The new nine-song EP from Machine Gun Kelly dropped Friday, just a week after its announcement and released in the heat of his feud with Eminem, presumably to cash in on the most media attention the rapper has received in years.
And almost immediately, it’s a mess, as he barely gets two minutes into the album before firing off his first unintentionally hilarious line, rapping with deadly seriousness about how he “(expletive) two girls that looked like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.”
Things don’t get much better over the course of the album’s tracklist, which at its lowest points sounds like a Lonely Island parody of a 2018 rap song. MGK cycles through the trap beats and auto-tuned vocals that appear on what’s seemed like virtually every major rap release of the year, but it’s the album’s lyrical elements that make “Binge” sound less like a Travis Scott album and more like a Weird Al project, his verses sounding inane at best and laugh-out-loud hilarious at their worst. While MGK spends most of “Binge” lashing out at various unnamed parties, the album’s most redeemable track is the one that got us all talking about the rapper in the first place – “Rap Devil,” his response to Eminem after the older rapper name-dropped MGK on his August album “Kamikaze,” referencing a distasteful comment MGK tweeted way back in 2012 about Eminem’s then-teenage daughter. After “Kamikaze” came “Rap Devil,” which begat Eminem’s follow-up track “Killshot,” the whole exchange becoming so tiresome that even MGK himself said this week that he’s finished releasing diss tracks.
Whether “Rap Devil” is actually a good diss track is less likely than the fact that it just shines in comparison to the rest of the dreck on “Binge.”
But it’s undeniable that “Rap Devil” is MGK’s brightest moment on the album, the only time he achieves anything close to humor with lines about Eminem’s “corny hats” and how “last time you saw ‘8 Mile’ was at home on a treadmill.”
Perhaps the release of “Binge” had been planned for months, but it seems infinitely more likely that the album was rushed to inception after the success of “Rap Devil” to capitalize on MGK’s return to the headlines, a strategy that may be great for the artist’s PR but is rarely conducive to making a good album.
Another conspiracy theory suggests that Eminem and MGK’s feud is a ploy by Interscope, both rappers’ record label, to drum up interest for Eminem’s August album “Kamikaze” and, presumably, the new music MGK was planning.
From that perspective, “Binge” is already some sort of a success for MGK, scoring coverage of the rapper that likely wouldn’t have existed without the feud. Eminem certainly cashed in on their drama, with his “Killshot” track breaking streaming records with its release last week. And what do listeners have to show for it? Weeks of lukewarm-at-best diss tracks, endless headlines covering the two rappers’ back and forth, and now, with “Binge,” 24 minutes of music that really doesn’t need to exist.