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Content warning: This post discusses suicide.
In his new Hulu documentary, “Life in Pink,” Colson Baker, better known as Machine Gun Kelly, offers an intimate look at some of the most memorable and most traumatic moments of his life, including a suicide attempt following his father’s death. As an adolescent, Kelly was rebellious, creating a strained relationship with his father that lasted for years. When his dad became sick in 2019, the “Bloody Valentine” singer went to visit him, stirring up complex emotions that Kelly shared on Twitter. “flew out to see my dad today. broke down in my daughters arms when i saw him,” he wrote on Dec. 24, 2019. “I should’ve told him that I loved him years ago. breaks my f*ckin heart that we wasted all this time . . . “
“My father took his last breath this morning, and I’ve never felt a pain this deep in my life.”
On the one-year anniversary of his fourth studio album, “Hotel Diablo,” Kelly announced that his father had died that same morning. “i had plans for the one year anniversary of Hotel Diablo today,” he tweeted on July 5, 2020. “that album was everything i wanted to say and i know it’s close to my fans. but my father took his last breath this morning, and i’ve never felt a pain this deep in my life.”
Halfway through the documentary, which was released on June 28, the “Papercuts” singer candidly explained the dark spiral he went into following his father’s death. “I flew to my dad’s apartment to clear all this stuff out. I had this really weird interaction with this neighbor who told me all these things I didn’t want to hear,” he said in the film, according to People. “That f*cked me up even more because I couldn’t get closure on it. I wouldn’t leave my room and I started getting really, really, really dark.”
At the time, Kelly was reliant on drugs to cope with his grief. While his then-girlfriend, Megan Fox, was out of the country filming a movie in Bulgaria, Kelly “snapped” and threatened to take his own life. “I kept getting paranoid that someone was gonna come and kill me,” he said. “I would always sleep with a shotgun next to my bed, and like, one of the days, I just f*cking snapped. I called Megan, I was like, ‘You aren’t here for me.’ I’m in my room and I’m like freaking out on her and, dude, I put the shotgun in my mouth and I’m yelling on the phone and like the barrel’s in my mouth. I go to cock the shotgun and the bullet as it comes back up, the shell just gets jammed. Megan’s like dead silent.”
Following the incident, Fox and Kelly’s 12-year-old daughter, Casie Colson Baker, openly discussed the external impact of his drug dependency and persuaded him to seek help. “They simultaneously came at me with this like, ‘I want to like, be able to see in your eyes. I don’t want to like be talking to you through a veil anymore. I want to see you as my father and I want to see you as my husband-to-be,'” he said. “I was like, ‘I need to kick the drugs, for real this time.'”
Despite the dark periods he’s endured, Kelly added that his current drug of choice is “happiness and commitment to the art, rather than commitment to a vice that I believed made the art. I’m taking steps. I had my first therapy session last Thursday. That’s the first time I ever went, ‘Hey, I need to separate these two people,’ which is Machine Gun Kelly and Colson Baker. The dichotomy is too intense for me.”
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.