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Machine Gun Kelly plans to revert to rap for his next album to make people “miss” his pop-punk material

Machine Gun Kelly
(Image credit: Mauricio Santana/Getty Images)

After reinventing himself as a pop-punk artist – putting out two electric guitar-heavy albums and collaborating with the likes of Travis Barker, Willow Smith and Bring Me The Horizon – Machine Gun Kelly has revealed plans to revert to rap for his next full-length.

Prior to 2020's Tickets to My Downfall – and subsequently this year's Mainstream Sellout – the Cleveland-born musician built his career as a rapper, releasing four full-length hip-hop albums, his most recent being 2019's Hotel Diablo.

Speaking to Audacy's Kevan Kenney in a new interview, MGK says he wants to once again build hype for his more guitar-driven material, and will take a break from pop-punk so that material is “missed”.

“If I keep doing things to prove things to people, I'm going to one, drive myself crazy and two, not make a good product,” he explains. “I made Tickets to My Downfall and Mainstream Sellout because I wanted to make them. I need to now also make people miss that sound.”

MGK says he's keen to complete his trilogy of pop-punk albums with a third offering in the future. “I don’t think making a third that’s so [similar] is going to be exciting unless it’s missed,” he says.

But for the time being, he's going to make a rap record for himself, “for no other reason, [with] no point to prove, [and with] no chip on my shoulder”.

“I'm gonna step into where I left Hotel Diablo, expand on my storytelling as a rapper and find a new innovative sound for the hip-hop Machine Gun Kelly,” he continues. “That's where my excitement is and where me as a music archaeologist wants to explore.”

While Machine Gun Kelly still has some touring to do in support of Mainstream Sellout, it's likely given his announcement that we won't see a new signature MGK Schecter model – as hinted by the album's artwork – any time soon.

The guitar – which MGK is holding while being pelted by pink tomatoes, apparently – is a blacked-out version of his single-humbucker Schecter PT, complete with subtle pink appointments and ‘Sellout!’ inlays on frets one through eight.

In other news, last month MGK was accused by a TikTok user of faking his guitar playing onstage, a claim he subsequently refuted.

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Sam is a Staff Writer at Guitar World, also creating content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar (opens in new tab).