emo girl, MGK ft WILLOW
Bad Boy / Interscope
Does MGK deserve his place in emo history? Listening to emo girl, who cares. The debate is over, destroyed with a tune that’s a ridiculous banger helmed by not pop-punk Godfather Travis Barker this time, but upstart icon WILLOW. A track than unapologetically belts out “I FELL IN LOVE WITH AN EMO GIRL… ALL I WANT IS… EMO GIRL!” is so yell-along-able and self-aware that it makes it impossible not to stomach any chagrin over Slipknot and Doc Martens and bop along.
Fundamentally, as with MGK’s 2020 album Tickets To My Downfall, emo girl is just a pop-punk banger. It’s true that MGK learned from the best, from Bert McCracken to Travis Barker to blackbear, and his blend of emo rap with pop-punk and stomping classic riffs and infectious choruses has seen him stomp into the current alt zeitgeist. And emo girl takes the best of it, throws it into a Long Island Iced Tea of alternative calling cards, and churns out Bloody Valentine: The Reboot, fittingly heralding MGK and Megan Fox’s engagement (the emo girl in question? Fair enough). The chorus basically consists of one line, making it the perfect scream-in-an-emo-club-not-so-ironically bop, and packs tongue-in-cheek innuendo to match 2000s Blink.
The star moment of the track is definitely WILLOW’s part – and MGK knows this, and hands this iconic emo girl the mic. Leading the charge of the future of alt, WILLOW’s verse introduces more details about our emo dream girl, pinpointing emo calling cards from the ‘eyeliner on her dark skin’ to the songs she plays in the car (“you won’t understand”), being unapologetic about mental health (“you’re depressed baby that makes two of us”). It’s ridiculously familiar and nostalgic in itself – and WILLOW’s soaring delivery makes it an anthem.
They’ve pulled it off – a song called emo girl – with panache. We love it. And if you don’t – even a tiny bit, even for the fun hilarity of it – we don’t believe you. Give emo a chance!
emo girl is out now. And MGK’s next album Mainstream Sellout is out in March.