MGK Pours Some Out For Eminem’s Dying Relevance (Video)
“I think the world was watching. I think I stepped up and did what no one in the history of Hip-Hop has done,” MGK proclaimed on The Breakfast Club this morning, referring to his bout with Eminem. “And I think I gave people one of the funnest weeks in Hip-Hop in the last 10, 15 f*cking years.”
The masses can debate the amusement or the present victor. However, the 28-year-old woke up on August 31 to find himself in the cross-hairs of Eminem’s Kamikaze wrath. Marshall Mathers’ “Not Alike” called out the Bad Boy artist by name. The track was, in part, a response to Machine Gun Kelly’s sniper bars on March’s Tech N9ne song “No Reason (The Mosh Pit Song).” Tech, who appeared on Sway & King Tech “The Anthem” alongside Em nearly 20 years ago, stated that he was unaware of a diss in the guest verse. On The Breakfast Club, MGK admits that although subliminal, his shots hit their intended target. “I bit the bullet for six years. Yeah, I’m gonna take my jabs at you for doing h*e sh*t, like banning me from [Shade 45 appearances] and making it difficult in my own record label. Yeah, I’m gonna shoot my lil’ shots, like in the Tech N9ne record he got sensitive over. Yeah, you’re owed that! I’m an MC, man, and you’re holding me down—or making it very hard for me,” MGK says around the 22:00 mark.
The 40-minute interview, complete with MGK pouring some of his tequila on the floor in honor of what he sees as Eminem’s dying “relevance,” unpacks the history between the two MCs from the Midwest. Machine Gun Kelly says that after a 2012 tweet about Eminem’s daughter, where MGK said she was “hot as f*ck,” there were swift repercussions behind the scenes. “[Eminem] should have [dissed me] six years ago,” MGK admits at 2:15. “Truth be told, we had handled [the problem] behind the scenes six years ago.” As DJ Envy asks for specifics of who partook in the convo. “He’s a recluse; nobody can find him. So we didn’t speak. I spoke to [Eminem’s manager/Shady partner] Paul Rosenberg and his team because that is as man-to-man as it gets with Em.” Marshall Mathers’ distance from his peers and the public become a motif of the conversation.
Charlamagne Tha God tells MGK that he should admit that he was out of line for the tweet about Eminem’s daughter, since Hailey Mathers was then a minor. “One, I didn’t know how old she was. All the headline [that I reacted to] said was ‘This person that we’d known through records is all grown up.’ That’s the headline I saw. I made a comment. I didn’t feel like it was disrespectful. But I’m a father; I have a nine-year-old daughter. I get it, 100%. Man-to-man, I’ll tell you: I apologize. Can I take the tweet down? Sure. But public apology? Come on, man.” Making a phone gesture, MGK suggests that a public apology was asked of him on the conference calls with executives from Shady, Interscope, Bad Boy, and MGK and his manager. “We’re talking about the same guy who sh*ts on dead people and Christopher Reeves, who’s in a wheelchair. [I made a] silly comment to have started all of this. It’s something silly to trip on. I’d get it if gruesome words were used or there [were] sexual implications in it.” The rapper reminds the hosts that he only said Hailey was “hot.”
MGK says that after the two calls, the tweet was deleted. Meanwhile, he was still being punished. “We had settled it behind the scenes. Then, as I continued to try to move with my career, you start to run into these funny lil’ roadblocks…you can’t just minimize it to Shade 45. You gotta think about it that Eminem is Interscope, Machine Gun Kelly is Interscope. This man has brought hundreds of millions of dollars to that building. I’m new; it’s my first album there. I just came in. Not only did that happen, but at the same time, me and Yelawolf are beefing. Yelawolf is an Interscope artist and he’s up under Shady. The building automatically [chooses sides]. I have my loyalists. He has his loyalists. Fine. I think that’s a little difficult for a new artist to have to overcome. Okay, though. But the problem comes when people that are assigned to work for me aren’t working, and they’re picking sides.”
At 5:30, he addresses Eminem’s claim that the he never put in a call to Jimmy Iovine or Puff Daddy concerning MGK. “What Eminem said is not true, that he didn’t make a call in regards to the daughter situation. That was false. Jimmy Iovine and Puff conference-called me at nine in the morning, with multiple other people. That was a conversation that happened at three in the morning the previous night with [Bad Boy VP] Harve Pierre, James Cruz, Paul Rosenberg, James MacMillan…Em lied. We don’t speak to Em! We don’t know where he is! We don’t speak to him; we speak to his spokespeople. And I’m speaking [for] the world. I don’t even know what everybody’s riding for this man so tough. This is a person who won’t even show up to do a real interview.” MGK stresses that he is accessible while Marshall Mathers is insulated. “It’s a little weird, man. I’m a man of the people. I’m a vulnerable dude. I put myself out there.”
Interscope Records has a long history of its own artists beefing, from 50 Cent and The Game to Death Row’s mid-’90s attacks on Dr. Dre and Aftermath. Having already been entrenched in Yela’ smoke, MGK laughs at Charlamagne’s suggestion that this could be a label gimmick to push sales for both artists. “Oh man, that’d be great. That’d be a big help,” he says at 7:00, referring to his Binge EP rollout. MGK says that he used a beat from “Not Alike” producer Ronny J. for “Rap Devil,” his response record to Em’s “Not Alike,” to keep a “level playing field” in the competition. “Let’s also say it like it is: you took two weeks; I took two days. You used a Ronny J track; I used a Ronny J track. You used a million dollar studio; I [recorded in] a dressing room before soundcheck.”
