Rapper Machine Gun Kelly is known for showing no fear, even in the face of legendary rapper Eminem after their feud ignited anew in 2020. Now MGK, whose real name is Colson Baker, is staring unblinkingly into the face of another challenger: the beauty world. The beauty game is hard to break into and even harder to make a name in, but MGK comes fully loaded with his own brand and unique style. The 30-year-old artist is launching his own unisex line of nail polish, UN/DN.
MGK is Only 30 But Has a Big Reputation
Baker was born April 22nd, 1990, and is a rapper, singer, songwriter, and actor. Baker released his first mixtape as a teenager in 2006, and secured his first recording contract with Bad Boy and Interscope Records in 2011. The Cleveland-grown rapper rose quickly to prominence and his Tickets to my Downfall album debuted at #1 on Billboard in 2020. MGK has achieved Platinum status several times over. His hit single “Bloody Valentine” won a 2020 MTV VMA and “My Ex’s Best Friend” featuring Blackbear sits at #1 on the Alternative charts and #10 at Top 40.
After a public and protracted feud with rap king Marshall Mathers aka Eminem, MGK has made overtures recently and says they should put their best on a track and see who comes out on top, putting an end to the years-long back and forth.
The 6’4″ crooner has starred alongside huge names like Kevin Bacon and Sam Worthington, and was the face of a campaign for John Varvatos for Fall/Winter 2017-2018.
While it may not seem a natural combination for a rapper to be a high fashion icon, it’s not unprecedented. Big Sean, Pharrell, and Puff Daddy all successfully segued their style into fashion. And Jay-Z’s Rocawear has been met with critic acclaim. But while fashion is an oft-tread path for rappers, the beauty world is not. And MGK is bravely breaking boundaries to launch his own nail polish line.
MGK’s UN/DN Line
MGK has broken stereotypes and joins the likes of Harry Styles, Bad Bunny and A$AP Rocky in donning traditionally feminine fashions like nail polish. Showing off mismatched and colorful nail art, MGK predicted in a conversation with PageSix in 2020 that the matte black and dull nail polish on male fingers will soon be a thing of the past, and now he’s taking steps to insure that’s so.
A press release for MGK’s UN/DN line excitedly shares, ” … Machine Gun Kelly has always defied norms and standards for self-expression, gaining incredible recognition with his fashion and beauty presentation. He has been recognized as a pioneer in leading the nail art trend within menswear, oftentimes embracing fresh manicures while walking on the red carpet, performing on the stage, for photo shoots and in his daily personal life, showcasing that nail art doesn’t need to be feminine or exclusively for women.
Unlisted Brand Lab, based in Laguna Beach, Ca will be partnering with Machine Gun Kelly overseeing strategic direction and executive production of UN/DN. As an innovative brand incubator, Unlisted aligns with talent and categories that are ripe for disruption, bringing them to market in creative and unexpected ways. Founder and CEO Candy Harris is excited about the project stating ‘We’re honored to be working with MGK on this rare opportunity to build a brand that will progress a category to embody a cultural shift that has been a long time coming’.
Nail Polish has always been a form of self-expression, without commitment, giving permission for a new type of consumer to explore painting outside the lines. While this beauty category was once reserved for and targeted towards women, it has recently seen a boom of men dipping into the polish trend. The global nail polish market is estimated to be a $15B opportunity in 2024. With predominantly female-led brands, the category has no clear men’s presence, allowing UN/DN to break new ground.”
Limited quantities will be available this fall, and the brand will soon release more information on the products.
What’s Next for the Rapper?
The sky’s the limit. With every album MGK releases, his talent and notoriety grows. Baker seems to consider it his duty to represent his generation and buck societal expectations, forging a path forward that doesn’t rely on, “this is how we’ve always done it.”
While we could soon see people everywhere sporting MGK nails, one has to wonder; does the artist have his eye on any other beauty niches? We’re excited to find out!