Recently, Eminem and Machine Gun Kelly got into it and released diss tracks on each other. The feud started back in 2012, when MGK tweeted about Eminem’s daughter, Hailie. MGK stated in his diss that it took Eminem six years to respond to one comment, but he has been throwing shade at Eminem periodically since 2012, so it probably wasn’t just pent-up rage from one tweet six years ago.
Eminem was the first one to call MGK out by his name in “Not Alike,” which was a song on his surprise album “Kamikaze” in August of 2018. The next month, MGK dropped “Rap Devil,” which triggered Eminem’s response, “Killshot.” It’s possible that MGK was just backed into a corner and felt like he was forced to turn it into as big of a deal as it was, but based on the size of the chip on his shoulder, this was probably the opportunity he’s been waiting for to prove himself.
Eminem has been rapping since before MGK was born, and Eminem’s career essentially began from rap battles like this one. MGK was in over his head on this one, and seems to be trying to make a name for himself by challenging the self proclaimed “Rap God.” There was a lot of bitterness in the song about how Eminem black balled him in the music industry years ago, and there were a lot of passive aggressive comments on how much money Eminem has. It sounded a lot like he was jealous but still trying to come up with something bad to say.
MGK’s diss was catchy and easy on the ears, but it was mostly fluff and childish insults. There were comments on Eminem’s age and height, and MGK actually called him a “dweeb.” He threw out a lot of insults that were kind of compliments and ended up highlighting a lot of his successes. He mentioned Eminem’s Oscar award, his movie “8 Mile”, said he acknowledged that he’s the G.O.A.T. and talked about how rich he is. He even did the thing that started it all and mentioned Eminem’s daughter again.
“Killshot” was by far the better diss out of these two, although it was pretty problematic. There were a lot of homophobic and sexist comments. Those shouldn’t be ignored because they highlight a huge problem in the rap genre as a whole, but for the purposes of the rap battle, Eminem’s still blew MGK’s out of the water. Despite the problematic comments, there were a lot of clever word play and actual slams on MGK. Eminem criticizes his popularity in his own hometown, his mumble rap, his bitterness and his desperate attempt to make a bigger name for himself. One of his best lines was, “As long as I’m Shady you gon’ live in my shadow.”
As for the format of the song, MGK’s sounds like a pop hit on the radio, not a quality rap diss. With his repeating chorus, music video and autotune, “Rap Devil” might seem like the better diss because it sounds and looks better, but the truth is, it sucked as a diss. “Killshot” didn’t have a catchy beat behind it because it didn’t need to. The lyrics spoke for themselves, and there was no autotune involved. Even though diss tracks are apart of the rap genre, they really aren’t supposed to be about the music. They’re about who can creatively destroy the other person better, and “Rap Devil” destroyed nothing but my respect for MGK’s lyricism and actual talent.