Rapper Machine Gun Kelly wants his fans to know there’s a real person behind the headlines.
In a wide-ranging interview with Dax Shepard on the recent episode of The Armchair Expert podcast, the rapper spoke candidly about being vulnerable in the hyper masculine world of hip hop while combatting some of the negative public feedback that comes with the territory.
“A lot of people don’t realize there’s a human behind the character that I’m also guilty of putting out there in the ethos,” Kelly, whose real name is Colson Baker, said. “Because the name that everyone knows from me is Machine Gun Kelly, people don’t even know that I actually have a real name or real feelings or that I’m vulnerable.”
The rapper went on to say that his public persona displays a false sense of “confidence,” which is why he thinks many critics feel it’s OK to bully him online — because it feels as if they're "punching up."
“Still to this day I deal with hundreds of thousands, I mean, dude it feels like millions of people who just are like, ‘He is so confident,’ and all these things that they feel OK sh*****g on [me],” he said of the personal attacks he’s endured on social media.
“Have I been a dick in media? Sure. Have I represented myself poorly sometimes? Yeah, absolutely,” he continued, before sending a message directly to the haters: “If the camera [was on] you when you were growing up… I’m sure we’d all have f****** little excerpts to talk about… that’s not you, though. I understand you’re a lost young man or woman and you’re like figuring s*** out.”
“I’m 31 years old,” the rapper continued. “I know plenty of 31-year-olds who are still full pieces of s*** and are still figuring themselves out, so I’m kind of ahead of the game from a lot of people who are just putting on this facade in public: ‘Because of all these people that have f***** up, I know to not do that.’ But in private, they’re still pieces of s***. In private, I’m actually a great human being and full of vulnerability and just learning [about] myself.”
The rapper explained that he's gone so far as to challenge some of these critics directly. “I’ve called them and been like, ‘Hey man, why are you running a smear campaign on somebody who’s just making music?’
"It’s weird," Kelly continued. "You’d think I was in politics and I was being like, ‘No abortion!’ or some crazy s***," he said of the level of hatred.
At one point, he confronted a troll via direct message who was shocked that Kelly would even take the time to acknowledge him.
“I said this to a guy, I said, ‘Hi this is Machine Gun Kelly. I’ve seen what you said,’ and he goes, he literally verbatim goes, ‘Oh bro, like, I didn’t know you’d actually ever see this,” he said.
According to Kelly, the troll even compared him to Target, arguing that the rapper's fan base was “so big” that he assumed he wouldn’t care about one negative comment.
"It f***s [with] me," he said of dealing with the backlash.
Kelly, who's been seeing Megan Fox for two years, raised eyebrows at the 2022 Billboard Music Awards over the weekend when he referred to Fox as his “wife” before mentioning their “unborn child.”
While performing “Twin Flame,” the rapper told the audience, “I wrote this song for my wife.” Halfway through the performance, he followed up with, "This is for our unborn child" as the sound of a heartbeat played.
The pair has been engaged since January. Fox spoke publicly of the moment on her Instagram, writing at the time: “And just as in every lifetime before this one, and as in every lifetime that will follow it, I said yes … and then we drank each other’s blood."
The actress later clarified what she meant in a cover story for British Glamour's April 2022 issue.
"So, I guess to 'drink' each other's blood might mislead people or people are imagining us with goblets and we're like Game of Thrones, drinking each other's blood," she said. "It's just a few drops, but yes, we do consume each other's blood on occasion for ritual purposes only."
She continued, "I read tarot cards and I'm into astrology and I'm doing all these metaphysical practices and meditations. And I do rituals on new moons and full moons, and all these things. And so, when I do it, it's a passage or it is used for a reason. And it is controlled where it's like, 'Let's shed a few drops of blood and each drink it.'"
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