Machine Gun Kelly told pop-punk bands on Wednesday (March 23) that he "earned" his success in the genre, even though he first went pop-punk two years ago on his Tickets to My Downfall album with frequent collaborator and blink-182 drummer Travis Barker.

Before that, Kelly had only released hip-hop albums. However, he started incorporating rap-rock into his style by 2019's Hotel Diablo, before all but abandoning hip-hop in 2020.

But on Wednesday, when asked by Billboard about "detractors [who] suggest he is a pop-punk poseur," MGK, whose real name is Colson Baker, asserted his crossover achievement is justified. He also suggested it's angered some existing pop-punk bands.

"I know it kills certain bands in that community that I got the success that I got," he says. "But I earned that shit."

Kelly continues, as if addressing those bands, "Dude, I was fucking loading up the van with our drums and amps in 2010, driving to Indiana and Chicago, playing Warped Tour. I can tell you the fucking Wi-Fi codes to venues in Blackfoot, Idaho. Can you say that shit as a band?"

Machine Gun Kelly participated in one Warped Tour in 2012. Several other rappers played the now-defunct road show over the years, including Eminem (Kelly's rival on 2018's "Rap Devil"), Ice-T and Waka Flocka Flame. (Billboard pointed out that Kelly covered Limp Bikzit's "Break Stuff" during his Warped Tour set.)

In the same interview, MGK addressed the use of backing tracks in artists' live performances, asserting he's never employed the practice and is "more punk rock" than those who do.

"Fuck that!" Kelly says. "At least mine sounds like how I was feeling that day, and maybe I was feeling angry, or I was drunk and I didn't give a fuck. But if I have to be a scapegoat for people's own insecurities, whatever. I'm more punk rock than you are because at least I'm willing to put my ass on the line."

MGK's new album Mainstream Sellout arrives on Friday (March 25). Last week, Kelly dropped its latest single, "Maybe," featuring Bring Me the Horizon. It followed the Lil Wayne-assisted "Ay!" and the Willow-bolstered "Emo Girl," as well as "Papercuts." MGK will set out on a North American tour this summer.

Earlier this year, Kelly actually promised two albums for 2022, one being Mainstream Sellout. (It was then titled Born With Horns.) He recently got engaged to actress Megan Fox. Last year, he drew the ire of Slipknot fans after beefing with the metal band.

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