The Saturday Night Live 2021 premiere will feature John Krasinski as host and Machine Gun Kelly as musical guest. Kelly is a singer, rapper and pop cultural phenomenon known to some fans of SNL already. Others will need a quick refresher on Kelly and his reputation.
Now 30 years old, Kelly's real name is Colson Baker. He hails from Cleveland, Ohio, and started his career in rap music in 2006. He has released four studio albums and many more mixtapes, and has dabbled in genres from hip-hop to rock to punk and everywhere in between. His lyrics are generally dark, descriptive and braggadocious, with an occasional tangent of storytelling. With his bleach-blond hair and tattoos, many have compared Kelly to Eminem over the years.
Like Eminem, Kelly took the jump from music to acting when he got the chance in 2014. He has now appeared in several movies and TV shows, including Netflix's Bird Box, and the Motley Crue biopic The Dirt, where he played Tommy Lee.
Acting may have helped Kelly get his spot on SNL through his friendship with cast member Pete Davidson. Kelly co-starred with Davidson in Big Time Adolescence in 2019. The two have often been spotted out together since then, and Kelly is known to have visited Davidson at work before.
Kelly also got a major boost in notoriety when he and Eminem got into a public feud beginning in 2018. At the time, Eminem belatedly heard an off-color comment that Kelly had made about his daughter, Hailie Jade Mathers. He released a diss track called "Not Alike," which Kelly responded to with a song called "Rap Devil."
The two continued to exchange insults through music in the months that followed, and to this day Eminem occasionally references Kelly in his lyrics. The feud is likely a publicity stunt at least in part, however, and is in line with Eminem's general strategy for going viral.0comments
These days, many have re-categorized Kelly in their minds as "Megan Fox's boyfriend," if nothing else. The two began dating in June of 2020, according to a report by The Huffington Post, and by all accounts, it is getting serious. Some even expect Kelly to make some kind of bold declaration of love — perhaps even a proposal — on SNL.
Kelly has an 11-year-old daughter who features prominently in his social media output and his lyrics, showing fans his more sensitive side. At the same time, he is considered by some a mouthpiece for cannabis legalization and other drug use. Kelly brings all of this baggage and more to Studio 8H for the 2021 premiere of SNL, at 11:30 p.m. ET on NBC.