In a recent video for “LATELY,” from his new EP Binge, Machine Gun Kelly certainly seems to stay on his narcissistic brand. I once watched him scream at a small audience during a panel about how he is possibly the most underrated hip-hop artist of all time, so the song and video’s self-reflexive nature comes as no surprise.
From the get-go, MGK nods towards his own creative inputs with a title shot that states “Shot by Machine Gun Kelly.” What proceeds is a tripped-out fever dream, with most of the shots centering entirely on his own face. It’s a rather repetitive formula: close up, extreme close up, cigarette / blunt, wine, repeat. There seems to be little else left for MGK to focus on when he’s “having crazy thoughts.”
And MGK’s shot choices seem to be just as crazy as these thoughts. Chaotic handheld camera movements contribute to viewers’ inevitable disorientation, mirrored in his manic, disjointed lyricism. He switches topics, from being abandoned as a kid to treating women poorly, within the span of a few lines before making his return to the banal chorus. What MGK often lacks in originality, he makes up for in aggression.
Frankly, if you aren’t a fan of MGK’s face or some good, old-fashioned drug use, there’s really nothing else to see here. The video content is almost more minimalistic than the songwriting itself, leading to inevitable boredom within the first minute or two of the track. He closes his choruses with “And you know I’m tryna change, but it’s very hard,” which couldn’t be more obvious with such static material.