Machine Gun Kelly, ‘Black Flag’ – Mixtape Review
Machine Gun Kelly brought some celebrity friends with him for his latest mixtape, ‘Black Flag.’
As one of the most exciting performers right now, MGK slows things down a bit on this mixtape and really shows some versatility.
His first track, ‘Raise the Flag,’ sets the tone for the entire project. The Florence and the Machine sample of ‘Shake It Out’ compliments the song perfectly as he spits about his journey from the bottom to the top.
‘Breaking News’ starts off with a typical Diddy introduction. “No mercy has begun, ladies and gentleman. Machine Gun Kelly,” the Bad Boy leader states. This is exactly the kind of track that made listeners pay attention to MGK in the first place. His flow, a stellar beat and high energy make this a standout song.
It really seems as if MGK is grasping the art of making quality songs, especially those that can crossover on different platforms. Tracks such as ‘Mind of a Stoner,’ which also features Wiz Khalifa, is a song that can likely be heard on both urban and pop radio. This song is perfect to use as a soundtrack to ride out to the beach this summer.
‘D&G,’ which stands for diamonds and gold, gives another success story that everyone can relate to. “I miss going to rock at open mics, hoping that I got noticed by labels and blow up overnight,” MGK rhymes. He continues with the reality check that overnight success didn’t happen but he remained determined, “I owe my life to my own advice, follow your f---in’ dreams until they come to life.”
Some of the best tracks on the album come when there's a good beat he can spit iver. ‘Miss Me?’ carries a Drake sample of his 2009 hit of the same name, but there's a West Coast swag added. MGK just lets loose on this track as his emotion is felt. “When I die I hope they remember me like Mike,” he raps.
The mixtape takes a turn towards the end with an unexpected cover of Rise Against's 2005 hit ‘Swing Life Away.’ MGK's take on this song beats the original version, but judge for yourself. It's impressive how the rapper made the song work while staying true to himself.
Overall, 'Black Flag' is probably Machine Gun Kelly’s best project yet. His storytelling, beats and flow all match the overall mood of the mixtape. Although he slows things down from the usual high energy used during his stage shows, he surprises as he stands out as being the guy next door.
This project is easily relatable to people who are looking for some inspiration to achieve their dreams. The only setback is the questionable decision to release 'Black Flag' at a time when Mac Miller, J. Cole, Wale and Kanye West debuted new albums. However, it's a tape that hold its own.
Listen to Machine Gun Kelly's 'Black Flag' Mixtape