The song “Rap Devil” was a bold response from rapper Machine Gun Kelly, defending himself against an onslaught of lyrical badmouthing from Eminem on his new song “Not Alike.”
Following the release of “Rap Devil,” the Cleveland native also known as MGK enjoyed massive web and streaming traffic, garnering more than 120 million views since its release on YouTube alone, not to mention other streaming platforms, like Spotify and Apple Music.
Immediately after “Rap Devil” dropped, the hip-hop world waited with bated breath for Eminem’s inevitable response. That response came in the form of the song “Killshot,” in which Eminem once again tore into MGK showing no restraint and sending fans into a frenzy.
Although Eminem’s response came nearly two weeks after MGK’s, “Killshot” already has approximately 3 million more views on YouTube than “Rap Devil.” Eminem certainly won the battle in terms of web traffic statistics.
However, in a move appearing to quickly capitalize on the media storm that has been the Eminem and MGK feud, Machine Gun Kelly recently released an EP entitled Binge. After Eminem took the No. 1 Billboard 200 spot for his recent album, Kamikaze, MGK seemed primed for a potential commercial powerhouse, as curious hip hop fans were expected to check out the album for further snaps back at Eminem.
Dude Kamikaze sold more in just pure sales in its 4th week than Binge had total sales (pure sales + streaming). Not only an L, but a colossal embarrassment w/ a 1.5 star rating on iTunes. There's not even any group or artist with a 3 star rating in top 200. MGK loser of the year.
— Czer (@BigCzer) September 29, 2018
Unfortunately for MGK, that potential was unrealized, according to HotNewHipHop. While Eminem’s Kamikaze sold more than 420,000 units in its first week and was the No. 1 album in 103 countries, MGK’s Binge fared considerably worse, as his first-week numbers are looking bleak. In total, MGK has only moved around 21,000 units of Binge, barely a drop in the bucket compared to Eminem’s sales, but also a decline for himself.
MGK’s previous record, Bloom, sold 57,000 copies in its first week of sales, marking a decline of more than 50 percent from his last release. Discouraging news for any musician.
This significant drop in album sales only further solidifies the narrative that other rappers dragging out beef with Eminem only hurts them in the long run. MGK appears to be joining the ranks of Benzino, Ja Rule, and Everlast, who all suffered seriously declining careers after Eminem took aim at them in diss tracks.
Eminem also released a scathing diss song against Mariah Carey in 2010 entitled “The Warning.” While her career didn’t take the same hit as MGK or Ja Rule, Carey and her then-husband Nick Cannon backed off and declined to comment further after the release of the song.