Machine Gun Kelly, or Colson Baker, has been making music for over fifteen years, first starting with mix tapes and eventually finding his signature sound of a mix of alternative hip hop and rock. He has an incredibly interesting career journey that is very apparent in his music.
He has seen massive success and even raised a child and his life experiences have shaped his music a lot. He struggled in the beginning and released four mixtapes between 2007 and 2010 which he recorded in his home studio before signing with his first record label.
If you’re going through a tough breakup and kind of just hate every aspect of life your ex has bled into? Listen to his 201 8-2019 releases. Even if it’s something as simple as being in the mood for hip hop one day and rock the next? Machine Gun Kelly is your man.
Though there’s a lot of ground to cover with Machine Gun Kelly’s music here are his fifteen best songs.
1. Bad Things (feat. Camila Cabello)
Released in 201 7 on his album bloom “Bad Things” is the blending of the different styles of Machine Gun Kelly and Camila Cabello creating a rap-pop ballad that just somehow makes sense. This song is all about love and passion to the point that it gets scary conveyed through the intense lyrics and dark audio.
Expert Tip: This is even more impressive considering their parts of the song were recorded completely separately. This also song served as both artists’ first top 5 songs on the Billboard Top 100.
2. RAP DEVIL
A mark of Machine Gun Kelly’s infamous feud with Eminem RAP DEVIL was blatantly released as a diss track the title referencing the famous Eminem song “Rap God” as he eats food nonchalantly. This eventually prompted a response back from Eminem with his song “Kill Shot”.
Many people were shocked Machine Gun Kelly would respond to Eminem the way he did but it encapsulates so much of what Machine Gun Kelly’s fans love about him, he is always switching it up and teaching people they never know what to expect from him.
3. Till I Die
Released in 201 5 as the lead single of his album General Admission “Till I Die” is a personal look into the singer’s roots, letting people know the conditions he came from and just how much he fought to get where he is. He also makes sure to highlight his friends and inspirations that got him to where he is.
It has a very unique sound combining pop-style rap with heavy metal guitars in an unexpectedly original sound that has come to be associated with Machine Gun Kelly. A lot of people resonated with the brutal honesty and vulnerability the song showcases that is still just as impactful seven years later.
4. Forget me too (feat. Halsey)
One of his most popular songs to date “forget me too” is also one of his most recent releases coming off his 2020 album Tickets to My Downfall. Tickets to My Downfall marked Machine Gun Kelly’s more recent deviation from rap into pop-punk two very different genres he transitioned between better than anyone could have expected.
This song is filled with a lot of emotion, it’s about an unhealthy relationship but the people involved in it just can’t seem to walk away. Machine Gun Kelly’s new pop-punk allows for a more angsty delivery to truly express the emotion of the song and Halsey brings just as much intensity and compliments his energy very well.
5. Chip off the Block
It’s hard to talk about iconic Machine Gun Kelly songs without acknowledging the song that propelled him into the public eye in the first place. This song was released when he was going through an extremely tough time, facing eviction from his home without a cushion to fall back on, and he channeled that into his music and released it into the world.
That extremely raw emotion that comes from just channeling your feelings into music even though nothing may come of it is what made Machine Gun Kelly catch people’s attention. Chip off the Block went viral following its release and gained him enough attention to get him on MTV’s Sucker Free Freestyle.
6. Wild Boy (feat. Waka Flocka Flame)
This is the breakout single for his debut album Lace Up released in 2012. This served as Machine Gun Kelly’s official entrance onto the scene.
This song personifies the reason he made such an impact and continues to almost a decade later, it shows the beginnings of him perfecting his signature sound and his distinguishable personality bursting out of every lyric even at twenty-two years old.
Expert Tip: This album also showed right out the gate just how much Machine Gun Kelly likes to collaborate with other artists and how their distinct sounds can help him grow and change as a musician.
7. My ex’s best friend (feat. black bear)
It was only a matter of time before we got to this song. His most popular song to date, the double-platinum “my ex’s best friend” was also featured on the 2020 album Tickets to My Downfall.
