White Rappers

Machine Gun Kelly

Machine Gun Kelly Rapper Image

Richard Colson Baker (born April 22, 1990), better known by his stage names MGK and Machine Gun Kelly, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, and actor from Cleveland, Ohio. In 2011, he signed a record deal with Bad Boy, under the aegis of Interscope. He released his debut album Lace Up, an EP titled Half Naked & Almost Famous, and his second studio album General Admission.

Years Active: 2009-present
Label: Bad Boy
Best Known Song: “Wild Boy”

“A typical Machine Gun Kelly show is one where you fear for his safety. The Cleveland-born rapper climbs things he shouldn’t, crowd-surfs standing up, and hangs off uncertain scaffolding. So naturally the Bad Boy signed with Diddy. (Don’t hurt yourself!) He’s also recently traded verses with DMX (“I Don’t Dance”) and held a chainsaw on XXL’s 2012 Freshman cover. Safety is not an option.” – Complex Media on Machine Gun Kelly

Record deal and Lace Up

In May 2010, he made his national debut with the single “Alice in Wonderland”, which was released on iTunes and accompanied a music video along with the song. It was released via Block Starz Music. The single earned MGK the “Best Midwest Artist” at the 2010 Underground Music Awards and his “Alice in Wonderland” clip won Best Music Video at the 2010 Ohio Hip-Hop Awards. He released his second mixtape in November 2010 titled Lace Up which featured the hometown anthem “Cleveland”, which was then played at Cleveland Cavaliers home games and went on rotation on Z107.9 in Cleveland. The mixtape was recorded in three months in 2010 during a creative burst. Following the success of the mixtape, which garnered him national exposure, he became featured in the magazine XXL in 2011. He then appeared on the Juicy J track Inhale which also featured Steve-O from the television series Jackass in the music video.

In March 2011, MGK participated in his first SXSW show in Austin, Texas, and at the show, he was approached by Sean Combs, who had offered MGK a recording contract with Bad Boy Records, which is associated with and has its content distributed by Interscope. Prior to the contract, he was featured on the XV song “Finally Home”. After signing for Bad Boy, MGK released the music video for the song “Wild Boy”, which featured Waka Flocka Flame and was produced by GB Hitz. The duo appeared on BET’s 106 & Park to promote the single. In mid-2011, MGK signed a deal with Young and Reckless Clothing and then announced a studio release for his first EP, Half Naked & Famous, on Twitter. On February 2, 2012, he tweeted from his official Twitter page, hinting on a March release for the EP. He stated:

Once March hits… it’s gonna be a wild ride for all of us. We’re gonna watch something we’ve seen come from the bottom rise way up. LTFU.

Half Naked & Almost Famous released on March 20, 2012, and debuted at 46 on the Billboard 200 with 8,500 copies sold in its first week. As of August 2012, it sold 36,500 copies.

MGK announced via an official statement that his debut album would be titled Lace Up, and would have an intended release on October 9, 2012. “Wild Boy” served as the promotional single for the album and the song debuted on the US Billboard Hot 100 at number 98. It was soon certified gold by the RIAA. The song “Invincible” was released on iTunes on December 16, 2011 featuring co-writer and singer Ester Dean as the second single of the album. The song is featured in a commercial for the HTC ReZound as well as the official theme song of WrestleMania XXVIII. WWE also used the song to highlightJohn Cena in his match with at the event, with MGK also performing at WrestleMania prior to the main event. “Invincible” is also currently the theme for Thursday Night Football on the NFL network. WWE also used the song “Invincible” to again highlight Cena on his rematch with The Rock at next year’s event. On December 14, 2011, MGK was named the Hottest Breakthrough MC of 2011 by MTV.On March 18, 2012, MGK won the MTVu Breaking Woodie award  before being featured on the cover of XXL as part of their annual “Top 10 Freshmen list” along with fellow rappers Macklemore, French Montana,Hopsin, Danny Brown, Iggy Azalea, Roscoe Dash, Future, Don Trip and Kid Ink. On August 13, 2012, MGK self-released a mixtape titled EST 4 Life, which contained both old and recently recorded material.

