Rap Music is a genre that is indigenous to the African American community but sometimes, someone from a different race comes along and proves it is an art that goes beyond race. Eminem did it and now Machine Gun Kelly is doing it too. The Cleveland rapper’s rising popularity and career is proving that rap can be a legitimate tool of expression for all races.
Richard Colson Baker, who goes by the stage name Machine Gun Kelly, was born on the 22nd of April, 1990 in Houston, Texas.
In a political structure that makes overcoming a difficult childhood an exclusive story for black artists, it is also one shared by Machine Gun Kelly. Despite an early childhood that featured settling in different countries all around the globe, it turned into a sour one, starting with his mother abandoning him and his father. The pain of losing his wife pushed his father into depression and ultimately, unemployment. It was a fall from grace for the musician. Having been unable to make a lot of friends due to spending his developing years moving from place to place, the young artist became the unfortunate victim of bullying when he and his father settled in Denver, Colorado. This drove him to find solace in rap music, finding comfort in the words of Eminem, DMX and Ludacris.
He followed up his interest in the genre and became a rapper. He has released three studio albums and a couple mixtapes. He is also an actor, having appeared in several movies including Never, Bird Bxd and Viral. He has several award nominations and wins to his name including a Billboard Music Award nomination and an MTV Europe Music Award win.
Both Machine Gun Kelly (MGK) and his father returned to Cleveland after a brief stint in Kuwait. In Cleveland, MGK attended Shaker Heights High School. He got his stage name, Machine Gun Kelly from his fans because of his rapid-fire delivery. In 2006, he released his first mixtape, Stamp of Approval.
MGK’s first mixtape was his introduction to rap enthusiasts and fortunately for him, his first impression was a successful one. His mixtape found favorable reception among listeners, especially in the Cleveland rap scene and not long after, he was getting invitations to express himself to excited fans in local concerts.
He made music in his home studio which he called ‘Rage Cage’ and his exposure grew when he got featured on MTV2’s Sucker Free Freestyle, freestyling several verses from his ‘Chip off the Block’ single. In February 2010, Baker released his second mixtape 100 Words and Running, where he got his catchphrase ‘Lace Up’. Even though his popularity was on the rise, it wasn’t translating into commercial success for him and he still had to work at Chipotle to afford rent after his father kicked him out after his graduation from high school.
In 2011, Machine Gun Kelly participated in his first SXSW show in Austin, Texas and signed a recording contract with Bad Boys Records after getting approached by Sean Combs. His first EP, Half Naked & Almost Famous debuted at 46 on the Billboard 200 in 2012.
He followed up the EP with his debut album titled, Lace Up in 2012, debuting at number 4 on the US Billboard 200.
Machine Gun Kelly’s career has continued at a steady but slow growth since he came onto the rap scene. In 2018, he released his third studio album, Bloom which debuted at number 8 on the Billboard 200 and received favorable reviews from critics.
He cites DMX and Eminem as his influences as well as rock bands Blink-182 and Guns N’ Roses. Outside of music, the rapper has tried his hands at acting, making his film debut in Beyond the Lights in 2014 and has gone on to star in several movies and TV shows since then.
Machine Gun Kelly might still have a few more heights to reach in his career but with three successful albums so far in his career and a few hit singles, the rapper is doing a lot of things right and it reflects in his current net worth of $8 million. A long way from the man who used to work at Chipotle to make rent.
Machine Gun Kelly: Wife, Baby Mama
Almost like a rite of passage for rappers, Machine Gun Kelly, like many rappers before him, has a baby mama. Unfortunately, much isn’t known of Machine Gun Kelly’s baby mama other than the fact her name is Emma Cannon but he has not shied away from declaring his love for the daughter they have together, Casie who was born in 2008.
While the rapper has dated a few women since he became popular, including Amber Rose, he is believed to be single and unmarried at the moment.