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Machine Gun Kelly Goes Gonzo (Respect Mag. Interview)


RESPECT.‘s Peter Marrack recently caught up with Cleveland’s pride and joy, Machine Gun Kelly, to talk about the music industry, working with DMX, his forthcoming album and what he thinks of Mac Miller topping the Billboard charts.

Read the complete interview after the jump.

Hunter S. Thompson was only 22 when he wrote his first novel, The Rum Diary, and from thereon he gradually built upon his public persona until Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas came out in 1972, and everyone expected the dude to go bat-wild on booze, drugs and adrenaline whenever he made a public appearance. If you ask me, that’s a hell of a lot of pressure to deal with each time you exit your homely abode in Aspen, Colorado, where Hunter resided up until his death in 2005. Hunter committed suicide at age 67, by a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Now, I hate to make this analogy, but Machine Gun Kelly will be close to 22 years old when he releases his own debut, Lace Up, and already his fans expect him to be raging and out of control each time he makes a public experience. Hell, the pressure has surely begun to bog MGK down, which comes across in our recent interview with the dude. Kelly sounds tired, disconsolate, and really doesn’t give a fuck. But hey, at least we still have his Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas to look forward to.

I was just watching the “Wild Boy” video again with Waka. It’s an incredible record and video. I watched it for the first time at 10 in the morning and I was ready to rage. I wondered how you get so hyped up when there are cuts and breaks filming the video?

Well, it comes from a lot of alcohol consumption. I don’t know. It’s crazy, all my friends, the four or five people I’m always with, we all have an unusual amount of energy that we seem to only have in our camp. Everyone else seems a little weird. We’ve always been like that, like super, super hyper. Everyone’s always looked at us like, “What the fuck’s wrong with these kids?”

That’s good. You bounce energy off each other. And you had Katt Williams on-set for “Wild Boy”. How’d you lock that in?

He showed up.


Yeah, man, everything was pretty random with that video shoot, everything was, the mattress on fire was random, I saw a mattress, grabbed the mattress, and set it on fire. That was random.

A lot of improv. [laughs]

Everything was not planned except for the first scene with the mom and dad.

You channel Rick Ross’s flow on that track at least two times, with “Hustle Hard (Remix)” and then “Tupac Back”. Is it safe to say you’re a MMG fan? Who still influences you that is in the game today?

Fans inspire me more than anything. I don’t really listen to too much outside stuff. I listen to a lot of street stuff though, from like Jeezy to… Nipsey Hussle is my shit right now.

Trap music?

Yeah… yeah. I don’t really listen to that much hip-hop.

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