Learn more about the Diddy-signed Cleveland rapper, MGK.
MGK’s had quite a year since signing to Bad Boy Records last summer. He’s had several legit hits and one of the biggest remixes of the year with his “Wild Boy (Remix),” which clocks in at seven rappers strong, including Mystikal, and Jackass’s Steve-O (who’s just on the intro, and not technically rapping, in case you were curious/worried). And if MGK’s boss, Diddy, has been looking for his own answer to the great white hope, Eminem, then he’s finally found it.
The Cleveland, Ohio emcee reps his hometown hard, and his city seems to answer with unconditional support for the 22-year-old. But so does New York: He’s had two successful runs at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, and he’s made several appearances on BET. But MGK’s rapid-fire delivery and unchained energy levels tend to hush any haters, if not change their minds completely. There’s something uncanny and irresistible about being from the Midwest and being able to speed rap with technical precision. MGK fits in well with hometown heroes Bone Thugs, as well as Tech N9ne (Kansas) and Twista (Chicago) — both of whom happen to be featured on his upcoming debut album, Lace Up.
Watch MGK videos and interviews after the jump.
The big hits (watch his 2012 mtvU Woodies performance below) still mesmerize, but now we have a release date for his long-awaited debut album (it’s Oct. 9) and a new single to go along with that news — the Young Jeezy-assisted “Hold On (Shut Up).” It’s more “Wild Boy” than “Invincible,” which means it’s fun, but it still hits hard.
Despite his Opie Taylor baby face, MGK fits perfectly in the dirty South, strip-club, trap rap lane. It’s something he’s been doing well for a while now — see his 2010 mixtape with ATLien party rockers Travis Porter for proof. We don’t expect anything less when his album drops this fall. Until then he’s got a mixtape out this week called EST 4 Life (the video for the title track from said mixtape is also below). It’s sort of an intro to MGK’s upstart label, EST 19XX, with features from signee Dub-O. Get to listening, and whatever you do, lace up.
+ Watch MGK videos, interviews, and live performances.
MGK’s “Invincible” Video
MGK’s “EST 4 Life” Video
MGK on Cleveland
MGK on making music
MGK on raging
MGK performs “Wild Boy” at the 2012 MTVU Woodies
MGK performs “Invincible” at the 2012 MTVU Woodies
Photo credit: Jonathan Mannion