Release Date: Oct 9, 2012
Record label: Interscope
In Machine Gun Kelly, Cleveland finally gets its very own Eminem: a clever, working-class white kid who fires nail-gun rhymes in dense clusters. His big-label debut ranges from inspirational and R&B-tinged (see "Invincible," with Ester Dean) to crazy-ass and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony-tinged – see "Wild Boys," where he raps, "I'm an East Side Cleveland wild boy/We got baseball bats like the Indians, and my team pop off like cowboys." Listen to 'Lace Up' .
Cleveland MC MGK (aka Machine Gun Kelly) signed to Bad Boy/Interscope on the strength of several mixtapes showcasing his relentless style and some of the hungriest-sounding tracks in recent memory. Lace Up is the official debut, collecting touched-up versions of some of the strongest individual tracks from previous offerings as well as an album's worth of brand-new material. MGK's rapid-fire delivery is all frenzy, all starving, all bombast, and the beats are equally aggressive.
As he takes a break from rapping on the nostalgic “On My Way,” Machine Gun Kelly candidly wraps up a series of teenage stories by proclaiming, “We too grounded to be Hollywood, man.” It’s a phrase that is indicative of the Cleveland rappers’ brisk yet fruitful career thus far, which has fluctuated over the last few years between personal success and public controversy. His debut album Lace Up sheds light on these opposing characteristics while also revealing an artist who is still growing into his own skin. MGK’s appearance as a reckless, spur of the moment individual is one that many would initially recognize him for, with “Wild Boy” and the title-track doing little to curb this belief.
Machine Gun Kelly feels like an underdog. It doesn’t matter that he’s signed to Bad Boy/Interscope, has had a Gold single, sells out shows, or sees money from each of these accomplishments. He’s continued to channel the mindset he had as an unknown teenager handing out CDs on the street up to this point, and that doesn’t waver on his debut, Lace Up.