This song exemplifies the transition from hip hop to pop-punk by utilizing elements of both genres. This song uses live guitars and live drums while also still using heavy autotune. This new album brought about a new sound and era and clearly, it got audiences excited.
8. I Think I’m OKAY (feat. YUNGBLUD & Travis Barker)
One of the hit singles for Machine Gun Kelly’s Hotel Diablo is still one of his most popular songs to date and another platinum, pop-punk, star-studded collaboration. This song is all about the artists’ general shortcomings, bad decision-making, and relationships ended, it is a song everyone can relate to in at least some capacity.
9. Bloody Valentine
The lead singles off of his 2020 album Tickets to My Downfall is a stand-out on this album. This song is a complete pivot from his attitude about love in his past album Hotel Diablo, this song is about wanting a genuine connection with someone. This music video also stars Megan Fox and served as the start of their now-iconic relationship.
Curating yet another unique sound this song shows that Machine Gun Kelly is never done curating or perfecting his sound. You better enjoy your favorite sounds of him while you can because they’ll never stay the same forever.
LOCO is a track on his 2018 album BINGE. This short album was his way of re-entering the scene following his release of “RAP DEVIL”. This song also features vocals from Machine Gun Kelly’s close friend Pete Davidson.
Expert Tip: In the video, the boys act rowdy and return make a short return to the vibe of Machine Gun Kelly’s earlier work. In true Machine Gun Kelly fashion, this song also has some legendary features from G-Eazy, Eminem, Tysen, and Ty Dolla Sign.
11. See My Tears
This is another early work of his from his 2012 album Lace Up. The music video for this emphasizes the true rags to riches story that was a very prominent part of Machine Gun Kelly’s early works.
Though it focuses on hardship this is a confessional song with very inspiring imagery in the music video, including one of his biggest fans in a wheelchair getting and walking, inspired by his words. This song is all about not letting hardships hold you back and is a major theme of his work to this day.
This song is a leading single from his most recent album mainstream sellout, released in 2022. This song talks about entering a new phase and carving out his place in the world. He talks about times in his life when things were really difficult and it got him down and that sometimes things still get him down.
13. Alpha Omega
This is another song from his 2015 album General Admission. Using a mixture of piano keys and signature machine gun sounds he spends the song making bold statements and letting people know exactly who he is, what he thinks about, and how he wants to be perceived as an artist. His bold distinguishable attitude can’t help but rub off on anyone who listens to this track.
14. At My Best (feat. Hailee Steinfeld)
This is a single from his 2017 album bloom. Featuring an unlikely collaboration with Hailee Steinfeld. especially because was still primarily rapping at this time. Audiences seemed to love it though and the song went platinum.
Expert Tip: This song has an inspiring message, something Machine Gun Kelly and Hailee Steinfeld are both known for promoting in their music. It reminds audiences that everyone struggles but that they need to find inspiration within themselves to keep going.
15. maybe (feat. Bring Me the Horizon)
One of his most popular songs to date is a single from his new album mainstream sellout. In this song, he collaborates with the metalcore band Bring Me the Horizon and talks about the darker subject matter. He talks about wanting to end his life and drinking his conscious away and wanting to die because an ended relationship is so painful.
This song is about wallowing in the pain of a traumatic relationship ending and a lot of people can relate to the dark pain you feel when a relationship ends.
Machine Gun Kelly is an extremely influential artist whose music expands a wide variety of genres, and subject matter and features a ton of collaborators that bring their own unique sound. He is always willing to try new things and constantly experimenting as to how to keep his sound completely original.
There is no artist like Machine Gun Kelly working today and this list shows that. The fact that he is versatile enough to collaborate with all the artists he does and has many of those collaborations been successful. There’s a big difference between Halsey and Waka Flocka Flame or between Bring Me the Horizon and Camila Cabello.
There’s even a seemingly big difference between his style and some of the artists he chooses to collaborate with but he always seems to find a blend because that’s what he does in his music.
Though this list is only a glimpse into his discography it highlights all the things fans love about him so much and is a great starting point for anyone looking to explore his music more.