Let’s Talk: The “Downfall” of Machine Gun Kelly – mainstream sellout


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So, it’s taken me a while to get around to this one. After MGK’s genre-defining moment of Tickets to my Downfall went platinum back in 2020, I was marginally excited for its follow-up.

Embellished, new and pivotal in the course of pop-punk, Tickets to my Downfall was a solid album upon release. Sparked by the flurry and the new that made …Downfall so inadvertently exciting among fans of old and new, mainstream sellout unfortunately lacks the same in copious amounts.

Although featuring stand-out single features with explosive starter Born With Horns and BMTH’s Oli Sykes contribution to maybe, mainstream sellout seems awash with no real drive or grit amongst a your typical run-of-the-mill pop-punk album. Instead, it comes off as agitated and forced among an artist who is somewhat under the microscope after the successive punk debut of …Downfall.

This can be ultimately seen in the longevity of single releases, the subsequent last-minute album name and the intonation that MGK poses as an artist through his songs and social media where these pop punk fans and critics seemingly get to him… despite him being an artist in pop punk who should really do whatever he wants to do, right?

Between the follow-up of the two albums, MGK has slowly turned into a cringe-fest, adulterated with slagging off metal class acts of Slipknot and citing crude ignorance to his fans, he has become one of the most hated music artist at the moment. Now, if we’re going off the basis of pop-punk stigma, is this perceived as a successful artist if he’s a controversial figure – or is it simply unwarranted for someone who used to be no more than a rapper?

With Tickets to my Downfall portraying a man opting for a fresh change in-keeping with the pop-punk DIY ethic {by merely standing by a pool}, it resulted the album playing off equally well within a pop-punk scene that really only began to get going thanks to the idolised work of Travis Barker. Flash forward to two years and a lot has happened since then. Barker’s DTA record label has made countless signings of the new (jxdn) and the old (Avirl Lavigne) and the revitalisation of such a genre is in full swing.

Now enter that same man from two years ago, who not producing inherently revolutionary compared to those before him, is now seemingly claiming something rehashed within a more modern world as something equally new as his music.

It’s simply not going to go down well, is it?

\\mainstream sellout – a title for an artist who more self-aware than he is giving off? Or it may be just nothing but irony.//

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