We caught up with Machine Gun Kelly just as the 21-year-old Ohio rapper hit SXSW yesterday. One of XXL’s Top 10 Freshman of 2012 and MTV’s 2011 Breakthrough MC, MGK (and his sick flow) seems poised to break into a wider audience this year.
Taking a break from performing in Austin, he told us about hitting the studio with DMX and how he tried to get the darkest possible verses out of the hip hop legend during their studio time together.
“I refused to get anything other than the Dark Man X on my album,” MGK says. “We sat there for hours before we even made music and just talked. I gave him that look like, ‘I want this X,’ and he was like, ‘I don’t know if I wanna go there,’ and I was like, ‘We gotta go there.’” At the end of the day, MGK got what he wanted: “It’s a f--ked up record.”
He also told us he had to convince his team to put Mystikal’s verse on one of his remixes. When the New Orleans rapper sent in his contribution to "Wild Boy," the tape "was so distorted, it was all off and there was background noise.”
MGK's people wanted to put off releasing the remix, but he explained why he was down with the verse. “I was like, he’s raspy already, he has that gritty voice. Let’s just put in on there.” Good call, MGK. That remix came out earlier this week and the response—especially to Mystikal’s verse—has been overwhelmingly positive.
We also got a view into his growing, rabid fanbase. Twelve minutes after arriving at SXSW, MGK ran into two fans that got tattoos to match his ink. You can check that out in the video above.
“The best part is winning ’em over,” the Ohio MC told us just before running into his tattoo twins. “That’s what I’ve always been good at because we never had the hype, we never had a handout. But our fans, as few as they are, they have so much more heart than anyone else. I have something a lot more special than hype.”
Check out the video and let us know what you think about MGK. Excited for his debut album?