Machine Gun Kelly, January 26 at Revolution Live

In 2012, melanin levels are no longer much of a factor in overground rap credibility. See, for example, the success of Yelawolf, on the one hand, plying a trunk-rattling Southern sound and, on the other, the lighthearted "frat rap" of Mac Miller. Now entering the mainstream fray is Machine Gun Kelly, who falls somewhere in the middle of that sound spectrum. The Cleveland native, who proudly sports a chest tattoo declaring himself "established in 1990," is just thin and cute enough for female appeal. His sound, though, is unapologetically hard and fast, more Southern than Midwestern. Kelly, known as MGK for short, specializes in spit-fire, nimble-tongued lines à la Busta and Twista. Lyrically, those add up to the usual braggadocio and posturing, but seeing as he's barely of drinking age, it's likely his skills will develop over time.

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Arielle Castillo
Contact: Arielle Castillo