Machine Gun Kelly or MGK’s debut album, “Lace Up,” is something very new in the sense that even though it’s a rap album, it has a lot of rock influences that are well-integrated into the album.
It is obvious that MGK has been influenced by rock: with his mountain of tattoos, the large “A” on his chest and his weird redish Mohawk (not someone you would want to run into in the street). Either way, this shows two things: He really doesn’t like the government by the looks of the giant “A” tattoo (which begs the question: Did he vote this year?), and he’s a guy that really believes in what he’s doing and that really comes through in the album.
From the first track, “Save Me,” featuring M. Shadows and Synyster Gates, you can feel the surge of energy as the techno starts, infused with piano, leading to guitar and a lot of bass, then MGK’s lyrics establish the feeling of the whole album: This is me; take it or leave it. This leads to some very interesting songs like “Wild Boy” featuring Waka Flocka Flame. It’s loud. It’s a party song, plain and simple, but that’s not to say MGK’s album, much like the person, is just about parties.
“Stereo,” featuring Alex Fitts, shows MGK’s fun side and his knack for word play. My favorite song, “See My Tears,” is the most emotionally charged and gives the sense that this is a person who really puts everything in his music. It definitely shows a more sensitive side (but not in a whiny way).
All in all, “Lace Up” is a heavy album. It is an artist putting everything on the table, something that isn’t seen very often. So if you want something that is as gutsy as it is entertaining, check it out (and yes, it does contain explicit lyrics).
Max Fisher is a senior at Leonardo DaVinci High School.