Machine Gun Kelly defies the odds, wins VMA

Machine Gun Kelly’s award-winning music video for “Bloody Valentine” features actress Megan Fox. The song is the first single off his upcoming album “Tickets to My Downfall,” which will be released Sept. 25. (Illustration by Kyiesha Chavez)
By Kyiesha Chavez

“Still in mental shock that we might get a moon man,” rapper and actor Colson Baker, otherwise known as Machine Gun Kelly, tweeted July 30 about MTV announcing this year’s Video Music Awards nominees. 

What made his nomination even more special was that it was for “Best Alternative Video,” a category that hasn’t been included in the awards show for 22 years. 

The nominated video, “Bloody Valentine,” is the first single off of his new album “Tickets To My Downfall,” set to release Sept. 25. The music video reached high popularity not only for its catchy theme, but for the appearance of actress Megan Fox. The video’s reminiscence of “Jennifer’s Body,” a 2009 film that Fox was the star of,  creates a sense of nostalgia. It’s garnered over 37 million views and 713,000 likes in the three months since its upload on YouTube. 

There is no wondering why it was nominated. 

The Cleveland rapper’s career officially started in 2006 with the release of his first mixtape, “Stamp of Approval.” His reputation grew because of it and he began performing at local Cleveland venues. 

Baker was approached by Sean Combs and offered a recording contract with Bad Boy Records in 2011. He has since released seven mixtapes, two extended plays and four studio albums.  

Baker was one of the few artists dissed on Eminem’s 2018 album “Kamikaze” to fire back, retaliating against the self-proclaimed “Rap God” with “Rap Devil.” Eminem then released “Killshot” in response and this set off a debate between the fan bases.

MGK fans remained hopeful.

“Manifesting with everything in me that Machine Gun Kelly wins the VMA,” one fan tweeted a few days before the award show.  

Baker won the first moon man of the night Aug. 30. He later performed “Bloody Valentine” with drummer Travis Barker and his newest single “My Ex’s Best Friend” with fellow artist Blackbear. 

Baker showed up to the red carpet and performances dressed for success. One outfit in particular, a hot pink suit, received some homophobic backlash from outside of the fanbase. But Baker laughed off the absurdity. 

“You’re still scared of pink in 2020,” he asked during an Instagram video response to the criticism. “You mad? Just say it, you’re mad.”

Many other celebrities, such as Jaden Smith and Nyjah Huston, backed his video with praise for the bold and stylish outfit choice. 

While Eminem stans claim the rapper ended Machine Gun Kelly’s career, this big win for a resurrected category proved Baker shouldn’t be underestimated any further. His staying power doesn’t seem to be fading and, flawed as he is, he has shown he can use the hate to fuel his craft with new and exciting content. 

“This journey’s been so long,” he tweeted after winning the coveted award. “I’m so grateful no one let me give up.” 

Fans, like myself, are also grateful and excited to see where he goes next in his career.