Machine Gun Kelly Takes Aim in Missouri

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MGK, lacing up for Midwest domination
  • MGK, lacing up for Midwest domination

When I first met and interviewed Cleveland rapper Machine Gun Kelly in the summer of 2010, he seemed eager. He was working on Lace Up, his mixtape that would come in at No. 30 on XXL magazine's list of the 100 best mixtapes of 2010.

As we spoke about his past, his family, and his style, Kelly really seemed to light up when we spoke about his music and upcoming projects.

That was then, and this is now.

A little more than six months since I spoke to him, Kelly touched down at the University of Missouri to kick off the out-of-town portion of his Lace Up Tour, bringing with him DJ Xplosive, his personal DJ, and his hypeman.

Columbia is a small university town sandwiched between Kansas City and St. Louis, where hip-hop heads are used to the sounds of Tech n9ne and Nelly ringing out of their headphones. While the medium-sized venue wasn't close to being sold out on Friday night, a sizaeble crowd lingered by the bar in the back before meandering to the floor to watch Kelly rock.

And rock he did. While the crowd was dormant during the five underwhelming opening acts, they were awoken by MGK's energy from the minute he strolled onto the stage. Wearing a dark jacket over a black T-shirt, both of which would be removed by the show's end, Kells warmed up the crowd by bobbing to DMX and dancing to Kid 'n Play before getting into his set list.

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