Oh Boy, Machine Gun Kelly & Willow Smith Made A Song Called “Emo Girl”
The word “emo” does not necessarily mean the same thing today as it meant in 1992, or 2002, or even 2012. But when two established pop stars join forces to record a song called “Emo Girl,” it’s pretty clear that the world has shifted in ways that are just going to baffle some of us. Even when emo was at its absolute most embarrassing peak of mall-punk popularity, emo bands refused to refer to themselves as “emo.” Now, we’ve got two big stars out here singing about “I feel in love with an emo girl.” It feels different.
There is a good chance that Machine Gun Kelly is intentionally trolling old people with the release of his new single “Emo Girl.” He does love to troll people. MGK, the former pop-rap B-lister, made himself over as a mid-’00s Warped Tour pop-punk star, a ridiculous move that’s somehow been hugely successful. Lately, he’s been taking his whole thing to rock festivals, starting fights with fellow stars and even with fans. On his new song “Emo Girl,” MGK teams up with space-cadet Hollywood heir Willow Smith, who’s now known as WILLOW and who is currently going through her own version of pop-punk stardom.
“Emo Girl” opens with Machine Gun Kelly’s girlfriend Megan Fox saying that she’s a god, and that goes directly into a revved-up, ultra-clean pop-punk riff. (Naturally, “Emo Girl” is produced and co-written by Travis Barker, the Blink-182 drummer currently assisting on hits for both MGK and WILLOW.) On the song, both MGK and WILLOW sing about falling in love with an emo girl, describing this ideal woman in pure Spencer’s Gifts terminology. MGK: “She’s got makeup by the mirror in her bedroom/ Thigh-high fishnets and some black boots/ Nose pierced with the cigarette perfume/ Half-dead, but she still looks so cute.” WILLOW: “She puts eyeliner on her dark skin/ She tells me lies, but she knows all of my secrets/ And when we drive in the car and I say, ‘Who is this band?’/ She says, ‘You won’t understand, this some next shit.'”
Evidently, we have reached the point where kids are nostalgic for the Suicide Girls era that they were too young to experience. Bury us all. Listen below.
If the mall-emo tendency to fetishize women has now crossed borders of race and gender, maybe that’s progress? Who fucking knows.