Track Review: Machine Gun Kelly, ‘At My Best’
Machine Gun Kelly and Hailee Steinfeld shine on the uplifting single, “At My Best.” MGK still exhibits his Cleveland roots on this empowering record.
Is Machine Gun Kelly reinventing himself? “That is the question!” Based upon the singles the Cleveland MC is dropping as of late, that seems to be the case. After experiencing top-five success with “Bad Things” with Camila Cabello, Machine Gun Kelly drops “At My Best.” This time, the pop star is Hailee Steinfeld. So, is MGK aiming for pop star status? Perhaps to an extent, but he’s still Cleveland through and through.
“At My Best” is soundly produced, fusing elements of pop and rap. This is pop-rap, but Machine Gun Kelly retains his Cleveland toughness. He doesn’t merely sing rhythmically, but still, musters up grit with unpitched rhymes. Impressively, he eschews profanity without coming off the least bit “soft.” Yeah, “At My Best” isn’t the grittiest or toughest record ever, but there’s lots to like.
The message is a selling point. MGK uplifts, rapping with the utmost prudence.
“I wrote this song as a message for help / On behalf of anybody finding their self / I wrote this letter to numb your pain / ‘Cause every day I wake up I’m feeling the same.”
Hmm, not the way it’s usually scripted in hip-hop, but undoubtedly impressive. Later, he continues his sermon:
“Life is about making mistakes / It’s also about trying to be great / Do not let failure scare you away / I know you fed up, you fall, get up.”
One word: mature. Kudos MGK, kudos.
As for Steinfeld, she delivers on the uplifting hook without question. Sure, her hit single “Starving” was polarizing, but she shines here.
“I shout, I swear, I get angry, I get scared / I fall, I break, I mess up, I make mistakes / But if you can’t take me at my worst / You don’t deserve me at my best.”
Give Machine Gun Kelly and Hailee Steinfeld their just due. “At My Best” is enjoyable and more importantly, incredibly thoughtful. Empowerment singles can be 50/50, but the duo nails it on “At My Best,” definitely giving “Bad Things” a run for its money. MGK’s third album should be interesting, to say the least.
Machine Gun Kelly • At My Best – single • Bad Boy / Interscope • Release: 3.17.17
Photo Credit: Bad Boy / Interscope