MGK’s Bloom Both Engages and Inspires Listeners


It doesn’t take a genius to write a song and belt out lyrics like it’s nothing, but artists also have to look at the demographics and what’s popular and try to appeal to it. A key part of creating a song is making sure it is engaging and flows perfectly with the audio behind the lyrics. Most artists take the emotional approach when it comes to developing a song so the listeners can relate to what they are saying and know they aren’t the only ones going through issues. This Texas-born, but Cleveland-raised, musician, is an exceptional example of an artist taking the emotional approach.

Richard Colson Baker, better known as Machine Gun Kelly (MGK), was born April 22nd, 1990 in Houston, Texas. Most of his life he grew up in the streets of Shaker Heights in Cleveland, Ohio. Colson began making music in his teenage years, starting as early as the seventh grade in rap battles. In 2009, he had his big break as the first rapper to win an amateur night at Harlem’s Apollo Theater. Two years later, in 2011, Baker signed a record contract with Interscope and Bad Boy Records after his first four mixtapes went viral. His songs ‘Stamp Of Approval’ (2006), ‘Homecoming’ (2008), ‘100 Words and Running’ (2010), and ‘Lace Up’ (2010) were the stepping stones that ultimately led to him signing those record contracts in 2011.

In October of 2012, MGK’s first major debut album “Lace Up” was released and almost instantaneously it received positive reinforcements from critics all over the world. That album debuted at number four on the US Billboard 200 Chart. In early 2015, he released the singles for his second studio album “General Admission,” which was released in October 2015. Not even two years later, he would do something that the world would go ballistic over, in a good way of course.

On May 12th, 2017, Baker released his third studio album, rightfully titled “Bloom.” With songs like ‘27,’ ‘Rehab,’ ‘Let You Go,’ ‘At My Best,’ and a few others hits, this album was notably his best album, topping the Billboard Hot 100 at number four and being his highest-charting work.

The album had two bonus tracks titled ‘The Break Up’ and ‘Habits.’ The demand for music that related to everyday issues, such as mental health and relationships, was high at this time. With this album, he gave many an outlet to escape and feel as if someone did know how they felt. Machine Gun Kelly himself made that opportunity possible.

MGK’s songs are explicit but they are relatable. In his song ‘27’ at 3:43, they ask the question “If Kells was standing here right now, what would you say to him?” The girls they asked answered “Thank you for your music, it’s beautiful, it has helped us in our hardest times. It’s… it’s wonderful.” His music inspires others to do better with their life because of the things he’s been through.

Some of his songs are reminiscent of that toxic love everyone has had at least once in their lifetime. Songs such as ‘Rehab’ are about how he doubts this girl’s love towards him, but he’s happy because the thought of her makes him feel better about himself due to the bad things he did in his past, which make him feel miserable about himself. ‘Let You Go’ is about him reminiscing the night he met a girl and the memories of their relationship that he had to “let go” as the spark between them diminished. She wasn’t even his, prompting the lyrics, “You’re like my drug but I can’t get high off you. You’re not mine anymore.”

A lot of Machine Gun Kelly’s songs are just good pick-me-up anthems. ‘At My Best’ is a good example. It is about going through life with problems and making mistakes, being imperfect but perfect the way you are, but to continue holding your head high and staying positive and never to give up on yourself or dreams. ‘Kiss The Sky’ is saying that he’s a star and he made it on his own, so therefore he can grant his wishes/dreams. ‘Go For Broke’ is a beautiful track about the trials and tribulations of growing up, as an artist in the industry and as a human being in the real world.

Of course, “Bloom” isn’t his final album. He went on to release “Hotel Diablo” on July 5th, 2019. Currently, he is working on a new album titled “Tickets to My Downfall” that is set to be released during the Summer of 2020, if not pushed back due to the current pandemic. Richard Colson Baker, A.K.A Machine Gun Kelly (MGK), is no doubt a prodigious rapper that is always growing in the musical industry and it doesn’t look like he has any plans to stop growing anytime soon.