“Many of the men in Greek mythology were warriors or soldiers or gods who had used their strength, and then there was Cupid, who was poetic and beautiful,” says Machine Gun Kelly, real name Colson Baker, as we get manicures together.
I wanted to know the inspiration behind several of his major beauty looks over the years — the black tongue, the pearl tears, and adorned ears, the extended claws that resembled a punk-rock Babadook. When covering a red carpet, it’s mostly pomp and circumstance with little visual punch, so covering Baker over the years has been a treat. Perhaps there was influence from artists like David Bowie, Dave Navarro, or Gerard Way? Hell, maybe Shangela or MannyMUA got his juices flowing? (Sadly, I didn’t get around to asking if he watches RuPaul’s Drag Race or YouTube Beauty Reviews.) Nay. ‘Twas the boyish winged archer.
“I wonder what a world of Cupids [would] look like instead of just people falling into what they think we have to be as ‘men,'” he tells me. “Strength comes in how you honor your word, not what you literally can do with your hands. That’s an art.”
Baker, I learn, is obsessed with art. Collecting art, nail art, his personal art — music, acting, creating. His most recent purchase? A $20,000 book signed by Picasso, which was purchased from a secret bookstore in Greece. In our three hours together, I learned a lot about the 31-year-old musician as he was delightfully giving with personal details: he was born premature, which is why he’s a Taurus, not a Gemini — something his girlfriend, Megan Fox, says “fits him.”
He’s “a lifer” with Pete Davidson despite the top Google search about him at the moment being “Are MGK and Pete Davidson still friends?” (He confirmed their bond with a FaceTime to Davidson). He’s a concerned father, stopping the interview several times to make sure his daughter’s outfit options for the American Music Awards (AMAs) felt her age. He often follows up appropriate requests, like gently asking for quiet on set, with “respectfully.” It seems he’s ultimately a lover. Considering Fox calls him “Blonde Angel Baby,” this Cupid influence appears to be perfectly on-brand… with the exception being that Baker is a 6’4″ gentle giant. (And fully clothed.)