Machine Gun Kelly is an American rapper and actor from Cleveland, Ohio. He was born Richard Colson Baker in Houston on April 22, 1990 to missionary parents. He and his family moved all around the world and had lived everywhere from Egypt to Germany to multiple cities in the United States before he settled in Denver along with his father. His mother left him and his dad when he was still young. Due to his dad's depression and unemployment, young MGK had to endure bullying from other children in the neighborhood.
He then turned to rap music, starting to listen to it in the sixth grade when he was attending Hamilton Middle School, a school with an ethnically diverse student body in Denver, Colorado. The first three rappers that influenced him were Ludacris, Eminem and DMX. He only became more and more interested in the genre after listening to DMX's "We Right Here" from the album "The Great Depression".
MGK's home life was unstable when he was younger as he would regularly fight with his father. When he attended Denver's Thomas Jefferson High School, his father moved to Kuwait to work for the army and left him behind to live in his aunt's basement. During the course of living in the basement, MGK began experimenting with drugs and recorded his first amateur demo tape, "Stamp of Approval".
Following his father's departure to Kuwait, MGK stopped attending school. In 2005, his dad came back to the U.S. to take his son to Kuwait. But they eventually were forced to return stateside and live in Cleveland, where MGK attended Shaker Heights High School. He later earned his moniker Machine Gun Kelly due to his rapid fire delivery and then released his "Stamp of Approval" mixtape in 2006.
The release of the mixtape allowed for his reputation and profile to grow, which allowed MGK to begin performing at local Cleveland venues. The rapper went on to release four other mixtapes before he secured a recording contract with Bad Boy and Interscope Records in 2011.
His major label debut album, "Lace Up", was released in October 2012 to positive response from critics. The record, which contained the singles "Wild Boy", "Invincible", "Stereo" and "Hold On (Shut Up)", debuted at No. 4 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart. In early 2015, he released the singles "Till I Die" and "A Little More" for his second studio album, "General Admission", which came out in October 2015 and also debuted at No. 4 on the albums chart.
MGK scored his biggest single yet in late 2016, after he and Fifth Harmony's Camila Cabello released their collaboration, "Bad Things". The song debuted at No. 80 on Billboard Hot 100 but has been slowly climbing up the chart. It has so far peaked at No. 10, giving both singers their first top 10 hit as solo artists.
The success of "Bad Things" led to him and Camila being nominated for Top Rap Collaboration at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards and Best Collaboration at the 2017 Radio Disney Music Awards. They ended up winning the latter. The single also served as the lead single off his third studio album, "Bloom", which was released on May 12. It debuted at No. 8 on Billboard 200 chart.
Promoting the album, MGK was initially set to open for Linkin Park's "One More Light" tour before it got canceled due to Chester Bennington's suicide. The rapper then paid tribute to the late frontman by releasing an acoustic version of the rock band's hit song "Numb".
MGK released a slew of singles after that, including "Home" featuring X Ambassadors and Bebe Rexha as well as "The Break Up". The former song served as the soundtrack to Netflix's movie "Bright" and peaked at No. 90 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart.
In the following year, MGK started making headlines due to his feud with fellow rappers, Eminem and G-Eazy. He dissed Eazy on a freestyle that he performed during his appearance on Funkmaster Flex Radio, accusing him of making "frat rat" and copying his style. Eazy immediately hit back at him by releasing his own diss track entitled "Bad Boy", but MGK has yet to give his response.
While MGK hasn't responded to Eazy's diss track, he unveiled "Rap Devil" on September 3 in response to Eminem's diss at him on "Not Alike" off "Kamikaze". The song topped iTunes chart on September 10 and September 14. It was additionally included on his new EP "Binge", which was released on September 20.