Machine Gun Kelly Avoids Jail, Lands On MTV Jams' Fab 5

'If I wasn't an artist, I'll probably be in jail,' MTV Jams' latest Fab 5 inductee says of his career path.

Thank God Machine Gun Kelly chose rap. If it weren't for the beats and rhymes, the Cleveland, Ohio, spitter wouldn't have linked with Diddy, but could've become a bad boy of a different kind.

"If I wasn't an artist, I'll probably be in jail," MGK told MTV. "Probably. I make a lot of dumb decisions in life."

Luckily, MGK spends most of his time spitting bars than behind them, and that's why he was chosen to represent the MTV Jams' Fab 5 class of 2012.

Conceived on MTV Jams in 2005, the Fab 5 is a collection of the year's most outstanding new hip-hop artists who have made an impact on everything from touring to releasing their debut albums. Fab 5 alumni include Juelz Santana, Young Jeezy, Drake, Big Sean and Meek Mill. This year, MTV Jams, MTV News and Sucker Free will bring you 2012's hottest hip-hop upstarts, and A$AP Rocky, Kendrick Lamar and MGK are among the brightest.

The future didn't always look so bright for Kells, who struggled to be heard initially. Inspired by DMX, Machine Gun Kelly began battle-rapping around 2004 while he was still in high school. He went from the corner ciphers to the studio, where he would record songs for his 2006 mixtape, Stamp of Approval. Back then, the MC (who got the Machine Gun part of his moniker because of his rapid-fire raps) was just getting his feet wet. In 2010, MGK would drop two mixtapes, 100 Words and Runnin' and, his most notable tape, Lace Up. From there, the energetic spitter would develop his following thanks to spirited live performances.

In August 2011 Kells announced that he had signed with Diddy's storied Bad Boy Records, and at the end of the year, he won MTV News' Hottest Breakthrough MC in the Game fan poll. He then landed a spot on XXL magazine's coveted Freshman cover and now is getting ready to release his major-label debut (also titled Lace Up) on October 9.

Seems like it all worked out pretty well for MGK — hey it sure beats a jail cell.

Check back next Monday to find out who will join Kendrick Lamar, A$AP Rocky and Machine Gun Kelly in the Fab 5. And tune in to "RapFix Live" on Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET, where each artist will be highlighted.