Over the years, Machine Gun Kelly (MGK)—real name Colson Baker—has somehow managed to continuously make headlines. First, he became known as that guy who tried (and ridiculously failed, might I add) to diss Eminem on his song ‘Rap Devil’. Give it a few years and MGK went from rap-industry B-teamer to Megan Fox’s manic pixie dream boy and Pete Davidson’s bestie. Along with Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker, the duo brought power couples back from the 2000s.
What some of you may not know however, is that beyond his cringeworthy persona, Machine Gun Kelly has a pretty shady history of sexualising underage girls throughout his career. And surprise, surprise, it’s part of the reason why Eminem noticed him in the first place. Just like we previously exposed Drake’s behaviour, we have all the receipts on exactly why it’s high time we cancel MGK—here are all the times the artist said or did some questionable things. Buckle up, Megan.
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The singer’s now-infamous beef with Eminem (real name Marshall Bruce Mathers III) actually originated years before the release of ‘Rap Devil’. Back in 2012, Machine Gun Kelly tweeted about Marshall’s daughter, Hailie Jade Mathers, who was 16 at the time. The now-deleted tweet read, “Ok so I just saw a picture of Eminem’s daughter… And I have to say, she is hot as fuck, in the most respectful way possible cause Em is king.”
At the time, Eminem did not hear word of the tweet and years passed without anyone else seeming to see such a statement as problematic. Then in 2018, the rapper came out with the song ‘Not Alike’ where the lyrics read, “I’m talkin’ to you, but you already know who the fuck you are, Kelly. I don’t use sublims and sure as fuck don’t sneak-diss. But keep commenting on my daughter Hailie.”
Talking to the American journalist, radio personality, executive producer and rapper Sway during a 2018 interview, Eminem explained how he ended up finding MGK’s tweet six years later. “One day, you know, you go down a wormhole on YouTube or whatever,” he said. “I see ‘Machine Gun Kelly Talks About Eminem’s Daughter’ or whatever. I’m like, ‘What the fuck?’ I click on it… He starts doing a press run, basically, about Hailie. I’m like, ‘What the fuck? Yo, my man better chill’.”
He continued, “The reason I dissed him is actually a lot more petty than that. The reason that I dissed him is because he got on—first he said, ‘I’m the greatest rapper alive since my favourite rapper banned me from Shade 45’ or whatever he said, right? Like I’m trying to hinder his career. I don’t give a fuck about your career. You think I actually think about you? You know how many fucking rappers are better than you? You’re not even in the fucking conversation.”
Between MGK and Eminem, things never died down—and for good reason. In his 2020 song ‘Zeus’, Eminem rapped, “Fair weather, wishy-washy. She thinks Machine washed me. Swear to God, man, her favourite rapper wish he’d crossed me,” while on the song ‘Gnat’ he added, “They come at me with machine guns. Like trying to fight off a gnat.” MGK took to Twitter to address the latest gibe.
As expected, fans of the two respective sides each attempted to prove exactly who ‘the best rapper of all time’ is.
But his comment about Eminem’s daughter is not the only time Machine Gun Kelly showed signs of sexualising teens. It’s a pattern for the artist.
During a 2013 interview with Fuse, the then-23-year-old singer revealed his celebrity crush to be Kendall Jenner, who was 17 at the time. When the interviewer asked if he was counting down the days until she was 18, which, let’s be honest, is a creepy question in and of itself, MGK responded, “I’m not waiting ‘till she’s 18, I’ll go now.”
“I’m 23, I’m not like a creepy age. I’m 23, she’s 17 and she’s a celebrity—there is no limits right there,” he continued. No matter how old MGK was when he made such a statement, the laws of California (where Jenner lives) say otherwise. The age of consent is 18, making whatever he ‘dreamt of doing’ to the model illegal.
“Robert Plant, who was one of the greatest lead singers ever, dated a girl that was 14,” he defended himself. “Axel Rose, who was one of the biggest badasses ever, dated a girl that was 16.” The man is literally naming some of the creepiest rock icons there are—we should have spotted the red flags. “I don’t care. Say what you want, man. If Kendall Jenner was in your bedroom naked, and you’re 50, you’re going,” MGK added in his last attempts at justifying such problematic comments.
But wait, it gets even worse.
In 2010, at 19-years-old, MGK tweeted, in what can probably be seen as his worst offence so far, “I wish 13/14/15 year old girls weren’t allowed to be hot so I wouldn’t feel like such a creeper when I look at them… I’m still 19 #imjustsayin.” Obviously, this tweet has also been deleted since then.
Oh, and in 2009, he also tweeted, “There’s a little 13 year old girl next to me going crazy over my Transformers tattoo, don’t worry though I won’t pull an R Kelly.” Charming.
In 2011, the now-idolised celebrity tweeted yet another worrying thought, “Ok so I got a Facebook message from a 14 year old just now saying ‘hey, you’re sexy as fuck. I’d tap dat’.”
As if his obvious sexualisation of underage girls wasn’t enough, Machine Gun Kelly has also previously said some questionable things about black women.
