During his set at Riot Fest this past weekend, Machine Gun Kelly not-so-subtly dissed Slipknot — who were playing a different stage at the same time — for being "old weird dudes with masks." Now, Knot frontman Corey Taylor has offered a scathing response.
"Hey, you wanna know what I'm really happy that I'm not doing?" the rapper-turned-pop-punk-revivalist said in between songs. "Being 50 years old wearing a fucking weird mask on a fucking stage. Fucking shit. So anyway, what's everyone's favorite candy? Reese's Pieces?"
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, MGK later added, "Turn the lights up. Let me see who chose to be here instead of with all the old weird dudes with masks."
The abrupt and seemingly random comments caused quite a stir on social media yesterday, sending many Slipknot fans scrambling to find what could've possibly caused MGK's sudden animosity toward the nu-metal titans. The most compelling evidence came from an interview Taylor gave earlier this year in which he threw shade toward unnamed artists who rehash an old sound and pretend it's new — a clear aim at MGK's wildly popular 2020 album Tickets to My Downfall, which has obvious references to pop-punk bands of yore.
"The [young artists] that really frustrate me are the ones that they take something that's been around forever and then just basically rework it and call it new — even though it's completely derivative," Taylor said on Cutter's Rockcast.
After the controversy dominated social media feeds throughout the day, MGK chimed in on Twitter at 6 p.m. to offer some context behind his comments. "Corey did a verse for a song on [Tickets to My Downfall]," the 31-year-old wrote. "It was fucking terrible, so I didn't use it. He got mad about it, and talked shit to a magazine about the same album he was almost on. yalls stories are all off. just admit he's bitter."
One hour later, Taylor himself fired back with his own side of the story. "I don't like people airing private shit like a child," the frontman said. "So this is all I'll say: I didn't do the track because I don't like when people try to 'write' for me. I said NO to THEM. So without further ado…. #receipts. This is all I'm going to say about it."
The "#receipts" he refers to are two screenshots of emails from January 2020 between Taylor and Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, who produced Tickets to My Downfall and co-wrote many of its songs.
In the email Barker sent, the drummer is relaying notes from MGK himself for the demo of a song called "Can't Look Back," which Taylor had apparently sent some guest vocals over for. The notes from MGK mostly consist of him excitedly doling out effusive praise for Taylor's part and expressing his utter awe that he's even on the song in the first place.
"Can u tell him he fuckin killed it and I'm stoked and HONORED he is even on it wtf," MGK allegedly wrote in the notes sent to Taylor. A couple sentences later, the pop star mentions that he sent back some additional vocal demos for a new part he added that he wanted Taylor to sing. "Fuck yeah tell him he rocks," MGK added at the end.
The other email Taylor posted consists of his concise response to Barker a day later, in which he politely declines any further work on the song and suggests that someone else take his role on the feature.
"So I listened to the ideas and to be honest, I don't think I'm the right guy for the track," Taylor wrote Barker. "Nothing personal, I just think if this is what MGK is looking for, someone else is the guy to do it."
"Hope you understand and I wish you guys the best with it," he added. "If I can help in any way, let me know."
As far as we know, these were the last exchanges between the two parties before Taylor slyly referenced MGK in that interview earlier this year, and the pop-punk renaissance man took a shot at Slipknot over the weekend.
corey did a verse for a song on tickets to my downfall album, it was fucking terrible, so i didn’t use it.— blonde don (@machinegunkelly) September 20, 2021
he got mad about it, and talked shit to a magazine about the same album he was almost on.
yalls stories are all off.
just admit he’s bitter.
I don’t like people airing private shit like a child. So this is all I’ll say: I didn’t do the track because I don’t like when people try to ‘write’ for me. I said NO to THEM. So without further ado…. #receipts— SHRED DJENT REDEMPTION (@CoreyTaylorRock) September 20, 2021
This is all I’m going to say about it. pic.twitter.com/pkhweg1Ptn