It didn’t take long for Eminem’s “Killshot” to generate responses from the song’s targets and audiences. In response to “Killshot” Machine Gun Kelly has announced the upcoming release of “Binge.” The EP is rumored to have at least one song, if not more, in response to Eminem’s diss track. Still, the timing of disses and responses have made more than one audience member question if the feud is staged and the so-called “beef” is fake.
Eminem vs. Machine Gun Kelly
Some critics and fans are showing their ignorance of rap history by maintaining that rap feuds were passé by 1998. While Biggie and Tupac’s famous feud featured some tight beats and lacerating bars, they did not kill the phenomenon of the diss track.
The very nature of rap – – its grassroots beginnings, complete with rap battles on street corners and eventually on wax, and feuds in general, have always been a part of rap. To expect that element of hip-hop to go away just because some time has passed is naive at best.
What is significant about the current “beef” between Eminem and Machine Gun Kelly? More than what can be found in any of the diss tracks lines, is the import of two white rappers who represent different rap eras who have grown to hate each other.
Based on what has been released so far, Eminem took aim at mumble rap, then MGK in particular. Eminem took issue not only with the younger rapper’s style, but also his apparent fondness for the way Eminem’s daughter looks.
MGK’s response indicates a young rapper’s frustration with an older emcee whose material success has been greater than MGK’s own.
Neither performer is willing to concede defeat. And there have been valid points raised, arguably mostly by Eminem. Case in point, when MGK “comes for” Eminem, he doesn’t use mumble rap. While it might seem a small point, it is telling. Depending on a listener’s perspective, it might even been seen as funny.
Eminem vs. MGK: Choosing a winner
It is unlikely that unbiased, informed opinions will be used to choose a winner. And if a rapper “wins” the battle of disses, what does he get, exactly? The feud has produced chart-topping singles for each rapper, whether he is the target or the attacking artist.
Fans choose to back whichever rapper they have always been fans of, and will declare their favorite the winner, no matter what. In short, there is no objectivity here.
From a language standpoint, Eminem wins. He addresses all of MGK’s criticism with fluency, anger and humor. He even doubles down on his original criticism of MGK. Eminem even manages to get in a few new attacks, making rappers associated with MGK collateral damage. It has been reported by several magazines that Iggy Azalea attempted to criticize Eminem’s referring to her as a “ho.” She took to social media to address the diss and was soundly dismissed by audiences.
Despite MGK referring to Eminem’s track as “Legshot,” MGK has a new EP all of a sudden. The other humorous development is how Eminem, G-Eazy and others have used MGK’s signature sentence from his diss track, “Let’s talk about it,” to mock him in hash tags.
Eminem vs. MGK: Allegations of fake beef
However, the timing of new albums and response songs have seemed just too coincidental for some fans. After a few weeks of listening to perfectly rhymed response disses, some fans have speculated that the whole thing between Eminem and Machine Gun Kelly is fake.
From a certain distance it is difficult to say. On one hand, for the sake of peaceful co-existing, audiences can hope that it is fake, and the two are actually friends. But then, there is the content of the songs that make it a bit difficult to believe that “friends” would be able to talk about each other in that way.
Either way, rap is exciting now. New, invigorated music is being produced as each rapper attempts to defend his honor and reputation. The only thing that would be disappointing would be finding that the entire feud has been planned all along. To do so would reveal more about the listening public than about the rappers involved.