Machine Gun Kelly: Easter Eggs, Backstory and Reaction to 'Papercuts'

Machine Gun Kelly's new single just dropped online and it's already got fans excited for the album to come.

"Papercuts" is taken from his upcoming record Born With Horns, which will be yet another collaborative project with Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker. Barker also appears in the music video which is directed by internet sensation Cole Bennett.

The video and the song feature a number of meaningful references to Kelly's life and to other pop culture phenomena. Here's a rundown of everything to know about Kelly's new single "Papercuts."

Easter Eggs in "Papercuts" lyrics and music video

Machine Gun Kelly had teased his fans that he'd shaved his head for the upcoming music video of "Papercuts," and in the opening shot it looks like he's made good on his promise. Looking like a character straight out of Mad Max: Fury Road, the newly bald Kelly is seen riding a motorcycle with giant horns while dressed in a jewel encrusted leather jacket. The giant horns on the motorcycle may be a reference to his upcoming album Born With Horns.

The next set piece sees Kelly playing a guitar shirtless and wearing a kilt, which could be a nod to the novelty gift he and girlfriend Megan Fox received. Kelly's agent bestowed the title of Lord and Lady upon the couple when he gifted them a piece of Scottish land for his 31st birthday.

Twenty-six seconds into the music video and a wall of papers start to swirl around Kelly. It's a scene reminiscent of the cartoon Avatar the Last Airbender, but as Kelly stated on Twitter the day before the release, when he was a kid he tried to go "super saiyan hella times," so it could be a Dragon Ball Z reference.

when i was 10 i tried to turn super saiyan hella times

— blonde don (@machinegunkelly) August 11, 2021

Forty-two seconds into the "Papercuts" music video and Kelly takes on another extravagant costume change. This time he's wearing a sparkly pair of braces and trousers and walks along the Hollywood Walk of Fame, stepping on his own star on the sidewalk. This star doesn't exist in real life and could be a throwback to his own song "Hollywood Whore" in 2019.

Machine Gun Kelly
Machine Gun Kelly wears a kilt and sports a bald cap in the music video for his new song "Papercuts." YouTube

In a more surreal scene, Kelly plays a giant guitar on stilts while surrounded by colorful characters like clowns, aliens and furry animals. Behind him, Travis Barker plays the drums on top of a pile of clouds. When the camera zooms in on Barker you can see he's wearing a beanie hat with Mickey Mouse ears on top.

The lyrics in the song seem to take aim at the entertainment industry. In the chorus he repeats that he signed a deal and then got papercuts.

Fans worrying that Machine Gun Kelly had shaved his hair for real have their fears alleviated at the 1 minute, 40 seconds mark when he reveals it was just a bald cap.

The story behind the "Papercuts" music video

Cole Bennett directed the music video and he's becoming well-known in the music industry after working with dozens of big names. He's collaborated with the likes of Kanye West, Eminem, Juice Wrld and Lil Mosey, all before the age of 25.

Bennett and Kelly shared plenty of back and forth on Twitter, revealing behind the scenes pictures and teased fans about the project to come.

i recognize this set…

— blonde don (@machinegunkelly) August 5, 2021

Bennett's multimedia company Lyrical Lemonade has gained over 8.2 billion views across all of its music videos on YouTube.

🤭 https://t.co/grCAuGXigj

— blonde don (@machinegunkelly) June 14, 2021

Machine Gun Kelly reunites with Travis Barker again for the song and music video, after previously working together on singles like "Pull Breaker" and "I Think I'm Okay," as well as Kelly's recent album Tickets to My Downfall.

To mark the collaboration on the upcoming album Born With Horns, the pair got matching tattoos.

“born with horns” the album. back for round two… pic.twitter.com/UJN4rCkudv

— blonde don (@machinegunkelly) August 9, 2021

Fan reaction to "Papercuts"

Early reactions to the new track and video have been overwhelmingly positive from Kelly's fan base on Twitter and from his celebrity pals on Instagram.

Many blue-ticked users called the track "fire" when Kelly posted it to his Instagram, while multiple producers and content creators praised the video's art and originality.

Hundreds of MGK fans took to Twitter to praise the video with many sharing their individual favorite moments.

@lifebymgk said she's "ready to ascend while listening to papercuts," @anegativecreep_ wrote that she "loved every frame," while @eldiablobea said "papercuts made me so emotions" followed by a crying emoji.

The "Papercuts" music video is available to watch online now while the song is available to buy, stream and download too. There's no news as to when Kelly's new album Born With Horns will be released yet.