LIVE: Machine Gun Kelly @ Samsung Studio, LA

Thursday, June 25, 2015: Cleveland rapper Machine Gun Kelly, aka MGK, is the epitome of a digital age star. Fittingly, he has assembled a mob of diehard fans at the high tech gadget filled Samsung Studios in Los Angeles. With little to no radio and media support, MGK has developed a rabid fan base ready for whatever he has to offer, and after a 3-year break between releases he is finally ready to put out his latest album. After getting to test out an array of products from smart watches to virtual reality goggles while tossing back free drinks courtesy of Samsung, MGK hit the stage for a 20-minute interview and Q&A. The new album, General Admission, was described as a ticket to his life. A highly personal project, the Trap style rapper detailed his process over the last few years writing about his father abandoning him to struggles trying to be a present father to his daughter. A few of the new tracks were previewed, the highlight being the new collaboration with fellow mid-westerner Kid Rock on the song “Bad Motherfucker” that addresses the many urban legends about him that have surfaced since blowing up with 2012’s “Wild Boy”.


Backed by a full band, he stretched what was to be a 3-song set of new material into upwards of 10 tracks. Within 10-seconds of the first song “Til I Die” you understand why his fan base is so devoted. With the energy and look of a Screamo front man, the crowd erupted with no delay. This explains why the audience looked more like they came from a Fallout Boy Show than a Waka Flocka concert, making him somewhat of the heir apparent to Eminem addressing the angst of underprivileged white youth with a taste for the urban lifestyle. On occasion you’d see him rap to the side VIP area as his current girlfriend Amber Rose, ex-wife of another skinny tattooed rapper, stared back with an approving smile. For those who had no clue of the man’s quiet success, there was no doubt of his appeal and achievements when the set ended.


Look for General Admission soon on Bad Boy/Interscope Records.


photos: Dominic Painter