Born Colson “Kelly” Baker on April 22, 1990 in Houston, TX the 6’3″ blonde hair boy wonder, has wowed audiences for the past three years. His lyrical style of quick words that explode like gunfire earned him the moniker Machine Gun in front of his Kelly.
The high-energy 17-year-old doesn’t waste time on songs that he can’t put his heart into. His sure to be a hit, release single “Hustler’s Motivation” is a prime example of where this young man is coming from.
At an early age MGK, Machine Gun Kelly, and his father moved to Denver. He used rap as a way to fit in. By the time he was 12, MGK entered a battle with high school kids, and won!
His experience of being the only white kid in an all ethnic environment is “the foundation of my life and why I choose to put my heart in every word” stated Kelly, “being white makes me work harder at the game.” “I know this is a Black man’s game and I have to be better than they expect me to be.”
This smart performer uses his disadvantage to his advantage. He knows people see Eminem wanna be and uses it to get the attention needed to show what Machine Gun Kelly is all about.
This independent artist who is currently waiting to be signed to a label, has opened for fellow veteran rappers like Bone Thugs In Harmony, Crime Rob, and Young Joc. His following has lead to him being nominated for Best New Artist at the Ohio Hip-Hop Awards for 2007.
I asked MGK how he was discovered. His first response was a little chuckle which lead to this story. It was four years ago and it was his first day in Cleveland. He walked into Sly Airbrush to get a shirt made and
discovered that Sly, the store owner, was also a manager and producer. The next day he returned to the store with a demo in his hand and a gleam in his eye. Sly listened to the demo and declined the then very young Kelly.
The next day Sly came to open the store, there was MGK sitting and waiting for him. Persistence and determination now his motivation, everyday for four months he was in the store until Sly agreed to hire him…as retail staff. After a few months of prodding, Sly finally agreed to work with Kelly.
MGK is a clean-cut, disciplined hip hop artist who knows the value of fans and being sincere. He is as real as it gets. He admits he’s not “gangsta”, but “I’ve been through some things.” Being raised in a single parent home and moving a lot with his father gave him the “things” to write about. The now straight A student at Shaker Heights H.S. in Ohio is quick witted and has been in constant motion since my arrival.
A few bypassers stop in Sly Airbrush noticing something is going on, only to realize it is MGK causing the commotion. Yep, you guessed it we were interrupted by fans…who knew! This lead to an impromptu performance of “Hustler’s Motivation”, it was then that I saw that look.
I’ve only seen that look in a performer’s eye twice. The first time was in Beyonce and again in DMX. Machine Gun Kelly comes out with a bang when he raps and Kelly fades away. I found myself listening with my mouth open and noticed that everything in the room, but MGK, stopped.
After receiving fans he walks back over to me and I ask, what song inspired him to want to rap. He immediately fired “We Right Here by DMX”. I laughed and said “you get the same look in your eye that he has when performing.” The look he gave me after that statement I had just made wasn’t as unique as the one I got when I asked about his fan club “my what? I have a fan club, on Myspace? I didn’t know that.”
When asked how he feels about being in the music biz in Cleveland he responded “if you can make it here you can make it anywhere. Cleveland is a tough town.” “Being in the Midwest just makes me work harder. I want to put it on the map and shake up the East Coast-West Coast talk.”
Based on his newly released CD, Stamp of Approval, he has the power to do just that. The CD took him three years to complete. Working diligently with beat master Jay Price and taking direction from his manager Sly Airbrush, Machine Gun Kelly is a weapon to be reckoned with. This 17 years young rapper is on a direct path to reach his goal, to be on top by age 21.