Machine Gun Kelly shows off his rockstar spirit once again in “mainstream sellout.”
“Papercuts” is deeper than, yes, you guessed it, papercuts (Put me in the hall of fame of writers right now)!
“papercuts” features a slow-burning, tumultuous rock instrumental that will make you want to jump on your parents’ bed and buy an imaginary guitar (I’ll sell you an imaginary guitar for as low as $299 if you are interested). It also features both soothing and hardcore vocals, a trill-ass rap verse, and lyrics that indicate that Machine Gun Kelly is going through his fifth coming-of-age. If you are a true rock fan, I see no way that you can think that this song isn’t well done.
4. make up sex
blackbear and Machine Gun Kelly’s chemistry on songs is golden.
I’m going to assume that “make up sex” will be one of the lead singles off this project. For starters, the song features one of the catchiest hooks on this album, majestic vocals from featured guest blackbear, and lyrics that every human being on the planet can relate to (Everyone has been in an unpredictably predictable relationship before, right?). Overall, I feel this is a very well-written song.
3. drug dealer
Lil Wayne is featured on two songs on this album: “drug dealer” and “ay!.” In the former, Wayne really gets a chance to dabble in his defunct rockstar persona.
In “drug dealer,” Lil Wayne and Machine Gun Kelly discuss the theatrics that comes with messing with a girl that has drugs in her purse and love for you that is unconditional. Though the song has a semi-dark subject matter, it does feature vibes that are colorful, a hook that is hella catchy, and melodies that are actually family-friendly.
2. die in california
What the hell is it about California that has people going crazy? Earlier this year, iann dior and MGK linked up for a song called “thought it was” that bashes living in the golden state (F**k it, I’m staying my ass in the DMV).
In “die in california,” over a semi-trap/semi-rock beat that uses guitar strings to pull at heartstrings, Machine Gun Kelly and featured guests Gunna, Young Thug, and Landon Barker go back and forth about the terrors of living on the West Coast, the demons that they are fighting, and the idea of OD’ing. Not only do I f**k with the chemistry shown in the song, but I think the mix of touching vocals and raw raps is definitely enjoyable to listen to.
Machine Gun Kelly and Lil Wayne are very similar people; y’all just don’t want to call them similar.
Machine Gun Kelly is an open book in “ay!” In the song, he talks about battling addiction, overcoming hateful internet comments, and relying on music to uplift his spirits. As for Lil Wayne, he talks about trying to look normal in public while high. Both musicians rely on muted and chill singing approaches.
The more and more I hear “ay!,” the more and more I like it. The song sounds organic and like some s**t that wasn’t made with an emo shotgun pointing at its head. If MGK can make more ay!s, the bigger he will become.
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. born with horns (3/5)
2. god save me (4/5)
3. maybe (4/5)
4. drug dealer (4/5)
5. wall of fame – interlude (N/A)
6. mainstream sellout (3/5)
7. make up sex (4/5)
8. emo girl (3/5)
9. 5150 (3/5)
10. papercuts (4/5)
11. WW4 (3/5)
12. ay! (5/5)
13. fake love don’t last (3/5)
14. die in california (4/5)
15. sid & nancy (3/5)
16. twin flame (4/5)
In “mainstream sellout,” the song, Machine Gun Kelly says “I heard the feedback, I’m a poser.” I thought those lyrics spoke volumes. In his last two to three projects, MGK has deviated from his hardcore rap ways and has decided to dabble in some pop-rock s**t. I think the world wonders if he’s naturally a rockstar. Throughout mainstream sellout, he certainly sounds like it.
mainstream sellout has just as many edgy moments as it has heartwarming moments, just as many borderline hip-hop instrumentals as full-out rock instrumentals, and just as many rock features as rap features. In other words, Machine Gun Kelly does a pretty solid job of balancing his old self with his new self in this album. I also think he does a good job of being an open-book, tackling everything from the feedback that he gets on his music to his struggles with love and drugs. Where I think the album falls a little short is in its creativity. I do feel a couple of songs sound repetitive (Or predictable). Also, you know how you can never unsee Fresh Prince whenever Will Smith acts in a movie? I can’t unsee rager MGK on a bunch of songs that don’t call for rager MGK. All in all, I think this album is a good effort from the Cleveland rapper to continue to prove to the world that he is who he says that he is.
Quincy is the creator of Ratings Game Music. He loves writing about music, taking long walks on beaches, and spaghetti that fights him back.