Machine Gun Kelly has done it again, folks. And by “it,” we mean managed to annoy people with an arguably not-very-well-thought-out artistic statement. In this case, a signature guitar shaped like a razor blade.
As Stereogum notes, MGK recently launched a new line of guitars with Schecter. Most of them look like normal guitars, including a pink one similar to the one featured on the cover of MGK’s 2020 album, Tickets to My Downfall. The one shaped like a razor blade, though, has unsurprisingly garnered controversy for potentially glorifying self-harm and cutting.
MGK, for his part, explained the inspiration behind the guitar at a recent performance. He said the instrument was designed as “kind of an ode to Tickets to My Downfall, the line on ‘Title Track.’” He then added, “But also, an ode to my 20s and all the crazy times that I had.”
The “Title Track” line in question appears in the pre-chorus and is repeated multiple times throughout the song: “I use a razor to take off the edge, ‘Jump off the ledge,’ they said.’” One could certainly read that lyric as about self-harm, though perhaps MGK’s qualification that the guitar’s design was also an ode to “all the crazy times” he had in his 20s, means it’s about using a razor blade to cut other things like, hair or, well, uh, drugs.
Or, maybe it’s, like, a metaphor about living life on the edge. Or perhaps a nod to the 1944 W. Somerset Maugham novel, The Razor’s Edge, which takes its name from a verse in the ancient Hindu text, Katha Upanishad, “The sharp edge of a razor is difficult to pass over; thus the wise say the path to Salvation is hard.”
Based on MGK’s response to the wave of criticism that followed the release of the guitar, we may never know the full depths of his intent and inspiration. “i’ll never explain my art because true art is conversational and always up for interpretation,” MGK wrote on Twitter, “but i will say, most of you constantly interpret it wrong. and then blame me for your version of what you think my art is. ultimately im sad at how people perceive me in general. peace.”
Or, as a wise man once said, “Yeah, well, you know, that’s just like, uh, your opinion, man.”