Machine Gun Kelly’s Tattoo Tales: Rapper Shares 10 Stories Behind His Ink [Exclusive Photos]
Machine Gun Kelly may not necessarily be in the hip-hop’s mainstream just yet, however, his recent mixtape, ‘Black Flag,’ has been sparking excitement amongst fans and critics alike. With all the hype around it, the 23-year-old Cleveland rapper is already in talks with the execs at his label, Interscope Records, about moving forward with his sophomore LP.
“I actually just had a really big meeting with [Diddy] and John Janick, who’s now the president of Interscope, Steve Berman and JoeyIE,” he reveals to TheDrop.fm. “We all came to L.A. and thought it was about time to start [an album]. So right now, we’re going around and trying to find a sound for this album. And John Janick really gets me, too, which is awesome. He wasn’t around during my first album.”
He continues, “So we’re just going to f—ing find the sound, and you know, try and make a breakthrough album. Hit those f—ing Grammys one time.”
As MGK hunts for the right beat, he hopes to take the mixtape on the road for his very own headlining tour — all while engaging in other activities. “[I’ll] probably have sex with a lot of animals,” he jokes. “Probably get into some gardening. Then maybe some time in between all that we’ll do a ‘Black Flag’ tour and then start that album. But I really want to do that ‘Black Flag’ tour. But I gotta f— those mammals first.”
Funny business aside, MGK does have a close connection with his fans. He dedicates Fridays on Twitter to his fans, giving props to special supporters who show their dedication with tattoos inspired by the rhymer and his music. One, in particular, made such an impression on Kelly that he doesn’t think he can ever forget it.
“This girl who has ‘Lace the’ on her left chest and then ‘f— up’ o her right chest; so it says ‘Lace the f— up’ and then has my MGK logo in the middle,” he describes. “Then on the corner of that is my signature. It’s just gnarly as f—, and she always has a good time when she comes [to the shows]. She’s from down south so she’s always super f—ing enthusiastic. She keeps the environment fun. It’s cool seeing the tattoos online and then meeting them in person you know.”
With a good amount of ink on his own body, which were all the handy work of Ceven, a Cleveland-based tattoo artist, TheDrop.fm decided to find out the stories behind several of the ‘Wild Boy’ lyricist’s body art. Here’s Machine Gun Kelly’s Tattoo Tales.
“I feel like I’m the guy from ‘The Giving Tree.’ Excuse me, I feel like the actual giving tree. People want so much from me, and you give them everything. And then they see that you’ve given them everything, and still they come back for more. You get bummed out, and that’s why I put that on my body. I feel like I gave people my limbs, and they still will come back. I’ll always be the giving tree. It’s pretty recent. I started feeling some kind of way.”
“That’s a Banksy piece, and I think it’s a f—ing genius play on words. People don’t get that one all the time. I don’t know.”
“The funny thing about the anarchy [tattoo] is that it was the only one that was a debate in the team. I was one of the only tattoos in the squad and I said, ‘Yo, I’m gonna get this. I’m just going all the way with it.’ And everyone was like, ‘No man! No f—ing way, man. You’re already kind of black-balled in the industry, and you’re gonna put that on your body. Now no corporate sponsors are going to f— with you.
And basically they thought I was going to stand alone. It’s funny because the time I did that, the same Halloween, I saw nothing but fans dressing up in MGK stuff. They had the guardian angel on my chest and ‘A’ on their stomachs. I just got anarchy because it’s a very strong statement about social reform. There is no f—ing rules. There is no code. You can’t tell me how to live my life. This is my own individuality, and I wear it proudly.”
“It gives girls a fair warning of what they’re getting into. Some nasty s—‘s about to happen.”
“That’s an ode to the book, ‘1984’. It’s the idea that Big Brother is watching you, and down here you see all the people revolting against it. There are people here holding bats and all that s—. And I’m with the people. Keep your hands out of my pockets. I got this when I was 19.”
“The numbers are area codes — Denver and Cleveland. Those are the two cities that molded me into a man. I was in Denver when I was 9 to 14 [years old]. Those were pivotal years in my life where I started being mindful of the world. All my first police run-ins where [in Denver].”
“What can I say? I love trees. I started when I was probably 11 or 12. I smoke all the time, every day. I smoked before I got here, right outside. I don’t think I need anything. All I need is my fans and my family.”
“I just have two views on women. Some are the f—ing devil, and some are angels coming to help you out. But I just now came to terms with realizing that not all women are bad. When you grow up with the woman who gave birth to you and you have such ill views on her and the girl you lost your virginity to and see her f—ing somebody else, your impression is like f—!
But then you have people who come into your life like fans and friends like girls who change that. Now some of the most beautiful people in my life are women. One of my managers, she was there from the jump. She let me crash on her mom’s couch. She gave me her brother’s clothes when I didn’t have anything to wear to a show while he was in Afghanistan. She still holds me down. I still crash on her couch now.”
“‘Locals Only’ means we only f— with thorough motherf—ers. If you’re from where I’m from, and that doesn’t have to mean literally, it just so happens that the people I roll with are Cleveland type sh—, it’s not about regional life. But if you’re from where I’m from as far as mentally and demographically, I’ll f— with you. If you’re that kid who’s brushing all those negatives and only putting them to positives, I’m with you.
I’m f—ing with you. You’re one of those people I’m willing to embrace. I don’t embrace the outside. That’s what that is. … I got this [angel] when I was 16 or 17, and it was right at the time when I started believing in God. I grew up with a really strict Christian father, and I was the typical rebellious, “f— everything” my father says to me. So, of course, when he’s preaching all this religious verbiage to me, it just came out of nowhere, and I understood the concept of karma and I still do.
And I don’t think my guardian angel is a f—ing lady in a f—ing robe singing as she falls gracefully from the sky. That’s why I put my guardian angel in f—ing pants and a wifebeater and Chucks. He’s just chilling, and he’s just like me. He’s here to hold me down.”