Sat 12/22 7PM
Taking a walk on the wild side is exactly where Cleveland’s own Machine Gun Kelly (MGK) finds his life these days.
This past fall the platinum MC watched his new single “Rap Devil” become a top-10 hit. The “Binge” EP tune was a diss track in response to Eminem targeting MGK on his “Kamikaze” album. Naturally, the back and forth garnered plenty of TMZ attention.
Also, MGK (real name Colson Baker) was busy this past year appearing in three feature films, the most notable of which is “The Dirt.” The Mötley Crüe biopic, which finds the talented actor playing drummer Tommy Lee, will be released this spring.
As for now the rapper is thinking about his “XXMAS Show” taking place Dec. 22 at the Wolstein Center.
CoolCleveland talked to MGK about life in the fast lane, Tommy Lee and his future, which one day may find him choosing acting over rapping.
CoolCleveland: First of all, how about them Cleveland Browns?
Machine Gun Kelly: Yeah, how about them Browns, baby. We’re on fire. Even a little flame right now feels like a full fire. I’m excited. I love the swag we got going on. I love Jarvis, I love Baker, I love the whole thing.
CC: Right now the only person more on fire than the Browns is you. This fall “Rap Devil” was a top-10 hit. Plus, you have quite a slate of feature films due out soon. How crazy of a year was 2018?
MGK: I don’t really have words for it. Every time I think the ride is going to slow up it gets faster, bumpier and crazier.
CC: Without getting too deep into the Eminem situation, the entire experience must have been surreal. One can only imagine how hard it was personally to have someone who is a major influence throw shade your way.
MGK: Yeah, I definitely think there’s an aspect of it that you’re a little hurt by it, but ultimately it’s like, “You’re not going to play me for weak.” That’s pretty much all it is. There’s a point where all that goes out the window and I just stop giving a (expletive).
CC: So what’s the plan for 2019?
MGK: I’m going to come with a strong fourth album. Hopefully I’ll outdo myself and make it the best album of my career. For “Binge,” I was sick of not having my own music to party to. Having a bunch of friends over, girls over, and not having my own music being a part of that playlist really irked me. So I wanted to make sure that I made an EP full of energy. Now, it’s time for me to follow with a fourth album that’s a true album. I don’t want people to think ‘Binge’ was intended for an album. It was more like a state of where I was at.
CC: Let’s talk about your various film projects due to be released next year.
MGK: I’m really proud of the Mötley Crüe movie “The Dirt.” I just saw a screening of it and I loved it. I can’t wait for the world to see it, especially following the Queen movie “Bohemian Rhapsody.” I’m also equally excited about taking the movie “Big Time Adolescence” to Sundance. I think it’s going to be a staple in pop culture. Also, I forgot about “Captive State.” That comes out next year too.
CC: As far as “The Dirt,” you played the role of drummer Tommy Lee. Are you a fan of Mötley Crüe?
MGK: I’ve definitely known about Mötley Crüe since I was a kid. I read “The Dirt” when I was 13. So I was already a big fan of the band. And, I’ve been told that I remind people of Tommy Lee from just my lanky figure and my rock ’n’ roll lifestyle.
CC: You know, Tommy Lee is known for something else too.
MGK: (laughs) Yeah, well, maybe that’s what got me the role.
CC: Were you nervous about portraying the most notable member of Mötley Crüe?
MGK: Yeah, I was nervous from the sense it was my first lead role. But I think the nervousness kind of disappeared after the fourth hour of doing makeup on my body to cover all of my tattoos and replace them with Tommy’s tattoos. By the time that was finished, I was ready to shoot.
CC: Looking ahead, can you foresee a time when you choose acting over rapping?
MGK: Yeah, I think when I stop having (expletive) to talk about and stop having pain enough to inspire my pen to move is when I’ll just focus on acting, But I’m very young man, and I continuously am running from a dark cloud. I’m sure there will be a day where it dissipates and goes away, but as it still looms over I’ll always have something to say.
CC: In the past we’ve talked about how you keep playing bigger venues for your hometown shows. When will we get the MGK FirstEnergy Stadium concert?
MGK: Oh my God, I mean, that’s a dream right there. I’ll put that on my goals list. I love that.
WHAT: Machine Gun Kelly’s “XXMAS Show”
WHEN: 7 p.m. Dec. 22
WHERE: Wolstein Center, 2000 Prospect Ave., Cleveland
TICKETS: $22.50 to $80.50