Today, Machine Gun Kelly is one of the most provocative, eye-catching, ear-bending artists in the world. Love him or hate him, he has your attention.
The “Blonde Don” is skilled as a rapper and a rocker. He has mastered pop-punk and toured with Willow and Avril Lavigne. He’s worked with emcees like Lil’ Wayne and earned his own day in his home city of Cleveland, Ohio.
He’s also had a tumultuous childhood, moving around all over the world with his parents. He lost his father at a young age. He seems to constantly find himself in beefs and battles with the likes of Eminem, Slipknot’s Corey Taylor, and even fighter Conor McGregor.
But all the while, his name, and his star continue to rise. He must be doing something right. The guy clearly has entertainment acumen and media savvy. He’s even had big-time celebrity relationships, from Halsey to new financèe Megan Fox.
But what about his music? Which songs of his are the best? That’s what we’re going to dive into today. So, without further ado, here are the top 10 MGK tracks.
1. “My Ex’s Best Friend”
Showcasing his knack for guitar songwriting and his understanding of how to strike a chord and a vein, here Machine Gun Kelly gets into the mire of a difficult romance between him and his new beau, who is his ex’s best friend. What could go wrong?!?!
2. “Bad Things”
Collaborating on this track with the pop star Camila Cabello, this song is as quintessential a pop hit as there is in the 2020s. MGK rises above Cabello’s excellent vocals with a talk-singing offering that tells the story of love, lust, and youthful wonder. MGK knows how to bring you into his world and feel what he’s feeling. That, perhaps above all else, is his gift.
This song slaps. And the video, in all of its simplicity, does as well. Here, Machine Gun Kelly partners with the legendary rapper Lil’ Wayne for a jaunty, skillful offering. It’s simple but complex. It also seems slap-dash put together, but that’s his genius—it never really is.
4. “Rap Devil”
Another rap offering, here MGK takes on Eminem in a diss that originated after MGK posted on social media that he thought Em’s daughter was hot. Not a good move. While this song is tight, Eminem got the upper hand finally. The lesson: no matter how good your song is, don’t mess with Eminem. He’s too good.
5. “Emo Girl”
Partnering with fellow pop-punk royalty, Willow, Machine Gun Kelly creates a song that gets your heels dancing, your heart pumping, and your imagination firing on all cylinders. This is a song for kids, the leaves turning colors and your best friends cheering the new year. It’s all about young love.
6. “I Think I’m OKAY”
Demonstrating his skill as a guitar player and his versatile ear, MGK played an acoustic as he sheds tears and his heart. Heartbreak makes for good songs. Here is yet another example from the Blonde Don. But the drums build and there is light at the end of the tunnel.
7. “Glass House”
Don’t throw stones if you live in one, right? That’s the lesson here for someone who is always taking hits and throwing barbs. This emotional tune is another example of MGK’s ability to touch your music-loving soul. He’s a car crash and you weep at the shrapnel.
8. “Bloody Valentine”
Employing his fiancée Megan Fox in this offering, you get a sense of the love, lust, and fast-paced life the two must lead together. Beauty meets the beast.
9. “Forget Me Too”
This one brings in Halsey, another (past) love interest. MGK’s wandering eye meets his talent here. And what does it all turn into? Explosive decisions and a lesson hopefully learned. Maybe they’d be better off alone, they wonder. Probably! But as always the pink guitar is there for support.
Celebrating the city in which he rose to fame, MGK offers an ode to Cleveland. A rap track for the city with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This song would play at all major Cleveland sporting events and with one listen it’s clear why. It’s hype and it’s loved.
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images