From Shrooms to Strippers, Inside Machine Gun Kelly's Wild Weekly Grind

Machine Gun Kelly, MGK
Casey McPerry

Machine Gun Kelly photo graphed in 2015.

Rapper preps new LP amid whirlwind of shrooms, booze and strippers.

Sept. 18: Machine Gun Kelly lands in Las Vegas, shoots Jameson at his hotel and heads to rehearsals for his Bad Boy label boss Sean “Diddy” Combs’ iHeartRadio festival set -- a great look in the run-up to the Oct. 16 release of the Cleveland-based 25-year-old’s second album, General Admission. After accepting a delivery (2 ounces of weed), the MC (born Colson Baker) heads to the fest, where he hangs out with Jared Leto. MGK is in a bathroom stall when, he recalls, “This 8-ball of cocaine slides under the door -- then everything got weird.”

Sept. 19: At 8 a.m., MGK exits a strip club. His last memory before crashing at the hotel: watching The Weeknd at an after-hours spot with Avenged Sevenfold. He sleeps through practice. Later, he vomits at a Saks Fifth Avenue. “I’d just had an acai berry smoothie,” he says. “Epic.” He pulls himself together and performs “All About the Benjamins” with Combs and Lil’ Kim at the festival.

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Sept. 20: Another all-nighter, powered by coffee-infused Patron and “baseball-bat doobies.” MGK can’t hold himself up but has a 9 a.m. flight, so he summons a nurse with an IV bag of vitamins to his room. He flies to Canada and crushes an Edmonton gig as part of his Road Trippin’ Tour.

Sept. 21: Postshow, his band surprises him by decking the bus in party lights. “It was a full-on club,” he says. Nude women make out by the fridge; MGK rests up for a Saskatoon gig that night.

Sept. 22: In Winnipeg, MGK puts his new portable studio to the test, renting out an entire hallway of a motel for a recording session. “We lit the Nag Champa, burned Js on Js, killed 150 beers,” he says. “The hallway was foggier than Scooby-Doo’s van.”

Sept. 23: MGK FaceTimes his daughter Casie, 6: “She got picked on for the first time. We had a long talk about how important it is to be confident in yourself.” During an 18-hour drive, MGK edits a documentary about General Admission.

Sept. 24: There’s no show in Toronto tonight, so MGK takes measures to stay in tune creatively -- “like eating mushroom caps to make sure the mind is colorful,” he says, noting he ingests them a few times a week. “It’s like coffee to me.”

This article originally appeared in the Oct. 17 issue of Billboard.



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