Review: Machine Gun Kelly's "Black Flag"

BYMatt Aceto6.0K Views
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After much anticipation, MGK returns from the shadows with his new "Black Flag" mixtape.

Call him Steve-O. The Cleveland Wild Boy is back with his new mixtape, Black Flag. Featuring all original music, the free album is more or less a gift to his dedicated EST fanbase. This project comes not too long after Machine Gun Kelly’s debut studio album, Lace Up, which released in October of last year. Nevertheless, MGK certainly didn’t rush the making of his latest mixtape.

Triumphant as ever, the tape begins with “Raise The Flag”. On this track, Kells pays homage to himself and the struggles he has overcome to reach the platform he’s at today. He raps about showering at truck stops during his early tours, because he couldn’t afford hotel rooms at the time. The kid from Cleveland has come a long way. “I was just a fool in a room full of Edison’s, look at me now.” We’re watching.      

The second track is just as impressive as the first. “Breaking News” is filled with sound clips of music critics talking about his style, but MGK surely silences his skeptics. “If it ain't EST in your mouth, then whatever you rep is corny/ Got a new single without me on it? That shit's boring, bitch I'm snoring.” Confident words from the inked-up rapper. MGK keeps the tide rolling on his next track, “Pe$o”.

Assisted by Pusha T and MMG rhyme slinger Meek Mill, “Pe$o” absolutely lived up to its potential. The hook features the “I Need a Dolla” sample by Aloe Blacc, a perfect fit given the song’s theme. All three artists delivered strong verses, especially Meek Mill. “Cause I'm going hard for that peso/ Selling blocks no lego/ Got killers all on my payroll/ And they shoot like O.J. Mayo,” raps the Philadelphia native.

Lyrically, “D & G” is probably the most honest song on the tape. On his second verse, MGK truly opens up about his rough road to stardom. “It’s hard to sleep when you ain't dreamin right/ My fuckin nostrils look like poltergeists/ I miss going to rock at open mic's hoping that I got noticed by labels and blow up over night/ Never happened but passion led me like Holy Christ/ Good intentions just Breaking Bad like I’m Walter White/ I owe my life to my own advice/ Follow your muthafuckin dreams until those visions come to life.”

MGK salutes his longtime girlfriend on “Baddest”. “6 inch heels/ 5 course meals/ 4 years she's been my 32, my center like Shaquille.” After honoring his girlfriend on “Baddest”, Kells moves onto “Miss Me” where he urges that nothing of his was taken for granted. “Y’all in family houses like Bob Saget/ Both parents/ I was on family couches like "you don’t want it?" I’ll wear it/ Inheriting hand me downs as a grown man, embarrassed.”

From the intro to the outro, there really are no skippable tracks on Black  Flag. Machine Gun Kelly is possibly one of the hungriest rappers in the game, something he shows obv. Despite the recent outburst of album releases from notables like Kanye West, J. Cole, and Wale, MGK proves he should be mentioned among the best. 

If you haven't already, listen and/or download Black Flag below.


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About The Author
<b>Contributor</b> Matt is a young writer/entrepreneur, with dreams of becoming the industry's premier hip-hop journalist. His passion for rap music intensified after hearing Lil Wayne's classic 2009 mixtape, No Ceilings. A pensive thinker, Matt is not only attentive to the music, but concerned with hip-hop culture as a whole. His favorite sub-genres of hip-hop include Atlanta "trap" and Chicago "drill".