MGK Jumps “In the Mix” [DJBooth Interview Exclusive]
New York, N.Y. -- MGK (Machine Gun Kelly) may have earned his name based on his rapid-fire flows (not, as you might guess, the Prohibition-era gangster), but his rhymes aren't the only thing that's lightning fast; the Cleveland native has skyrocketed to Next Big Thing status with breakneck speed, spinning two acclaimed 2010 mixtapes, Lace Up and 100 Words & Running, into a just-announced deal with Bad Boy/Interscope. With his newfound major-label backing, the 21-year-old leader of the "EST" movement has wasted no time in getting to work on a debut studio album, also titled Lace Up and scheduled for a 2012 release. As dope as Kelly's recorded material undoubtedly is, those who want the full MGK experience need to see the man live. Fans in the NYC area can get up close and personal with the artist this Sunday, the 14th, when the artist rocks the S.O.B's stage with support from Kidz in the Hall and more. Click here to read more and purchase advance tickets!
In an exclusive, five-question interview MGK steps into the Booth to discuss how he knew that Interscope/Bad Boy was the label for him, what Diddy meant when he called Kelly's music a "movement," and why this Sunday's show is a can't-miss event.
You recently announced that you've been signed by Bad Boy and Interscope. With heavy interest from multiple labels what made this situation better than the rest?
They were the only ones, specifically Puff, that agreed to NOT touch or change my movement/project at all, just give it a bigger machine so we could spread it to the world. I don't give a f*ck about money, that will come, I give a f*ck about being able to die knowing I helped save lives and after my song Lead You On which was about heroin addiction impacted so many kids. I knew that was my purpose.
Diddy was quoted as saying that your music is a "movement." How do you describe this movement?
A bunch of troubled youth who just want to belong. We gave them something to belong to, a family, a show unlike any other, songs to escape to.
Now that your deal is official and has been announced, what does the remainder of 2011 look like for you?
Lace Up was the last mixtape I'll ever release, but I have a 5-8 song project called the RagePack being released this fall with a DVD entitled Half Naked and Almost Famous. I'm 98% finished with my debut album which will also be called Lace Up.
It has been a long time since a hip hop act mattered from Cleveland, Ohio. Why has the city struggled to produce any noteworthy talent following the rise of the Bone Thugs in the mid-to-late 90s?
Because the city is struggling period, to create and find jobs, generate revenue, our team sports are struggling, we have no attractions. It's a dying city. But musically I feel we have always had talent, but none of us want to leave to even show the outside world that we have it, and they for damn sure aren't coming here to find it. I'll change all that.
On August 14, you are headlining a DJBooth.net-presented show at SOBs. For fans who have yet to see you perform live, what makes an MGK show a true experience?
If you leave with all your clothes, you didn't rage. If you leave dry, you didn't rage. If I didn't somehow touch you physically and you were in the front rows, you didn't rage. If your voice isn't hoarse and your body isn't soar the next day, never come to my show again...