Column: Machine Gun Kelly keeps evolving

Kyara Morales-Rodriguez

Musician Machine Gun Kelly has been a distant part of my childhood for a long time, his rap songs “Wild Boy,” “All Black Tuxedos,” “Bad Things” and many others being quite popular during my formative years. Despite his presence in pop culture and my life, I never really got into his music because it was not a sound I was interested in.

Upon first hearing his hit single “I Think I’m OKAY,” featuring Travis Barker and Yungblud, my opinion of MGK and his music completely changed. With his fourth album “Hotel Diablo,” MGK introduced a more pop-punk and rock-leaning sound that I think really suits him. Even though I enjoy his pop-punk sound, I have even come to appreciate his older rap sound from a whole new perspective.

With my newfound love for MGK, I had been excitedly waiting for his fifth studio album, “Tickets to My Downfall,” which came out a little bit over a month ago on Sept. 25, 2020. After having some time with the album, repeatedly listening to it until I got the whole thing memorized, I know that I absolutely love it.

With “Tickets to My Downfall,” MGK continued to explore this new pop-punk sound further that is so different from his established rap sound. He had a very successful transition from hip-hop to pop-punk, creating a more guitar-driven and live instrument sound that reminds me of the popular pop-punk sound of the early 2000s.

Some of my favorite songs from the album are “Drunk Face,” “Bloody Valentine” and “Forget Me Too,” featuring Halsey.

The deluxe versions of the album, the “SOLD OUT Deluxe” and Target editions, feature covers of Paramore’s “Misery Business” and Rihanna’s “Love on the Brain.” With these covers, MGK explored that pop-punk sound in songs that are familiar to people, allowing us to hear them in a brand new way.

With his new album, MGK has definitely revived a sound that has not been a staple of mainstream radio and pop culture in a long time while still adding a modern-day touch to it.

Whether he goes back to rap or continues in the pop-punk route or does a complete 180 and decides to continue acting, I am more than happy to support the incredible artistry of MGK. If you are a fan of pop-punk, I would definitely suggest checking out Machine Gun Kelly’s new album.


Kyara Morales-Rodriguez is a junior English major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]