Artist of the Week: Machine Gun Kelly

Posted on October 9, 2012 by

Victoria Abraham defines one up and coming artist each week so you can impress your friends with your musical brilliance. This week, she tackles Machine Gun Kelly, a hip-hop artist from Cleveland, Ohio.

Machine Gun Kelly, known as MGK for short, combines two of my favourite things: white rappers with mad skills, and illegal amounts of swagger. At 15, his rapid-fire lyrical style earned him his stage name, which is a reference to notorious 1930s gangster George “Machine Gun Kelly” Barnes. MGK has been blowing up on the hip-hop scene after releasing four mixtapes. His debut album, Lace Up, drops today!

Full name: Richard Colson Baker

Known for: MGK is known for his lightning speed delivery.

Used in a sentence: “If MGK continues to produce the type of brilliance he has thus far, then he’s probably going to have to change that dangerously placed “Almost Famous” tattoo.”

File next to: DMX, Yelawolf

Download now: “Invincible”

Five fun facts:

1. Born to missionary parents, MGK spent the first four years of his life in Egypt. He spoke Arabic before he spoke English.

2. He calls his home recording studio the “Rage Cage.”

3. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony inspired his signature rapid-fire rap style. He was the first white rapper ever to win the Apollo Theater talent show. In fact, he won twice.

4. He is not a fan of modern day hip-hop culture.

5. He has a four-year old daughter named Casie.


2006-2010 MGK released his first mixtape, Stamp of Approval in 2006, Homecoming followed in 2008, then 100 Words and Running in 2010, and Lace Up also in 2010.

2011 MTV named him the Hottest Breakthrough MC of 2011. In August, MGK was signed to Interscope and Bad Boy Records. That same year her participated in the SXSW show in Austin, Texas.

2012 In March, he won the MTVu Breaking Woodie award. That same month, MGK released his EP, Half Naked & Almost Famous.

Notable lyrics: These lyrics speak for themselves.

As my world turns, the heart beats/Not only in my chest, but the heart in the streets/So when they feel this, they feel me/But I can’t feel nothin’, outside these Dre Beats/I am from the city of people, came from the bottom/Standing on top of what was supposed to be my coffin, what’s up?/Except for shows, we are the dead man walkin’/But reflections show this kid’s still got it


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2 Responses to “Artist of the Week: Machine Gun Kelly”

  1. Ca$ey'$cUrrUptIOn says:

    I have just now stumbled upon this young man’s music. I am impressed, to say the least. I am not sure if he will be able to rise above the level that he is on though. His pain is his message, that and hope for those that feel their existence is futile, but I wonder if he wil be able to move beyond it? What will his message be once the memory fades?
    Personally I hope he transcends this plane and continues to make the industry “Lace Up” just to keep up.

  2. will barton says:

    i wont to meet mgk

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