About Machine Gun Kelly
Colson Baker , known professionally as Machine Gun Kelly , is an American rapper and actor from Cleveland, Ohio. MGK embarked on a musical career as a teenager, releasing a mixtape in 2006. He went on to release four more mixtapes.
MGK then secured a recording contract with Bad Boy and Interscope Records in 2011. His major label debut album, Lace Up, was released in October 2012 to positive response from critics. The record contained the singles "Wild Boy", "Invincible", "Stereo", and "Hold On ", and debuted at number four on the US Billboard 200 chart; it was later confirmed to have sold more than 178,000 copies. In early 2015, he released the singles "Till I Die" and "A Little More" for his second studio album, General Admission, which released in October 2015, and debuted at number four in the US. The album incorporated darker tones, rap rock, R&B, and storytelling. His third studio album, Bloom, was released on May 12, 2017, preceded by "Bad Things" with Camila Cabello, peaking at number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, his highest charting single.
MGK is also an actor, having made his film debut in the 2014 romantic drama Beyond the Lights. He has appeared in several other films and had a recurring role on the Showtime series Roadies in 2016.
Richard Colson Baker was born on April 22, 1990, in Houston to missionary parents. Baker and his family moved all around the globe and took up residence abroad from Egypt to Germany, as well as throughout the United States, in Chicago, Denver, and Cleveland. He settled in Denver, along with his father, after his mother had left home, and the pair moved in with Baker's aunt. Following his father suffering from depression and unemployment, Baker endured bullying from other children in the neighborhood. He started listening to rap in the sixth grade, when he attended Hamilton Middle School, a school with an ethnically diverse student body in Denver, Colorado. The first three rappers that got him into the genre of hip hop as a child were Ludacris, Eminem and DMX, with Baker gaining interest in the genre after listening to DMX's "We Right Here" from the album The Great Depression .
Following his father's departure, Baker stopped attending school and began to make a name for himself by calling out elder classmates. In 2005, his father returned to take them both to Kuwait before the pair were forced back stateside to Cleveland, where Baker attended Shaker Heights High School. While attending Shaker Heights High, he convinced a local t-shirt shop owner to become his manager, as the shop owner would double as an MC manager. Given the stage name "Machine Gun Kelly" by his fans due to his rapid fire delivery, he released the mixtape Stamp of Approval . The release of the mixtape allowed for his reputation and profile to grow, which allowed MGK to begin performing at local Cleveland venues.
In March 2009, while he was on the verge of getting evicted, MGK traveled to Harlem's Apollo Theater, where he had consecutive victories, making him the first ever rapper to win at the Apollo Theater. He recorded music in his home studio which he refers to as the "Rage Cage", and started to gain exposure when he was featured on MTV2's Sucker Free Freestyle, where he freestyled numerous verses from his "Chip off the Block" single. In February 2010, he released his second mixtape 100 Words and Running, where he derived his catchphrase, "Lace Up", which started as a mixtape interlude, before making it a prominent reference in his music. Despite his rising popularity, MGK found himself working at Chipotle to afford rent, as well as being kicked out by his father after graduating high school. MGK soon also became a father.
In May 2010, he made his national debut with the single "Alice in Wonderland", which was released on iTunes and accompanied a music video along with the song. It was released via Block Starz Music. The single earned MGK the "Best Midwest Artist" at the 2010 Underground Music Awards and his "Alice in Wonderland" clip won Best Music Video at the 2010 Ohio Hip-Hop Awards. He released his second mixtape in November 2010 titled Lace Up which featured the hometown anthem "Cleveland", which was then played at Cleveland Cavaliers home games and went on rotation on Z107.9 in Cleveland. The mixtape was recorded in three months in 2010 during a creative burst. Following the release of the mixtape, he was featured in the magazine XXL in 2011. He then appeared on the Juicy J track "Inhale", which also featured Steve-O from the television series Jackass, in the music video.
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