Machine Gun Kelly’s Pop-Punk Pivot

One of the unlikely pop music twists of the final couple of years has been the ascent of Machine Gun Kelly, who just lately launched “Mainstream Sellout,” his second consecutive No. 1 pop-punk album following a profession of lowering returns within the hip-hop world.

The roots of this success predate his musical shift: within the mid-to-late 2010s hip-hop started flirting with pop-punk and emo due to the early waves of SoundCloud rap. Among the most creatively profitable practitioners of that period, specifically Juice WRLD and Lil Peep, made influential music however sadly didn’t dwell to see the complete scale of their impression. That left a vacuum, into which Machine Gun Kelly and others have stepped.

On this week’s Popcast, a dialog about Machine Gun Kelly’s pop-punk pivot, the arc of his prior profession in hip-hop and the behind-the-boards work of the drummer Travis Barker, who has been an influential engine of the present pop-punk revival.


  • Meaghan Garvey, who writes about music for Billboard and others

  • Arielle Gordon, who writes about music for Pitchfork and others

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