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Known under the stage name Machine Gun Kelly, Richard Colson Baker is an American rapper, singer, and actor that’s dominated popular music since his debut in 2010. Born in Houston, Baker travelled the globe with his family, finally settling in Cleveland. Studying the music of rap godfathers Ludacris, Eminem and DMX, Kelly recorded demo tapes in his basement, releasing his first mixtape in 2006 to local acclaim. Nicknamed Machine Gun Kelly due to his rapid-fire delivery and staccato phrasings, the rapper spent the following years writing and recording while developing his craft, gaining exposure from a feature on MTV2’s Sucker Free Freestyle. In 2010 he received national exposure with debut single ‘Alice In Wonderland’, followed by second mixtape ‘Lace Up’. These two releases marked a turning point in Kelly’s career, leading to a feature in influential magazine XXL and an appearance on Juicy J’s single ‘Inhale’. In 2011, Kelly performed at SXSW in Texas, turning the heads of industry executives including none other than rap kingpin Sean Combs. This was Kelly’s big break: Combs offered the rapper a record deal with Bad Boy Records, a subsidiary of Interscope, kickstarting a career that’s seen him become internationally recognised as an influential force in hip-hop and popular music. The rapper’s mainstream debut ‘Lace Up’ was released on October 9, 2012. The album featured guest contributions from Bun B, Cassie, DMX, Ester Dean, Lil Jon, Tech N9ne, Twista, Waka Flocka Flame, Young Jeezy and Dub-O, debuting at number 4 on the US Billboard 200, with first-week sales of 57,000 copies. Since then, Kelly has performed to sold-out venues and festivals across the globe and released two wildly popular studio albums: 2015’s ‘General Admission’ and 2017’s ‘Bloom’. His two collaborations with pop vocalist Camilla Cabello have become worldwide hits, with 2017’s ‘Bad Things’ receiving a nomination for Top Rap Collaboration at the Billboard Music Awards, and winning Best Collaboration at Radio Disney’s Music Awards. Influenced equally by DMX, Eminem, and Guns N’ Roses, this anarchic rapper fuses the rebellious attitude of punk rock with the swagger and style of US hip-hop, creating a unique brand of revolutionary rap that’s all his own. READ MORE


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