Usually when a musician disappears from the spotlight for a few years, he or she has to consciously build the momentum back up. That is not the case with Machine Gun Kelly. Though it’s been three years since his last album, he is reemerging on the scene with a highly anticipated new album (“General Admission,” out this fall), a naked photoshoot for Inked magazine and paparazzi trailing him and girlfriend Amber Rose. His 1.5 million Instagram followers haven’t gone anywhere.

“Part of being a fan is waiting,” Kelly says. “Fourteen year olds growing up in 2015 don’t know what it’s like to be a true fan because social media makes [celebrities] too accessible. They demand a response. I wanted to give [fans] a moment of anticipation, like what I felt from my favorite artists growing up.”
 
Straight from his journal
While Kelly’s music has always been rooted in story-telling, he says his new album in particular gives deeply personal, specific details about what he’s been facing the past few years. “[I experienced] a lot of happy moments, a lot of painful moments and some reality checks,” he says. 
 
“There were some moments of seeing five missed calls from my daughter because we were supposed to Facetime, but I got so caught up in recording and getting high that I completely forgot.”
 
Struggling to stay sober
The rapper has been open with his struggles of being addicted to heroin and though he has attended rehab in the past after his habit led him to homelessness, he says he is still using drugs. “It’s just part of the lifestyle. Being on 10-hour drives and late nights leads to temptations. You just can’t escape it.”
 
On that whole Meek Mill/Drake beef
Still, there’s plenty about hip-hop culture that he loves, like the fighting words rappers can’t help but throw at each other. When asked what he thinks about the drama going down between Drake and his friend and collaborator Meek Mill, Kelly says, “I love it. That’s what hip-hop is all about. Hip-hop is about being a pit-bull and going for the top spot.” And now that he’s back in the spotlight, he’s ready for haters to take their shot. “I can’t wait for someone to try that bulls—t with me.”
 
If you go:
New York City
Aug. 13, 8 p.m.
Best Buy Theater
1515 Broadway, 212-930-1950
 
Philadelphia
August 14, 8 p.m.
Theater of the Living Arts
334 South St., 215-922-1011
 
Boston
Aug. 15, 8 p.m.
Palladium
261 Main St., Worchester
 
Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmLaurence