Was Eminem and Machine Gun Kelly’s feud fake – or just bad?

Rappers Machine Gun Kelly, left, and Eminem went head-to-head with diss track records aimed at each other.

Is this the last time you’ll ever have to read something about Eminem versus Machine Gun Kelly? Perhaps – if we’re all lucky.

After weeks of treating each other like mortal enemies, the rappers’ feud ended as fast as it started, its lifespan beginning with the release of Eminem’s album “Kamikaze” on Aug. 31 and seemingly concluding with MGK’s EP “Binge” on Sept. 21. Neither rapper has come out against the other since the EP’s release: MGK said in an interview leading up to the album that he and Eminem haven’t resolved their differences but that he’s done releasing diss tracks.

It has been quite a convenient summer for the two artists, with a feud that spanned precisely from one of their releases to the other and scored both the kind of breathless coverage and streaming numbers that neither artist has seen in years. It’s a marketing campaign that played out almost as if, as many fans speculated online, their drama was manufactured.

To recap the rappers’ big month, Eminem pulled the first punch – well, really more like a poke – with a line on “Kamikaze,” his surprise album that initially made headlines on its release for the rapper once again using gay slurs, this time referring to his fellow rapper Tyler, the Creator on a track called “Fall.” Controversy began to mount, but luckily enough for Eminem – who eventually apologized for the slur – another less-unflattering news cycle quickly bubbled up around another “Kamikaze” track to replace it in the headlines, this one centered on his “Not Alike,” which dedicated an entire verse to MGK’s various crimes against him.

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More:Why Eminem and Machine Gun Kelly’s rap beef is uniquely terrible.

Related:Machine Gun Kelly cashes in on Eminem feud with terrible new EP ‘Binge’.

As if on cue, MGK released his own diss track “Rap Devil,” which became his first solo track to crack the Hot 100, as the rapper seized on the feud as some sort of a generational struggle, telling audiences that a battle between the past and the (expletive) future.” With fan and media interest in the feud at its peak, Eminem responded with his follow-up track “Killshot.” The song earned him his highest-charting single since 2013 and the splashy title of “biggest hip-hop debut in YouTube history” – a distinction “Killshot” likely wouldn’t have achieved if it wasn’t a YouTube exclusive for its first 24 hours.

Meanwhile, the feud continued to be devoid of redeeming moments, an exhausting circus of incidents that included MGK telling an unwitting audience to throw their middle fingers up, then claiming on Instagram that they were all flipping off Eminem. Eminem fans responded by allegedly doctoring audio of an audience booing MGK, and a parade of hip-hop names (50 Cent, G-Eazy, Iggy Azalea, Jay Electronica, Joe Budden and more) chimed in to stake their own claims in the drama, with actor Gabriel ‘G-Rod’ Rodriguez claiming he got in a physical altercation with MGK’s associates over his diss tracks.

Both rappers went quiet after MGK’s “Binge” came out. Its release was announced the week before, presumably to capitalize on whatever interest remained in their feud. Sales numbers for the EP – 25,000 units in its first week – seemed to show there wasn’t much.

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Nevertheless, MGK and Eminem walked away with a boatload of press, hundreds of thousands more music streams and a few new charts distinctions each, which should make their shared record label Interscope very happy. Their Interscope brethren aside, the fact that producer Ronny J has production credits on both “Not Alike” and “Rap Devil” had skeptical fans convinced that MGK and Eminem’s tidily conducted feud was all a ruse.

Yet, marketing stunt or not, MGK and Eminem are both here, and we all the losers – at least of the brain cells we wasted on this pointless exchange.

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