It’s the eve of his debut album release and Machine Gun Kelly is in the middle of the requisite new rapper media blitz, which, quite frankly, he hates. Right now though, he’s grappling with a bigger problem: Does he order Delicatessen’s brioche French toast or cheeseburger mac and cheese? It’s before noon but he’s already lit up and needs something to chase the munchies and the latter seems more substantial.
Over the past few years, the 22-year-old wunderkind has steadily created his own indie buzz through social media and the live show circuit, eventually garnering a spot in XXL‘s 2011 Freshmen class and inking a deal with Diddy’s Bad Boy Records. His boisterous “Wild Boy” featuring Waka Flocka Flame has recently gone Gold. Off wax, MGK’s behavior reflects the song’s brashness, which has gotten his empirically handsome mug shot posted on TMZ more than once.
Still, under that devil-may-care attitude is a young man who wants to prove with Lace Up that he’s more than the white rap rager who incites flash mobs at malls and (allegedly) smashes computers during fits of rage. He wants to be taken seriously, but is quick to remind you that he really doesn’t give a fuck. A tattooed conundrum, MGK sat down with Sound of the City yesterday in SoHo.
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I know that press is one of your most dreaded things to do.
I fucking hate press, man. I hate bad press, like bad journalists. Like journalists who go off Wikipedia–I mean that’s cool for somewhat–but people who don’t ask shit pertaining to how to get to someone’s real personality. You can never get to someone’s personality by asking the same questions that you know they get asked all day. I’d be like “Why do you like pulp in your orange juice?” cause I love pulp in my orange juice.
You’ve mentioned that you come into interviews with the attitude that the journalist isn’t instinctively going to like you which puts you off from the onset.
Yeah! But I don’t get that vibe from you though.
Do you think that complex stems from being an outcast in high school?
I was really lame for real. I didn’t have good style or have any brothers or sisters or anyone, and my Dad was into really lame shit like Celtic music. So obnoxious. He listened to that and Dixie Chicks and that one song, [starts singing] “I’m proud to be an American…”
How has that affected how you see the world?
I was really biased against a lot of people growing up, like just cause the pretty girls used to hate me. Like I remember [about eight months ago] I had this one pretty girl in my bedroom and I just got into an emotional rant like “Fuck the pussy. I just want to dog this girl!” for no reason but you’re pretty. I was in a drunken rage like, “You know what man? Why do you even like my music? What could you have possibly been through?” This girl broke down crying and told me some ill shit about her life.
So are you having a lot of revenge sex?
Nah nah nah [laughs] but it takes a lot of maturing to get over past shit. Like I’m kind of over all that shit now. Success is the best thing.
You seem pretty grounded right now. Is it valid that people see you as rebellious and crazy or is it media hype?
I think that’s 100% accurate. Certain things ya’ll don’t even know about; certain shit happens that we just happen to run away from and didn’t get caught. Some shit is hype. That one lawsuit on TMZ was the funniest epitome of media hype; that one guy suing me for cutting his hand open or something. That was hilarious. [The controversy] fucks with my pockets and my freedom. It’s not like “I’m gonna set out to go to jail today. Hell yeah!” It’s not worth it man. You’ve lauded your debut Lace Up as one of the albums of the decade. What are your expectations?
You have to listen to it with an open mind. Now that the album is actually here, I don’t really give a fuck about album sales because I know we pushed the entire project ourselves. I realized that the second album will be my time to shine. This is my Reasonable Doubt but I have The Black Album coming.
A lot of rap “purists” have been largely averse to you. Do you care if they accept you with Lace Up?
It did bother me, but then I realized that I go to places and sell out with kids who actually have personalities. A lot of these “hip-hop heads,” a lot of these motherfuckers don’t even know how to smile. They fucking dog their own kind. They’re too critical. They fucking live their life like jacking off other people’s dicks. I really came from the fucking bottom. A lot of hip-hop heads are supporting these backpack rappers coming from silver spoon homes and shit. I can speak in multiple syllables and I came from public schools.
You’re going on tour with Rick Ross and the whole Maybach Music Group collective. Any pre-show bonding rituals to get acquainted?
Me and Meek have been fucking with each other for a while. Probably that green leaf will bring motherfuckers together on tour. [MMG Video director] Spliff TV also did my “Wild Boy” video and Meek was on the remix but yeah, me and Rick Ross have partied a couple of times.
Speaking of partying, Microsoft must have been happy that you kept their name in the news after allegedly bashing their computers at an Atlanta party?
I made them hot!
You should do the same for Bing.
Bing needs more than me … Bing needs Jesus. Bing needs more than Jesus. If Jesus came down like “Bing will get you saved,” people would be like “I’m gonna ask Google, man.”
[The diners at the next table then proceeded to introduce themselves as account managers for Bing]
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 9, 2012