Have You Heard: Machine Gun Kelly

Between their sports teams, economy, and weather there aren’t many things Clevelanders can brag about; however, up and coming lyricist Machine Gun Kelly is quickly changing that as he fights his way in the the Hip-Hop realm.

Born in 1990 as Colson Baker, his family relocated numerous times throughout his childhood. He moved from his birthplace of Houston, to Egypt, Denver, Chicago, and Los Angeles, before finally settling in Cleveland in 2003. He was turned on to Hip-Hop in fourth grade in an attempt to fit in at his predominantly black school and eventually began earning the respect of his peers in hip-hop battles.

Modeling his style after another Cleveland group, The Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, he perfected a rapid-fire flow, rat-a-tat-tat delivery, and explosive lyrics earning himself the moniker Machine Gun Kelly (MGK).

As an unsigned artist MGK has been independently releasing tracks and mixtapes for the past few years all of which have been received by critics and fans with great respect. The release of his mixtape 100 Words And Running which features famous industry beats such as “Let The Beat Build,” “Empire State of Mind,” and “Run This Town,” generated a great deal of buzz. He would solidify himself as an established artist with the release of his first full length effort titled Homecoming.

Most recently he released his mixtape Lace Up in November 2010 complete with a release party and concert at Cleveland’s Grog Shop. Lace Up features some of his most impressive work to date including the tracks “Salute,” “Chip Off The Block,” “Alice In Wonderland,” and hometown homage “Cleveland.”

His impeccable speed, smooth delivery, and intelligent lyrics that concern topics other than hoes and crime help him shine in a Hip-Hop industry that at times can be repetitive and ignorant. The question isn’t whether or not he will break into the nationwide Hip-Hop scene, but when.

Check out his videos for “Chip Off The Block” and “Cleveland” below and download a free copy of his 100 Words And Running mixtape.

Machine Gun Kelly – “Chip Off The Block”

Machine Gun Kelly feat. Dubo – “Cleveland”