Saturday, May 13, marked the dawning of Wango Tango 2017, the annual popular music festival put on by 102.7 KIIS FM, Los Angeles’ #1 Hit Music Station. Thousands of eager fans arrived at the Stubhub Center in Carson, CA to see an all-star lineup of artists ranging from Miley Cyrus, Maroon 5, and even Backstreet Boys. Among these pop acts stood Machine Gun Kelly, the only rapper on the bill.
Backstage on the red carpet, HipHopDX had the pleasure of catching MGK before his set. The devoted Cleveland rapper openly admitted he was on cloud 9 to speak on his new project titled bloom, which had dropped only one day prior.
On the closing track of the project, “27,” MGK asks, “How am I supposed to write a song when I’m famous? And all this pain is created.”
When asked about this line, he explains, “I think it just talked about, there’s a certain point when you get in the studio, and you’re like – especially being a voice of the underdog — you kind of look around, you’re like “oh, well I’m in a big house. And I’m on the hills. And I don’t think about how much money I spend on food or what I buy…and you’re kind of like, that’s not what I’m used to writing about.”
As an active member of the 27 Club, it seems MGK caught himself just in time.
“It was like I was almost taking drugs and putting myself…ruining relationships and burning bridges, almost like on purpose to create more pain, to write about. That was a little odd for me.”
bloom also features a revealing song called “Rehab.” When asked about sobriety, he simply replied, “No comment.”
When asked how the fan reception for his daring new project, which is expected to net him a top five Billboard 200 debut, he responded with utmost confidence.
“They genuinely like it. It’s not like, ‘I love Machine Gun Kelly so I’m going to force myself to like it.’ It’s like nah, way to grow up, way to change without drastically taking us away from what we know.”
He also reveals being nervous to release the project admitting, “It was a really smooth evolution, and I’m really happy it went the way it did. Cause I was obviously nervous. It was the first I’ve sang on it, first time I’ve played a lot of guitar on. . . it translated. It could have went either way. It went the way you just said, which is great.”
Bang Bang: A record like “The Gunner” still holds true to the raw rap roots MGK fans were first introduced to.
With many hit songs on the radio (including “Bad Things” featuring Camila Cabello) reaching a peak of number four on the Billboard 100, DX asked if the “Wild Boy” rapper was transitioning to the genre of pop.
“I wouldn’t say that. I think on all my projects, I’ve always had big sounding songs. My last album, General Admission, there was a song called “A Little More.” It sounds like a huge radio record. This album just happened to have some that got picked up by the radio, and the other ones didn’t. They all have the same type of format. But nah. But, I like singing. But nah. Not going pop.”
Actions speak louder than words and no one can peg MGK for a liar in this instance. Halfway through the project lies an upbeat “Trap Paris,” which features Quavo and Ty Dolla $ign. MGK explains how he linked both was no accident.
“Quavo’s been the homie for a long time, just cause the Migos came through Cleveland when I was 20, 21. And we linked up way back then. Always been cool. So, you know, that was a day one thing. Ty, me and him have been smoking homies for a long time. So we just smoked. That was an easy one. He just came through the studio and I smoked. We just did that.”
Not So Complicated: Machine Gun Kelly creamed his Wango Tango “Bad Things” performance with Camila Cabello in front of a sold out stadium.
With bloom, MGK is already continuing his trek along a path not too many rappers are privy too. On May 20 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, he’ll be center stage for a free concert as part of the first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race.