The documentary ‘Machine Gun Kelly’s Life in Pink’ raised the question: why does Machine Gun Kelly make some people so very angry?
He’s had glass bottles and other trash thrown at him on stage, and there are those who call him a sellout. MGK made a 180-degree turn and switched from rap to pop-punk when he released his album ‘Tickets To My Downfall’ in 2020. On the journey to where he is today, which might be one of the most loved and hated artists in the world, he has also managed to make enemies of both Eminem and Corey Taylor.
The dispute between MGK and Corey Taylor is briefly mentioned in the documentary. The Slipknot singer was supposed to be featured in one of the songs on the 2022 album ‘Mainstream Sellout’. It could have resulted in something really great, but instead led to the duo completely imploading. When Corey later appeared on an episode of the podcast ‘Rock This With Allison Hagendorf’, he expressed his feelings about how most new rock sucks. He also mentioned that it sucks even more when it is created by someone who has failed in one genre and decides to start making rock music instead. *HINT HINT*.
What is interesting about Corey’s quarrel, is that it stem from a mindset shared by many of MGK’s haters: an aversion to change. Some label MGK’s musical turn as inauthentic, while others, like Corey Taylor, draw parallels to failure and giving up, rather than the more positive notion of just trying something new. This is essentially just two branches on the same stem, which blossom into the idea that other people preferably shouldn’t change. At least not too much.
Change makes us uncertain. We want to be able to categorize things so that this chaotic world becomes a bit more understandable. All things, living or dead, is best sorted into named boxes with labels welded into armor plate. A person can than choose to fit into one box or the other. We do the same thing with ourselves, locking ourselves into opinions, a career, a chosen path in life. Following paths that lead somewhere new is unpredictable and thus scary. We mold ourselves into one-dimensional cookie cutters, so we can easily answer when someone wonders which box we belong to.
As we see ourselves, we also see others. So how could someone jump from one box to another, or heaven forbid, have feet and hands in several different boxes?
Our perception of others often make us assumes that a person has no more dimensions than one. When they don’t fit into the box we have placed them in, it creates disorder in our worldview, and it makes us uneasy, even upset or angry.
We humans have this annoying and inherent function that tells us to fall in line and impose the same on others. MGK has probably never fallen in line a day in his life, for better or worse. It’s impossible for it not to provoke a reaction. What MGK seems to forget, along with many of us, is that it’s not necessarily a bad thing to not be liked by everyone.
True authenticity means that you will be both loved and hated.
It is only by forging our own path that we can find those who love us, and what we create, the most. This, to varying degrees, also leads to separating ourselves from those who are most different from ourselves. Authentic people create waves, and those waves will hit people in different ways. Much depending on their ability to perceive others without wanting to shrink them down into an easily digestible one-dimensional cookie cut image.
So when you ask yourself why there are those who don’t like you, it might be because you’re an asshat, but it could also be because unbound (box)freedom is provocative to those who are too afraid to try it themselves.