In Eminem’s new album, “Kamikaze,” he targets a number of musicians in the industry, including mumble rappers Vince Staples, Tyler, the Creator, Joe Budden and, most notably, Machine Gun Kelly.
In addition to dismissing mumble rap in general, Eminem disses MGK specifically three times on his surprise release — more than any other artist. In “The Ringer,” Eminem raps: “But next time you don’t gotta use Tech N9ne if you wanna come at me with a sub-machine gun / And I’m talking to you but you already know who the f— you are, Kelly / I don’t use sublims and sure as f— don’t sneak-diss / But keep commenting on my daughter Hailie.”
A few days after Eminem dropped Kamikaze, Machine Gun Kelly responded with his own track “Rap Devil.” He rapped: “Mad about something I said in 2012 / Took you six years and a surprise album just to come with a diss / Homie we get it, we know that you’re the greatest rapper alive / F—ing dweeb, all you do is read the dictionary and stay inside”
It’s a song filled with high school-level insults about Eminem’s beard and and fashion choices and mostly sounds like something you’d think up on the playground.
In Eminem’s first interview since the album’s release, he revealed the real reason for the feud. In an interview with Sway on Shade 45, Eminem admitted the beef wasn’t started by Kelly calling his daughter Hailie “Hot as f—.” Instead, he took aim at Kelly after Kelly claimed that Eminem was attempting to hinder his career by banning him from his music channel, Shade 45.
“The reason that I dissed him is because he got on—first he said, ‘I’m the greatest rapper alive since my favorite rapper banned me from Shade 45,’ or whatever he said, right? Like I’m trying to hinder his career,” Eminem told Sway.
While talking about his response Eminem said, “Now I’m in this f—in’ weird thing, because I’m like, ‘I gotta answer this motherf—er, and every time I do that, it makes that person — as ‘irrelevant’ as people say I am in hip-hop — I make them bigger by getting into this thing, where I’m like ‘I want to destroy him. But I also don’t want to make him bigger.’ You know what I’m saying?”
Eminem also admits he heard Kelly’s diss track, “Rap Devil,” admitting it wasn’t “bad, for him.”
Of course, Eminem wasn’t going to stand quiet. Just three days after telling Sway that he didn’t want to make Machine Gun Kelly more famous by releasing a track about him, Eminem debuted a new diss track on the Cleveland rapper.
The 45-year-old released his reprisal after making it clear that he wanted to “destroy” Kelly. The diss track slash response to Machine Gun Kelly received a massive 38.1 million views in its first 24 hours, which made it the biggest hip-hop debut on YouTube.
Titled “KILLSHOT” and peppered with zingers criticizing everything from Kelly’s hairstyle to his paltry album sales, the four-minute track takes their fight to another level. At one point, he comes at Kelly for his poor fact-checking in his previous diss, “Rap Devil.” Eminem spits, “Your last four albums sucked, go back to ‘Recovery’ / Oh shoot, that was three albums ago, what do you know? / Oops, know your facts before you come at me, little goof!”
Days after the reprisal, Kelly posted photos on Instagram of himself on stage as an opening act for Fall Out Boy. The photos show him wearing a T-shirt with “KILLSHOT” cover art while holding up his middle fingers as the crowd behind him is shown displaying middle fingers as well. “He missed,” Kelly captioned the pics. “#legshot #rapdevilstillNUMBERONE #letstalkaboutit.”
He also included a phone screenshot showing that “Rap Devil” is No. 1 on the iTunes song chart.
Fans in attendance at the show, however, claim they were in the dark about what was on Kelly’s t-shirt at the time. “He was wearing a jacket when he asked the crowd if they would put up their middle fingers for a picture, he turned around to take the jacket off and they had no idea what shirt he was wearing,” one fan commented on the photo.
Despite the public disses, some fans think Kelly and Eminem’s feud is fake and a publicity stunt, as both are signed to the same record label, Interscope Records.
It has been revealed that Eminem and Kelly’s diss tracks were produced by the same person. Ronald Spence Jr., also known as Ronny J, is listed as a writer and producer on “The Ringer,” “Rap Devil” and the “‘Kamikaze” track “Not Alike.”
Real or fake, the feud has captured the attention of the rap community. The fact is the attention has created a buzz and a narrative that rap fans have been closely following in recent weeks. The lyrical quips have provide captivating entertainment that has piqued the curiosity of even modest rap enthusiasts.
Fans are staying tuned in to the next chapter in the Eminem Machine Gun Kelly saga. What’s next?