"Eight to 12 months ago you put me in a bubble category," was the first thing out of Ohio motormouth MC Machine Gun Kelly's mouth when he visited SPIN's Manhattan offices recently. "A fucking bubble chart and it said, 'Artists You Should Care About, But You Really Don't Have To.'" Which is true, we definitely did that, but MGK wasn't mad. "Thanks to whoever put me in that bubble," he says. "I credit them with what has happened since then." Which is what exactly? Oh, Diddy just signed dude to his label, Bad Boy, and executive-produced his debut album, Lace Up, which dropped October 9. Kelly is also fresh off a headlining jaunt through Europe.
After the pleasantries of bubble-category talk were over, MGK munched on a salad and filled us in on everything he's experienced lately, including Amsterdam's, um, unique hospitality and lighting candles with DMX. Keep on for some rapid-fire Machine Gun patter.
Any good stories from the European tour you just finished?
I'm going to be completely honest: In Amsterdam I banged a prostitute. I mean, we got people high that had never been high before, we smoked so much we blacked out, there were people fucking running up on my little drummer trying to kidnap him for cocaine! Some really random shit, but the prostitute banging, that's gotta be the highlight.
Any non-sexual European highlights?
People were feeling [the shows]. Number-wise it was like last year or two years ago for my shows in America. It was cool, we got to earn our underground stripes there like we did here. The shows started out light at first but then we sold out Paris, London, and Belgium. Now it's time to get my album out here.
Tell us about the album. What stands out for you about it?
The big thing is the features. People will appreciate that. I took it back to how it used to be. All the artists featured on my album were in the studio with me to record and that's rare these days. The other thing you'll notice is I got legends on my shit: Bun B, Twista, Lil' Jon. There was no emailing verses, which was so cool.
So you had DMX in the studio too? How was working with him?
That was dark. That was really dark. He kicked everyone out of the studio and it was just me and him. He lit these red, satanic candles and we sampled Hans Zimmer from the Gladiator soundtrack. It's real eerie man, it's a fucked up track but it's real cool.
Diddy executive produced Lace Up. How involved was he day-to-day?
He wasn't involved in the recording process or song selection. He was more involved in mentoring me and making sure I didn't make stupid decisions with the media and shit, which I've made plenty of. But the most important thing I've heard when I've played people the album is them saying it doesn't sound like a Bad Boy album. It sounds like a Machine Gun Kelly album. That's really important to me because I don't really mesh with that what they've had on their roster.
Then why sign to Bad Boy?
It's just you want to be part of a legacy. Like when 50 Cent came with Get Rich Or Die Tryin', that changed the rap gave forever. I want to be that guy for Bad Boy.
That's interesting you say that. That album came out when I was in high school and everybody was playing it in their car, no matter what music they were into otherwise. Is your goal to cross genre lines like that?
Yeah dude! Man, back then I was into Korn and Limp Bizkit and 50 Cent came out and I was all about that shit. I want to do that same thing. I just think it's amazing I got to make this record, to get the people on here that I did and they put their credibility on the line for someone like me — someone with a dream.