Lace Up was released on October 9, 2012. The album featured guest appearances from Bun B, Cassie, DMX, Ester Dean, Lil Jon, Tech N9ne, Twista, Waka Flocka Flame, Young Jeezy Dub-O excluding other. The album debuted at number 4 on the US Billboard 200, with first-week sales of 57,000 copies. It slid down to #22 in its second week, giving it a total of 65,000 copies sold. As of March 24, 2013, the album has sold 178,000 copies.

Black Flag and General Admission

In early 2012, MGK announced that he would be releasing a new mixtape. Pusha T and Meek Mill were the first artists to be featured on the mixtape, both appearing on the track “Pe$o”. MGK also announced that Wiz Khalifa will be featured on the mixtape. On February 18, 2013, MGK announced the name of the mixtape as Black Flag and revealed the cover. He also released a music video for “Champions” which features Diddy and samples The Diplomats song “We are the Champions”, as the music video release served as a promotional video for Black Flag. On June 26, MGK released Black Flag without prior announcement. The mixtape also featured guest appearances from French Montana, Kellin Quinn, Dub-O, Sean McGee and Tezo.  On June 4, 2013, MGK posted a picture of a letter on his social media accounts which read:

This project is dedicated to love, because for my entire life it has been taken from me. Granted, when it was given, I pushed it right back. I couldn’t handle it. This was until I experienced the loss of love for what I love doing most: music. That was the one thing worth fighting for, even more-so then the love of my father. I’ve found that love again. And I plan on never surrendering it. Find what you love and fight!! Black Flag.

Following the release of Black Flag, rumors surfaced that MGK had begun working on his second studio album. In January 2014, he confirmed that he was in the early stages of working on the album, with 2015 being the scheduled year of release. On January 5, 2015, MGK released the song “Till I Die”, which was accompanied with a music video on his VEVO account. Months later, a remix of “Till I Die” with hometown fellow hip-hop group Bone Thugs-n-Harmony was confirmed and released on June 5, 2015. The song aired via WorldStarHipHop and featured French Montana, Yo Gotti and Ray Cash. On May 18, 2015, the music video for another song titled “A Little More” was released, with the single featuring vocals from Victoria Monet. MGK soon had an interview with MTV, describing the reason as to why he wrote “A Little More”. Stating in the interview: “People always came up to me after the first album and a lot of my friends back home said ‘we need something for the streets’ and then I did Till I Die. Months later, when I look back at the video [for Till I Die] I [was] like ‘Okay, he’s in jail, he’s shot, he’s dead, he snitched’ and just to the point where it’s sad and I wrote the song to describe how I see the world as a much mature person.” He also updated the status on his second studio album, noting that the album is finished, and stating that the album would contain “more lyricism and [would be more] stylistically [influenced by] hip-hop but musically, sonically [would contain] more live instrumentation.”

Following MGK’s previous affiliation with the company, he made a return to WWE Raw on the June 15, 2015, episode of the show. The show was hosted in MGK’s home town of Cleveland and MGK appeared as a guest on the show, performing “Till I Die” and “A Little More”. As he finished performing, he was attacked and power-bombed through the stage by WWE wrestler Kevin Owens in a storyline. The attack was due to MGK’s previous connection with Owens’ rival, John Cena. MGK soon announced a national tour to begin in the summer of 2015, touring throughout the United States from early July to the beginning of September, with 31 planned dates throughout the course of the two months.

Following MGK’s annual EST Fest in 2014, an event where fans gather to meet and greet the rapper, MGK handed 5000 fans a card with the name of the album written on it but he did not disclose the paper as having the album name written on it. On June 25, MGK released the title of his second album as General Admission, due to be released in late September 2015. On July 23, 2015, MGK released Fuck It, a 10-track mixtape containing songs that didn’t make the final tracklist of General Admission. The mixtape was reportedly released by MGK independently following Bad Boy consistently delaying the release of General Admission. On September 10, 2015, MGK announced the release date and the album art of General Admission, stating that the album would be released on October 16 of that year. General Admission released on the described date, and debuted at number 4 on the Billboard 200, powered by first week sales 56,000 equivalent album units; it has sold 49,000 copies in its first week, with the remainder of its unit total reflecting the album’s streaming activity and track sales. The album also debuted at number one on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.

Discography

Studio albums
  • Lace Up (2012)
  • General Admission (2015)

External Links

Machine Gun Kelly on Twitter

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