Machine Gun Kelly Opens Up About His Trauma and Struggles in "Life in Pink" Doc

Content warning: this post discusses suicide.

Machine Gun Kelly has given his life story the Hulu documentary treatment. Directed by Sam Cahill, "Life in Pink" — which premiered on June 28 — offers an in-depth look at the "Twin Flame" musician (born Colson Baker), tracing the dramatic highs and lows of his life and storied career. Hulu's new documentary, billed as an "all-access pass," shares MGK's most intimate thoughts about "tackling noise from the outside world, stardom, fatherhood, and more," per its synopsis.

Beyond his career, "Life in Pink" also takes a candid look at some of the biggest battles MGK has encountered in life — including death, drugs, childhood trauma, and a suicide attempt.

Hulu released the trailer for the documentary on June 16, a two-and-a-half-minute clip that describes MGK as "this generation's most polarizing rock star." "My life wasn't always like this," he says at the top of the trailer. "I just don't think anyone saw me coming."

MGK serves as an executive producer for the doc, along with Diddy, Stephen Astephen, Andre Cisco, Ashleigh Veverka, and John Janick. "Life in Pink" features appearances from MGK's soon-to-be wife, Megan Fox; friend Travis Barker; 12-year-old daughter, Casie Colson Baker; and late father.

"Life in Pink" comes on the heels of MGK's real-life-inspired stoner comedy, "Good Mourning," created alongside Mod Sun and premiered on May 20. The movie marked both artists' screenwriting and directorial debuts. MGK is also starring in another film titled "Taurus," which premiered at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival in June. Now, with "Life in Pink," MGK has added another film credit to his résumé.

Ahead, read everything we learned from MGK's compelling "Life in Pink" documentary.

If you or a loved one are experiencing suicidal ideation or are at risk, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has several resources and a 24/7 lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.


  • The media previously overlooked MGK's music due to his "antics" and "attitude." While MGK's fans loved his 2019 "Hotel Diablo" album, the rock star noticed that the media didn't give him the same praise. "The fans loved it — my first album worth a billion streams — but for some reason, the media chose to write me off," he says in the documentary. "Whether it be my antics or attitude, the actual music would kinda get looked over." As a result of not getting the approval he sought, MGK got "deep into drugs" during his "self-sabotage" phase. "Maybe I sabotage myself on purpose because I just feel not worthy of being loved," he adds.
  • MGK's childhood trauma had a profound impact on him as an adult. In the documentary, MGK candidly opens up about some of the tragedies he experienced as a child and even now in his adult life — including his grandfather's death in a shooting. "I can see why my dad was so depressed because it kind of passed on through generations to him," Casie remarks of her father's trauma. MGK adds: "The wound's too deep to heal. I kind of just transfer all my focus into drowning out my own pain with noise, music, [and] this new acceptance that I found from people who related to me from the words I would write."
  • The pandemic helped restore MGK's passion for his music, fueling his newfound rock-star path. While the pandemic and 2020 lockdown put most of the world on pause, MGK went into overdrive with his music and found lots of success while performing from his home. "I was dropping quarantine session after quarantine session. I was just recording and making videos," he explains. "I saw with 'I Think I'm Okay' that it took us back in time to when life was not so difficult."
  • MGK and Fox found love and grew close during the 2020 lockdown. "Right when I actually got into my relationship, no one could f*cking move, there were no shows," MGK explains of his and Fox's romance. "She met me and never even got to see me do the one thing that I accepted myself for." MGK reveals that he was adamant about showing off his performance skills to Fox to prove that he was "cool," but the actor had already fallen for him as a person — not the musician. "Meanwhile, she's like, 'Dude, I love you,'" MGK adds.

