Bigger deals mean bigger budgets. While on the come-up, Cleveland, Ohio’s Machine Gun Kelly made the most of his independent music grind, but his new deal with Diddy‘s Bad Boy Records has allowed the rapid-fire rapper to do things slightly bigger.
“This is the first video we’re doing with Bad Boy/Interscope,” MGK told MTV News on Monday while on the set of the Colin Tilley-directed clip for his mixtape cut “Stereo.”
“Man, our videos? C’mon man, they’re like all directed by us; like jokes, then we turn it and flip it and make it great,” he said of his past vids like “Cleveland” and “Salute.”
For “Stereo,” Kells invaded Fred C. Nelles Youth Correctional Facility in Whittier, California. “We shut the whole thing down, moved all the prisoners in one room … it’s pretty crazy,” he joked. “It’s just a bunch of just badass girls, and we’re all just getting shipped to the correctional facility and we’re just having a bad time. It’s like the music comes on and it kinda cheers us up, kinda just excited and ready to do whatever.”
In August, Diddy announced that he signed MGK on “RapFix Live,” and while Kelly doesn’t exactly fit the Bad Boy rapper mold set by the likes of the Notorious B.I.G., Mase and the LOX, Combs insisted that he doesn’t want the youngster to change a thing. “He will not be changing for Bad Boy; he will not have a typical Bad Boy swag,” Diddy said. “He’s not going to be popping champagne or driving around in Bentleys. He’s gonna be him and true to himself. He has a lot of creative control in his project.”
After breaking through with his 2010 mixtape Lace Up, MGK caught hip-hop’s attention. His popularity began to grow so much that the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers began to play his hometown ode “Cleveland” at home games during the 2010-2011 basketball season. On the upbeat “Stereo,” MGK raps metaphorically about his love affair with music and his stereo.
For Kells, turning his underground fan-favorite into his first big visual means the world to him. “We’re just about being organic and keeping everything how it was before the deal, so we’re taking one of the older songs that the fans love,” he said. “I never been on a real video set. I’m so happy I’m from Cleveland, Ohio, dude. This whole experience is just crazy.”