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In a 2012 YouTube video posted by Baller Alert where MGK was interviewed while walking the BET Awards’ red carpet, the presenter asked him about one of his recent tweets that stated he likes “chocolate milk.” He answered with, “I’ll tell it like this, my child is black. Black girls give the best head.” It goes without saying that his statement was saturated with misogynoir however, it remains unclear exactly why he had followed up with that statement—the generalisation that was implied in what he said and the manner in which he spoke about it were worrying to say the least.
During this interview, a black woman who was standing behind the interviewer walked away, visibly offended, and Machine Gun Kelly took it upon himself to call her a “dirty dick bitch” while still on camera—disrespecting the type of woman he half-assed ‘praised’ just seconds before. All the while, having a young pre-teen black daughter. Classy.
In 2018, Stranger Things actress Millie Bobby Brown, aged 14 at the time, revealed on the Emmy Awards’ red carpet that she and Canadian rapper Drake were “great friends” who regularly text. “We just texted each other the other day and he was like ‘I miss you so much’, and I was like ‘I miss you more’. He’s great,” she told Access Hollywood. At the time, Drake was 32.
Almost immediately after the news broke, the internet—especially the Twitter community, obviously—began to express concern about the two celebrities’ relationship. Soon after the controversy started, it quickly became clear that Brown wasn’t the only underage girl Drake was texting.
In November 2019, Billie Eilish sat down with Vanity Fair for the third year in the row where she was given identical interview questions. In the video, Eilish is asked the same series of questions about her life and career as her old interviews are played back so that she can react to them, noting how much her life has changed in a few short years. One of the questions that she got asked was “Who is the most famous person in your phone?” In the 2017 interview, the singer named fellow singer, Khalid, who she also referred to as “a homie of mine.”
In 2019 however, Eilish had a lot more famous people in her contacts to cite. She listed Hailey and Justin Bieber, Young Thug, Avril Lavigne, Ariana Grande, Kid Cudi, Ty Dolla $ign, Teyana Taylor, and countless others that she chose not to mention before she finally landed on Drake. She then went into a brief monologue about how nice the rapper is, especially given his celebrity status and success.
She continued on to mention that they have spoken via text in the past. “But like Drake, c’mon. Drake. Drake is like the nicest dude I’ve ever spoken to. I mean I’ve only like texted him, but he’s so nice. Like, he does not need to be nice. You know what I mean? He’s at a level of his life where he doesn’t need to be nice, but he is. You know?” Eilish rambled during the interview. Although the exchanges between her and Drake may very well be harmless, some fans found it suspicious that the (then 33-year-old) artist was once again found to be texting an underage girl.
Although suspicious enough to raise some eyebrows, the two situations mentioned above were not the only times Drake has exhibited some predatory behaviour. Back in May 2010, while performing in Denver, Colorado, the rapper invited a fan to come up on stage with him. Someone present at the concert filmed what happened next in a video that resurfaced online in 2019, soon after Brown revealed that Drake, who she had initially met in Australia back in November 2017, texted her “advice about boys.”
In the 2010 clip, the Canadian rapper invites the girl on stage during his performance at the Ogden Theater, dances with her, kisses her neck, comments on her shampoo, then pulls her shirt down at the back of the neck to kiss her again. After reaching both hands across her chest while standing behind her, he picks up his microphone and says he is getting “carried away.” When asked about her age, the girl replies: “17,” to which Drake responds: “I can’t go to jail yet, man!”
Even after discovering her age, he continues, “Why do you look like that? You thick. Look at all this. I don’t know if I should feel guilty or not, but I had fun. I like the way your breasts feel against my chest.” He is then seen kissing her on the cheeks and forehead in a way that can only be described as extremely creepy. Drake would have been 23 at the time the video was taken. The age of consent in Colorado is 17. To this day, he has not responded to the video and his US publicist has always declined to comment on the matter.
If you thought that was the end of it when it comes to Drizzy’s questionable ways, think again. In the song ‘Mr. Right Now’ released in 2020 by Atlanta-based rapper 21 Savage and American record producer Metro Boomin on their collaborative album Savage Mode II, Drake sings a verse that garnered particular attention for its mention of SZA.
“Yeah, said she wanna fuck to some SZA, wait ‘cause I used to date SZA back in ‘08,” Drake raps on the track. In 2008, SZA would have been 17 and Drake 22. While the age of consent in the rapper’s hometown of Toronto is 16, it is 18 where he currently resides in California.
Honestly, there seems to be a recurring pattern here. Drake’s interest in impressionable young women is “a systemic issue in a society which has a surplus of men in power, as well as an abundance of women who have ambitions to be seen, to be understood, to attain power themselves within the existing societal structure,” as writer Sandra Song pointed out in a 2018 article for NYLON.
And in most cases, it’s a situation that lends itself to varying degrees of abuse, which is why it simply can’t be overlooked. “What about the other young women this sort of thing happens to who, unlike Brown, aren’t in the public eye?” continued Song. Let’s not forget about Lifetime’s Surviving R Kelly documentary, which featured heart-wrenching interviews with multiple women who say they were abused by the singer, oftentimes out in the open, and yet no one did anything to stop him.
Celebrity culture may have blurred the lines between mutual consent and predatory behaviour, but it’s the accumulation of small events like the ones Drake has been involved in that need attention before one more YouTube video surfaces and we scramble to erase its impact on impressionable minds.