After giving “Killshot,” Eminem’s response to “Rap Devil,” a 6 on a 10-scale, MGK goes in on how his favorite MC fell off. “‘Killshot’ was a leg-shot. We’re talking about facts; you wanna talk about man-buns…how disconnected are you? You called me ‘a mumble-rapper.’ Oh my God, can we just pour some [tequila] out for this old, dumb-ass? I can’t even. I can’t.” He pours tequila on the carpet of the radio studio. At 13:49, MGK says, “You’re cool ’til you’re not cool..I said he was my idol on my diss to him,” the rapper points out. “The narrative is getting a little unfair right now. I’m the boxing ring with one person. I came as one person. I never asked Puff to re-tweet a thing. I never asked any of my celebrity friends to get on my side. I never ask them to comment under my pictures…and here is the audience throwing banana peels while I’m fighting.” MGK says that including in Michigan he has performed “Rap Devil” while walking through the crowd with just one person from his team. He is currently opening for Fall Out Boy on tour. “I step out into the crowd after that song plays and walk through the entire arena. There is a video of this every single day,” he says. “I give 10,000 people a chance, every day, to do what they want to do, to say what they want to say, and feel how they want to feel. It’s me and one dude. I’ve done it for two weeks.”
Speaking to the fans and insiders trying to—what he calls “change the narrative” MGK says, “Your boy’s knees got weak. You have to accept it…every one wants to tune in to see this. The legend just got punched in the mouth. Of course you’re gonna tune in,” he says, referring to the YouTube diss song record of 72 million streams in 24 hours. “You’re gonna go see ‘Rocky’s’ last movie.” As far as the saga going on, DJ Envy asks if Machine Gun Kelly will reply to “Killshot.” “I had a clip ready. I heard ‘Killshot,’ I put that sh*t back in my holster…he called me ‘a mumble-rapper,’ dog.”
Moments later, Machine Gun Kelly embraces this point in his career. “If this is what it takes to show my talent off then I’m with it. I was raised by wolves. I was meant for this. I got energy for this. My track record with beef isn’t Christina Aguilera and Mariah Carey. It’s all gorillas; I’ve went to war with nothing but gangsters, gorillas, and 450-pound security bouncers. Allegedly,” alluding to an incident mentioned at the top of the interview.
At 25:00, MGK then explains why he believes this marks a turning point for his childhood inspiration. “I’m from the Midwest. I’m from Cleveland; I grew up three hours away from Detroit. I’m a white boy who’s in a predominantly-Black neighborhood, definitely in a predominantly-Black industry, absolutely I’m f*cking with Eminem growing up. Without a doubt! I’m running away from home. I’m doing drugs. I’m getting jumped. I’m getting robbed. And here’s this dude who’s like, ‘Yo, I’m going through this sh*t too.’ The thing is, it’s cool ’til it’s not cool. You aren’t that dude no more. You aren’t a person of the people no more.” Charlamagne asks if Em ever was. “No! And so it’s all coming out! Answer the facts.”
Reminded that he will be 45 years old someday, MGK says, “Absolutely. But the thing is, I’m not a hypocrite. I’m also not gonna be doing what Eminem’s doing when I’m his age. I said it in ‘Rap Devil’: ‘shout to every rapper that’s under me / I promise I’ll never do you like this f*ckery.‘ I will never be still bitter after everybody has shown respect. And I don’t plan on stopping ’til I get my respect.” Angela Yee points out that from addiction to family issues and deaths, Eminem’s reclusion may be for his health. “That’s fine, but then you gotta humble yourself. Know your place. This isn’t for you no more, bruh. This is a street genre.” He says that “I’d rather be an 80 year-old-me than a 20-year-old you” is the “best line” on “Killshot.” MGK adds, “The fact that that’s the line we’re talking about [referring to Em’s controversial “joke” alleging Puff Daddy role in Tupac Shakur’s murder] , that’s ‘the hot line’? I’m talking about facts, you’re talking about man-buns. Let’s talk about it.”
As the segment closes, Angela Yee asks MGK if he’s open to a discussion with Em. “He doesn’t want to have a conversation.” Angela presses, “Let’s just say it happens.” MGK hesitates and puts himself in that chat, “F*ck you. You blew it. You blew it! It’s cool ’til it ain’t.” Charlamagne points out that Eminem told MGK to “shut the f*ck up!” in his Sway chat. The Cleveland rapper then makes fun of Eminem’s stutter during the Sway series. “He had to produce and hire his own interview and still couldn’t un-st-st-st-st-stutter his way; he sounded like a b-b-b-b-b*tch, man. I don’t wanna hear nothin’ about it!” With his Binge project arriving in less than 12 hours, the MC does not clarify if he is adding more fuel to the fire with words on the EP.
In the closing 15 minutes of the interview, MGK is open about his drug use. Despite the upcoming Bad Boy Records title, he says that he refuses to glorify substance abuse in the wake of Mac Miller’s death. However, he stresses that he must own his truth. Admitting that he has refused therapy or rehabilitation of any kind in his life, MGK also points out that it could have been him who overdosed. He describes past withdrawals from drug use as well.