White rappers are associated more with beanies, bleach and bling than ~style~. Just because you’ve got bars and an ear for a beat doesn’t mean you’ve got taste, and many hip-hop artists fall into the trap of ‘more is more’ when it comes to fashion. Dropping bulk cash on designer brands and expensive accessories just to stunt on others falls flat when you can’t dress cohesively.
Machine Gun Kelly (real name Richard Colson Baker) may be cut from a different cloth, however. Not only is the 30-year-old responsible for the recent, high-profile revival of pop-punk and rap-rock in the modern musical landscape, but also for his creative yet stylish wardrobe.
What sets MGK apart from his contemporaries? His willingness to experiment with new styles as well as a deep understanding of retro American fashion. Take this lowkey outfit he was spotted sporting while out on a date in New York with his partner, actress and model Megan Fox. Evoking Kurt Cobain during Nirvana’s early years, MGK rocks a Balmain cardigan sans shirt, stonewashed denim jeans and Brain Dead x Converse Chuck 70 High sneakers.
It’s a simple outfit that demonstrates a few core principles.
Firstly, branding. Sure, it’s an expensive cardigan and limited-edition sneakers he’s rocking but they’re not so outrageously branded that it screams ‘I’m rich’. While MGK has plenty of designer brands in his wardrobe – and a quick scroll of his Instagram will show how eye-catching his tastes are – he tends to eschew anything that’s overly branded. Instead, he lets pieces speak for themselves.
Secondly, he’s got his finger on the pulse in regards to the next big fashion trend: 80s Americana. Just as his recent musical pivot towards pop-punk has been inspired by popular 80s acts like Bad Religion, The Ramones and Screeching Weasel, MGK’s sartorial tastes also nod towards the sort of timeless fashion of that era, too – with a distinctly modern edge. As 2021 rolls on, this sort of suburban Americana throwback will continue to gain momentum: MGK’s cresting that wave.
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Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, he just doesn’t give a f*ck. Confidence is the most important ingredient when it comes to style, and MGK has that in spades. (It’s a punk thing, we guess) It’s a lesson worth taking note of, no matter who you are or how you like to dress, frankly. Back yourself, and you’ll look good. Except maybe if you’re wearing Crocs.