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What We Think About: Machine Gun Kelly’s “bloom”

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Machine Gun Kelly, who is fresh off the huge commercial success of his #1 single “Bad Things” featuring Camila Cabello, dropped his third studio album bloom.

On this collection, MGK talks about love, because he recently fell in and out of it, and these are issues the Cleveland rapper had not previously focused on.

“Bad Things” won him performances on major stages he had never graced, including “The Ellen Show,” “Jimmy Fallon,” and even The Kids Choice Awards.

MGK’s fans were critical of him for “selling out” since “Bad Things” was much more of a pop release as compared to his previous hardcore rap.

The rapper has promised his fans they can expect to see the same raw and edgy MGK they know and love, as well as the new and evolved MGK.

MGK titled the album bloom because one of the first noticeable things on a rose is a thorn, which is usually the only thing seen on the flower until it blooms into all of its glory.

The title is a metaphor because MGK felt that people judged him on his “thorns” – his off the wall antics, his dark rhymes, and his tough upbringing.

On bloom, you can hear MGK in different forms than his usual hardcore spitting style.

“The Gunner”

MGK starts the album off by delivering his gritty rhymes over a heavy bass, reminding us who he is. Machine Gun Kelly got his nickname from the gangster George “Machine Gun Kelly” Barnes. People refer to him as MGK, Kels, or The Gunner, which MGK uses on this song. The moniker is highlighted by gunshots popping off through the chorus and although it is not the best song on the album, you can definitely hear MGK’s talents.

“Wake + Bake”

“Wake + Bake” is – surprisingly – about MGK “waking and baking” or smoking weed the first thing in the morning. He tells a little anecdote about being late to work because of the practice and then just quits because he’s “a boss and shit.” MGK raps over an electric guitar instrumental and I’m sure if he performs this live, he’s going to be doing the huge guitar solo at the end.

“Go For Broke” featuring James Arthur

MGK links up with “The X Factor” season 9 winner, James Arthur, for this promising pop hit about overcoming hindrances as he grows into adulthood. This song has potential to be a single.

Favorite lyrics: I’m sorry I got a new number you can’t call / I’m sorry to everyone who still wants me to fall / Hold up, you know what, I ain’t sorry at all

 “At My Best” featuring Hailee Steinfeld

In this song, we hear MGK in one of the most vulnerable places, as he spills out his heart highlighting his pain, anger, passion, and failures, yet maintaining the desire and need to keep going. It makes sense that he coupled up with Hailee Steinfeld because she’s one of the important voices in his fanbase. MGK’s main following has been “misfits” and those that feels like maybe, they didn’t fit in with “the cool kids.” The chorus takes a spin on the famous Marilyn Monroe quote “I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.”

“Kiss The Sky”

“Kiss The Sky” has a slow night time vibe and talks about smoking, drinking, popping pills and thinking about his career and how far it can go. Kels uses “Kiss the Sky” to reference him being verrrry high, so much so, that he feels like he’s actually got his tongue in the clouds. But it is also a comparison for how Kels believes his career is going to the top. The instrumentals include a spacey bass with simple piano notes that adds on to the “dream-like” state of the song. This is easily one of my favorite songs from the album.

Favorite lyrics: Paid a couple hundred for a high that I couldn’t get on my own. And I’ve been looking for a long time but I never found home.

“Golden God”

Golden God is one of the fan favorites’ from this album. Kels is giving you the old hard spitting MGK you know and love over a dope bass heavy beat. He claims titles such as the David Bowie of this generation, King of the Underground, King of this New Shit, and obviously the Golden God. He pays homage to his homies that he came up with and is still humble because he’s “still almost famous” which is a title from one of his first big projects.

“7. 27”

This is more of an “emo song” as it is slowed down to simply a piano and guitar strings where MGK recollects on his life. He wonders if he died today how he would be remembered. We see a more exposed side of MGK as he talks about his fears and insecurities.

“Trap Paris” featuring Quavo and Ty Dolla $ign

MGK teams up with Quavo to deliver this trap hit based off of a true story, after a night in Germany. Kels says Germany had too many syllables so they changed it to Paris. Ty not only sings the addicting chorus but produced this song that is sure to one of the top songs of the summer.

“Let You Go”

In a slowed down rock song, MGK reflects on a relationship where he and the girl were clearly into each other and “taking pictures in the moment so we don’t forget.” The relationship ends and he’s “not himself anymore.” In a tweet, MGK explained that he is the one playing the guitar on the track.

“Moonwalkers”

MGK teams up with EST’s own DubXX to deliver this spacey tune. DubXX also produced the track. This is probably my least favorite song on the album; the album would have been complete without this song.

“Can’t Walk”

In this slowed down synthesized song, MGK delivers steady rhymes about the drugs he does and how he’s been “fucked up for the past few days and can’t walk”. It is produced by The Futuristics who also produce another song on the album, “Bad Things.”

“Bad Things” featuring Camila Cabello

MGK teams up with former Fifth Harmony member, Camila Cabello, for this single that talks about a “pain is pleasure type of love” in a sexually charged relationship. This song was extremely significant for MGK as it is his highest charting single, debuting at number 80 on the Billboard Hot 100 and eventually ruled the charts by landing at #1, which was a first for MGK.

“Rehab”

This is another slow acoustic guitar heavy song we hear MGK singing more than rapping about a broken relationship. He wonders why they broke up – was it because of the alcohol and drug use? He realizes that through all of their fighting he’s happy the way it is.


MGK himself has acknowledged that his darker, past projects were difficult for people to get into, but this album is a “vibe for everybody.” Despite the hardships, MGK has finally “bloomed” on this lean album, which clocks in at 46 minutes.

COLLEGEHIPHOP Writer
Hip hop journalist