circle back to his original hip hop roots.

He told Audacy’s Kevan Kenney, “I’m gonna step into where I left ‘Hotel Diablo’ and expand on my storytelling as a rapper and find a new innovative sound for the hip-hop Machine Gun Kelly.” 

MGK quits music
Credit: Kevin Mazur, Getty Images / Jerritt Clark, Stringer / Getty Images

Almost a year-and-a-half on from his controversial yet wildly successful genre shift, which was rumoured to be connected to his feud with Eminem, the rapper-turned-pop-punk star believes he’s achieved what he set out to do in the rock scene.

“I made ‘Tickets’ and ‘Mainstream Sellout’ because I wanted to make them. I need to now also make people miss that sound,” he told Kenney. “Because ‘Tickets’ and ‘Mainstream Sellout’ are companion albums, I don’t think making a third that’s so [sonically aligned with the last two albums] is going to be exciting unless it’s missed.”

machine gun kelly pink
Credit: Billboard

The Emo Girl hitmaker declares his forthcoming LP will be the start of his hip hop revival.

“I’m going to make a rap album for myself. For no other reason, no point to prove, no chip on my shoulder,” he said.“If I keep doing things to prove things to people, I’m going to, one, drive myself crazy and, two, not make a good product.”

machine gun kelly emo
Credit: Chris Pizzello / Invision / AP

Before his official pop-punk retirement, however, Kelly will embark on a 52-date global tour, along with Avril Lavigne and other opening acts, in celebration of his latest album, Mainstream Sellout. The tour will kickstart in Austin, Texas on June 8.

According to MGK, “I’m going to do this tour and I’m gonna step into where I left Hotel Diablo and expand on my storytelling as a rapper and find a new innovative sound for the Hip Hop Machine Gun Kelly. That’s where my excitement is and where me as a music archaeologist wants to explore.”