Desert or Dessert? (Machine Gun Kelly, General Admission review)
Sometimes I will buy an album and have no idea what I am getting myself into. And it usually ends up either one of two ways, either I really like what I bought or I unfortunately have to shake my head at the reality of $15 wasted on my part and $100s of thousands of dollars down the drain for whoever produced that particular noise garbage.
Luckily my purchase last week was nothing like that.
I bought a sophomore effort from the eclectic Machine Gun Kelly (MGK). Which is very evident the more time you spend with the record.
Machine Gun Kelly – General Admission
released October 16, 2015
Did you know that Machine Gun Kelly (MGK) is only 25 years old? It definitely surprised me because I was expecting him to be at least 30 years old, based on some of the lyrics he spits on this LP. Also that he is representing Bad Boy/Interscope Records and even has a guest appearance track with the infamous Kid Rock featured.
But that surprise isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
I also learned that some of his early influencers were the heavyweights Ludacris and DMX. In particular he got really into the genre after listening to the track We Right Here, from DMX’s The Great Depression! Which was one of the first hip hop CDs I ever bought too! And he loves NOFX, the Casualties and other awesome punk groups.
Check out the interview he had with the ever-weird Nardwuar for some evidence!
So how would I describe MGK in terms of the hip hop scene? I think he represents the parts of it which are working to be inclusive of everybody and everything. He wants to work with all kinds of artists and his music is about positive identities and finding yourself.
I’m going to quote directly from the liner notes –
I needed it to feel authentic, i needed to push the limits of my sanity and capture something real. Legend has it that you have to lose yourself our there in order to find yourself inside. That’s exactly what we did and that’s exactly what this album represents: Finding yourself
This album is a ticket into the journey of finding one’s self. A ticket into our every day trials and tribulations. This album is a self-realization that underneath it all we’re just the same. This is general admission. Enjoy the show. Lace up.
The price of admission for this show of course, is realizing that pretty much anything and everything is open territory for MGK. He’s been through drug addiction, has a young daughter, and has even been homeless before.
Those pieces alone might be enough to put together some powerful tracks, but there is so much more going on in this record.
For instance – he’s from Cleveland, Ohio and he raps about it A LOT. The track Till I Die is a perfect vehicle for this concept and the music video encapsulates this even better. He raps about the trials and triumphs of living there and in the music video features people from the city and shots of the city itself.
Bad Mother****er is an anthem for who MGK is and where he is at. He knows what he’s been through already and the dark stuff he’s let into his life, self-imposed or not, but that’s not gonna stop him from being a bad mother, and he’s OKAY with it.
But those aren’t the only songs he puts together. The song A Little More is about the stresses of life, and not being silent about pain, depression, and suicidal thoughts. Being mindful of others and extending love wherever you can.
General Admission is ambitious in a lot of fun ways, and reminds me of his influencers in a lot of little ways. Some of the reviews on this album have been negative, but I think that’s the price of admission. You don’t always get a perfect experience out of it, but if you’re willing to give something different a try, you might just be surprised enough to enjoy yourself in the desert.
Happy Monday dear readers! I hope your week is a good one, but don’t worry, I’ll be back tomorrow night for a movie review. And I’ll be hard at work behind the scenes because this week is a vacation for me, and I’m putting together some fun theories for you.