  • MGK's feud with Slipknot's Corey Taylor started over a failed collaboration. The musician breaks down how he and Taylor went from being almost collaborators to enemies — starting with a song they were working on for his "Tickets to My Downfall" album. "I kind of tried to give notes back like, 'Oh, this wasn't exactly what I was looking for, can we try this?'" MGK explains. "Respectfully, he was like, 'No,' and I was like, 'Oh OK, cool. So we didn't use it." Both artists' comments in the media only fueled their feud, which hit a breaking point during MGK's appearance at the 2021 Louder Than Life festival — where he got into a fight with an audience member and encountered an angry crowd due to his remarks about Taylor. "It was like a war zone as soon as we would touch the stage," MGK adds.
  • MGK felt guilt over his father's death. MGK lost his father on July 5, 2020 — on the one-year anniversary of his "Hotel Diablo" album. In the documentary, MGK opens up about his father's final days in the hospital and the last thing he said to him. "I had this conversation with him, even though he was clearly checking out," he starts. "But I turned around and I was like, 'Dad, I love you so much and I'm so sorry for how we lived this life together, [but] we'll do it better on the next one.' I went to close the door and I saw him, he had the biggest smile on his face 'cause he thought he was in heaven. He thought I was an angel visiting him as his son . . . he just goes, 'What a trip.'"
  • MGK used to sleep with a shotgun next to his bed because he was scared someone was going to try to kill him. MGK notes that he went to his father's apartment to clear all his things out following his death and had a "really weird interaction" with his neighbor, who "told me all these things I didn't want to hear." The incident left MGK extremely paranoid, to the point where he only felt safe with a gun next to him while he slept. "One of the days I just f*cking snapped," he recalls of a time his fiancée was out of town shooting a movie. "I called Megan and I was like, 'You aren't here for me.' I'm in my room and I'm freaking out on her. Dude, I put the shotgun in my mouth and I'm yelling on the phone . . . I got to cock the shotgun and the bullet, as it comes back up, the shell just gets jammed . . . That was where I started realizing something's not right [with me]."
  • MGK's relationship with Fox inspired him to be more romantic in his music. MGK has made it known that Fox is the inspiration behind some of his love songs like "Twin Flame" and "Banyan Tree (Interlude)," which is why he prefers to gift her those instead of material things, like flowers, that don't last. "Megan became like the sun to me, the one that I revolve around and gives me life and helps me grow," he says of their sweet romance. "That's what makes me write those songs . . . it's just like the passion between us is otherworldly. I know I've known her so many other lifetimes."

  • MGK's passion for his music had a negative impact on his relationships with friends, family, and his daughter, Casie. In the documentary, Casie recalls her father's obsession with having a No. 1 album, so much so that it pulled him away from her. "He has to get the top and the best of literally everything, and it's sometimes so annoying and so damaging," she says. ". . . he's so focused on the number, and he's so focused on that one thing, that he blocks everything and he stops caring about everything around him." She also mentioned that after MGK stopped dealing with drugs, he transferred that addiction to other things like his career — which caused him to miss out on spending quality time with her.
  • MGK's perfectionism helped him realize that fatherhood should be his number-one priority. MGK obsessed so much over making his "Mainstream Sellout" album No. 1 that it pushed a lot of people in his life away. He soon realized he needed to reevaluate his priorities in life and his career. He says, "It feels like I've dug a little too deep of a hole in that section of my life, and I really need to get the f*ck out of it and dig more into what matters most, which is being a great father."
  • MGK's friends and family believe Fox has been a positive influence on the musician's life. MGK has been vocal about how much Fox has impacted his life for the better, but even his friends and family see the difference she's made. "Megan being there is a good comfort to him because she also helps him get through all of his being sad and having anxiety," Casie says. Slimxx adds: "I feel like Megan is the light that he kind of needed in his life, the light that he's been searching for."
  • MGK's current focus is being his daughter's "number-one supporter." Through all the ups and downs, MGK shares that he understands what's most important in his life aside from music — his daughter, Casie. "The most important thing, and I forget this a lot of time, is [that] it's about memories that you create with them. I can't waste any more of those times 'cause now she needs me," he says. "I need to be able to help her blossom into the person she's going to become. She's the future of my legacy, and she's going to create her own. I want to be her biggest fan."
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Machine Gun Kelly's "Life in Pink" Trailer