Cleveland, Ohio, isn’t the biggest rap city, but the Midwestern locale has its fair share of hip-hop stars.
It was Bone Thugs-N-Harmony who put the city on the map, but now artists like Chip the Ripper, Machine Gun Kelly and Kid Cudi are carrying on Cleveland’s hip-hop tradition. And, for the most part, they all get along.
On Wednesday’s “RapFix Live,” MGK — whose debut album, Lace Up, arrives in stores October 9 — spoke about his relationship with Cleveland artists like Chip, Dub-O, Ray Jr. and Pooh Gutta. “Me and Cleveland have a great relationship. There’s very little hate there,” Kells said.
When the subject of Kid Cudi came up, however, things got a bit frosty. “Yo, I love what you did with this mic,” MGK said, trying to avoid MTV News correspondent Sway Calloway’s question.
Eventually, the Bad Boy MC came around and tried to break down the issue between him and the G.O.O.D. Music standout. “He feels a certain way about me, to my knowledge. I keep trying to meet him, just never happened,” Kelly said. “I take certain things certain ways. Certain comments you can just tell are about you.”
In 2011, Cudi sent a message to his fans concerning the term “rage,” a word MGK regularly uses. “There’s only one original Rager, and that’s me,” Cudi stated. “I started this ’rage’ sh–… When you hear ANYONE talking about ’rage’ or ’raging,’ know where that sh– originated.”
“In my honest opinion, I believe, as an O.G. like Cudi, who has been in the game two albums now, as an older guy, I’ll be looking at a young cat coming out of Cleveland and put my arm around him. Because that’s definitely what I’m doing,” MGK said. “I guess I’m just a little bitter on that, but all respect to everybody. I’m not gonna lie and say I’m not a fan of his music.”
Kells aims to do different. As his star rises in rap, he hopes to be able to help out other artists who emerge from his hometown.
“I’m in a great position, so I don’t see it as jealousy. I’m not envious of anybody in my city. I wanna see anyone get up out that sh–,” he said. “I feel like a lot of people, when they could’ve put their arm around me, they kinda shunned me.”