In 2012, melanin levels are no longer much of a factor in overground rap credibility. See, for example, the success of Yelawolf, plying a trunk-rattling Southern sound, on one hand, and the lighthearted, so-called "frat rap" of Mac Miller on the other. Now entering the mainstream fray is Machine Gun Kelly, who falls somewhere in the middle of that 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, again more Southern than Midwestern. Kelly, known as MGK for short, specializes in spit-fire, nimble-tongued lines à la Busta and Twista. Lyrically, so far those lines add up to the usual braggadocio and posturing, but as he's barely drinking age, perhaps they'll develop over time.
That said, there's enough wild energy in his tracks to date to appeal, especially, perhaps, a couple of drinks or a blunt in. Unsurprisingly, he's collaborated with rappers like Waka Flocka Flame, whose enjoyment also increases once you've gotten a little loose.
To get prepped for MGK's Thursday show at Revolution, here are five of his top tracks to date. Get there on time for the opening acts too, especially top rising local rapper QuESt.
Machine Gun Kelly. With Hi-Rez, QuESt, and Andrew Floyd, 7 p.m. Thursday, January 26, at Revolution Live, 100 SW Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $20.90 with fees. Click here.
"Chip Off the Block"
"Wild Boy," feat. Waka Flocka Flame
"Cleveland," feat. Dubo