On the anniversary of 'Rap Devil,' Machine Gun Kelly’s diss of Eminem, the Cleveland rapper wanted to return to the spotlight with another dig at Slim Shady, the Detroit rapper who has sold 230 million records worldwide.
Kelly reappeared on Instagram posting a photo of a yearbook in which a girl had written “Rap Devil was better” as her senior quote. Posted on the anniversary of the song, Kelly wanted to remember his career high challenging the rapper once considered the "King of Hip Hop" by Rolling Stone magazine. Many thought Kelly’s rap days were coming to end when he took on Eminem. The move increased his following on social media with followers commenting, “You the only one to defeat EM.”
While not very likely that he could ever rival Marshall Mathers, who has won 15 Grammy Awards and has had nine number-one albums on the Billboard 200, which have all consecutively debuted at number one making him the only artist in history to accomplish this feat. But rap beefs are legendary and, as a white rapper, it was obvious that if Kelly was going to come for anyone of any significance, it would be Eminem.
Not everyone has been happy with Kelly’s diss. One commenter wrote, “Let it go, bro. The fact that you keep bringing up rap devil proves that you aren’t confident that you won. You keep searching for validation. I enjoy your music, but you simply lost. Em is the GOAT 🐐”
Adding, “The highlight of this dude’s career is a diss to his idol. It is his most viewed video on YouTube and most-streamed song. Eminem has literally given his career the breath of life. However, to say rap Devil was a better diss than Killshot means you don’t actually listen to what’s being said. Let’s not forget not alike, Eminem shredded dude up.”
The beef reportedly goes back to 2012 when Kelly tweeted that Eminem's daughter was "hot as f*ck." Eminem responded six years later, after Kelly insinuated that Eminem had blacklisted him, saying, "Like I’m trying to hinder his career. I don’t give a f*ck about your career. You think I actually f*cking think about you? You know how many f*cking rappers are better than you? You’re not even in the f*cking conversation."
'Rap Devil,' a nod to Eminem’s 'Rap God,' which famously took cheap shots at Eminem’s sobriety and age, was recorded after Kelly heard a diss on Eminem’s “Kamikaze.” The track also speaks of Marshall's "hurt ego" and says the Detroit rapper is an older, uglier version of Kelly. Recently, Kelly’s Hotel Diablo track 'Floor 13' also appears to reference the beef with Eminem. “One legend that tried to f*ck with me and got the venom,” he raps. In his defense, at least he referred to Eminem as a legend.
Last month, Kelly played the Reading & Leeds Festival, one of his biggest shows to date. Critics commented on his on-stage persona. “We’re barely two minutes in when he grabs a golden snake mic-stand that wouldn’t look out of place in Aladdin’s Cave of Wonders and begins licking it,” NME wrote. “Unexpected, perhaps, but it’s the kind of no-f*cks-given attitude that you’d expect from a man who picked a fight with Eminem."
Eminem is relatively reserved outside of the rap arena. He normally only uses social media to promote his work or the work of other artists. Yet with Kelly, he took the time to tweet a cautionary message, "People think they want this problem 'til they get it," he tweeted without naming Kelly.
During an episode of Everyday Struggle, Kelly said he’d bury the hatchet with Eminem if the rapper were willing to respect his skills. "Put us on a track and see who comes harder," Kelly said. The possibility of a rap battle between these two is next to impossible. The Cleveland rapper is hoping to keep the success of ‘Rap Devil’ going strong by asking fans to stream the track on its anniversary, to ensure it is more successful than ‘Killshot.’ My money is on Marshall.