Machine Gun Kelly’s fifth studio album, Tickets for my fall is his most successful release to date, debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 despite (or perhaps because) it represents a significant tonal departure from his previous work.
Guest post by James shotwell of Haulix
Machine Gun Kelly’s fifth studio album is on track to be his most successful album to date. How did he do it?
Machine Gun Kelly, known to family and friends as Colson Baker, does the impossible. His fifth studio album, Tickets for my fall, quickly became his most successful release to date. Even more impressive is the fact that this is all happening on an LP that looks nothing like his previous work.
Events like this are incredibly rare, especially in the rap and rock worlds, but MGK finds a way to make it happen.
To put Machine Gun Kelly’s accomplishment into perspective, readers should consider that it has been actively coming out and touring in the public eye for a decade. MGK spent most of his time in the rap and hip-hop world, which led him to deliver a series of hit singles that rarely, if ever, got the attention he felt he deserved. . He recently went so far as to say that he felt ready to give up music altogether, but create My Downfal TicketsI gave him a new perspective on creativity.
The fifteen track, thirty-five minute release finds Machine Gun Kelly in transition to the world of pop-punk with reckless abandonment. Each song features rousing guitars, thundering drums, and life themes to the max while throwing a middle finger at anyone who claims it’s time for the Ohio native to play his age. It’s the kind of album one would expect from Blink-182 or Green Day twenty years ago, and the alternate scene embraces it with open arms.
In this episode of Biz Music 101, host James Shotwell details five key lessons artists can learn from MGK’s latest hit and what the album’s launch tells us about the future of music marketing.
Don’t have time for the video? Here are some takeaways:
- Experimentation is the key. MGK is internationally known for his talent as a rapper, which brought out Tickets for my fall a significant risk. By improving itself and creating a quality record, MGK not only brought its fans into a new genre of music, but also made new fans in the pop-punk world who otherwise might never have. listened to his music.
- Please keep it simple. In addition to introducing a new sound, Tickets for my fall also gives MGK fans its simplest job to date. Most people will only need one listen to understand the record, but they will keep coming back as they can easily connect with its posts and themes.
- Be real. Machine Gun Kelly has always shared true stories in their music, but this record does away with the typical hip-hop hyperbole to deliver undeniably real music. The songs on the disc are not so much MGK history, but those of Colson Baker, the young man trying to stay sane in the mad world of entertainment. Fans may never experience the moments found on the album, but its portrayals are so detailed that it’s not hard for listeners to put themselves in Colson’s shoes.
- Get as much as you can from each single. Deployment for Tickets runs throughout 2020. MGK is a master at making the most of every press opportunity. Each song contains teasers that lead to an official release, followed by lyrics videos, official videos, performance videos, stripped down performances, and more. Add to that the fact that he’s always in touch with the press, and MGK has made himself a staple of the pop culture conversation without burning off much of the best material on the album.
- Adopt the “luxury bump”. When news broke that MGK could reach number one on the Billboard charts, it quickly ditched a surprise deluxe version of Tickets which contained several additional songs. The new material put the album back in the news, ensuring fans continue to broadcast the record. It’s a bit of a cheap trick, as the song might match the original version, but it’s a good ploy to keep the press (and listeners) alert.
James shotwell is Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company’s podcast, Inside Music. He is also a speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His signatures include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular media.