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Five minutes with MGK at Iron Mic Music Festival [Interview]

Edmonton, AB – On Apr. 19, Pearl Entertainment brought a monstrous debut Iron Mic Music Festival to the people of Edmonton. Iron Mic Music Festival is Western Canada’s biggest indoor hip-hop music festival. The event’s line-up was stacked to include five hip-hop heavyweights: Smoke DZA, Joey Bada$$, Action Bronson, Ghostface Killah, and MGK.

HipHopCanada caught up with all five MCs over the course of the evening to chop-it up. After MGK‘s set came to an abrupt halt (i.e.: it got cut off) at the end of the night, HipHopCanada went backstage to chit-chat with the Machine that is Gun Kelly. And I have to be real, here: this was – hands down – one of the weirdest interviews I’ve ever conducted.

Five minutes with MGK: Iron Mic Music Festival, Edmonton, and the cult of MGK [Interview] -

Shit’s getting sketchy right now. And I would love nothing more than to be able to use my voice to tell 100,000 kids to go out and make a difference.” – Machine Gun Kelly

Exhibit A: The condoms. When Rosa Jason and I introduced ourselves to Kelly, he threw a strip of condoms over his shoulder and introduced himself to us. Magnum condoms – to be specific (…because I know there are girls reading this who actually are really invested in what brand of condoms MGK uses. Now you know. You’re welcome, ladies. I accept personal cheques and cash). Word to practicing safe sexual intercourse, and stuff. But that’s just supremely awkward. I know. I know. I’m sure that he gets a lot of “Will you fornicate with me?” kind of inquisitions. But that’s not our HipHopCanada style of questioning (subject to change if an interview with Pusha T happens).

Exhibit B: The fruit plate. Okay, let me preface this by saying that I was mad impressed that MGK received a fruit plate as part of his rider (…because fruit is healthy and stuff, and most riders are junk food and carbs and yuck). Also, I was impressed that said fruit plate had actual variety. One time I went to IHOP and ordered a fruit plate. The waitress brought me a big plate of honeydew melon. Just honeydew melon. Honeydew melon for weeks. So I wasted a solid $8 at IHOP. True story. But MGK had grapes, and pineapple, and cantaloupe, and all sorts of other tasty business going on atop that plate. Anyways, midway through our interview, the Machine Gun posse started feeding us fruit. Actually – not even. They went ahead and shoved grapes in my mouth. It wasn’t completely unwelcomed, though. When you’ve been at Iron Mic for 10 hours with no food break, you’re haanngrry. So thanks for the grapes, homies. But seriously – please don’t shove food in my mouth during an interview. At least they had the courtesy to offer Rosa the fruit (sans force-feeding). So that was cool, and stuff.

Exhibit C: Slim Gudz. I see you doing your thing, over there. I like it. You’re a mighty talented rap cat. Really mighty talented. I also see you stroking my hair over there. That was weird. Yes. Midway through the interview, I felt something brush up against my head. I’m like, “Okay. We’re in pretty close quarters here. I’m sure it was an accident.” Then I felt it again. I turned around and the dude is stroking my hair. I do have a luscious mane of locks. And I take pride in that. Because – you know – long hair; don’t care, etc, etc, etc. But that was weird.

That all said-and-done, MGK is one of the most appreciative dudes I’ve come across. He has so much love for his fans. And so much love for Edmonton. He doesn’t take his status for granted. At all. I also loved that he consistently referred to the “us” and the “we” that is his team. So many MCs get caught up in their own hype that they forget to pay their dues to their teams. The MGK fam-jam dynamic was just downright beautiful. Respect! One love! Kumbayah! Anyways, this is how it all went down. Special shout-out to my homegirl, Rosa Jason for tag-teaming this interview with me. Rosa is our new Edmonton HipHopCanada rep. And she’s the best.

Five minutes with MGK: Iron Mic Music Festival, Edmonton, and the cult of MGK [Interview] -


Interview conducted by Sarah Sussman and Rosa Jason for HipHopCanada

Sarah Sussman: My name is Sarah Sussman

Rosa Jason: I’m Rosa Jason.

Sarah Sussman: And we’re sitting here today with…

MGK: [points to crew members] Here we have Andy, Limp dick. Butt face. Bill. And – uh – Devonte, right here. What’s up?

Sarah Sussman: So you just wrapped your performance at Iron Mic Music Festival…

MGK: No. You wrapped our performance. You guys cut us off.

Sarah Sussman: … I didn’t do that.

MGK: I know. But someone did. So we didn’t “wrap” our performance. Anyways, continue…

Sarah Sussman: So what’s it like to be here today – aside from getting your performance cut off?

MGK: So sick. Dude, I love Edmonton. They’ve seen me so many goddamn times. It’s okay. They knew what was coming after. So it’s cool. I love Edmonton. It’s so good. Last time I was here it was like -40 out. Our tour bus broke down and the fans still waited outside for seven hours in -40 in a long ass line. So I just have so much love for Edmonton. We’ve been selling out here since we first came. Which is f**king cool.

Rosa Jason: So what is it about a festival – as a performer – that would keep you coming back year-after-year? 

MGK: When they don’t book artists that suck; like artists that ride the hype train. We’re just real performers and we… [at this point, MGK’s posse starts feeding us fruit from their fruit plate]… we just love playing music. My thing is we just love playing music. Whether it’s at a festival. Or if it’s in a f**king garage or a basement. Or at a little shitty f**king hole in the wall venue. You know – high school prom, or something.

Sarah Sussman: Tell us a bit about your following – it’s kind of like a cult.

MGK: Yup. I definitely do feel that way.

Sarah Sussman: What’s it like to be the leader?

MGK: I’m just trying to use it for positivity. Me and my fan base – we’re all very young right now. As we continue to grow, I’d like to see my fans grow. And as we grow older, our aspirations become a lot more than partying and just playing music. As our minds mature I want to be able to use the dedication that they have towards us, towards something very positive. The earth is f**ked up. The planet’s f**ked up. Shit’s getting sketchy right now. And I would love nothing more than to be able to use my voice to tell 100,000 kids to go out and make a difference. [pauses] Basically, we can’t wait to use these things [shakes strip of condoms] right here in Edmonton.

Interview conducted by Rosa Jason and Sarah Sussman for HipHopCanada
Interview recorded and filmed by RandomPath Media
Photography by RandomPath Media

About Iron Mic Music Festival

Iron Mic is the first of its kind for Western Canada – it’s an indoor multi-headliner hip-hop festival offered to all ages. The festival is three parts in nature: it features headlining performances from internationally recognized artists. It provides an opportunity for local artists to gain some exposure. And it gives back to the community through charitable efforts. Iron Mic Music Festival was made possible through Pearl Entertainment’s partnerships with Nightshift, Mez Muzik, Dubsac, Jakmove, Diamond Kings Entertainemnt, IPartySask, and HipHopCanada.

Twitter: @MachineGunKelly | @SlimGudz216 | @IronMicFest

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Sarah Jay

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Sarah Jay is based in Calgary and works as a freelance journalist and photographer. Sarah is also a former A&R talent scout for the Universal Music Scouting Program, and runs a vintage store during the day. Sarah has juried the JUNO Awards, The Polaris Music Prize, and The Prism Prize. She has been fortunate enough to interview and photograph some of hip-hop's greatest influencers including Future, ScHoolboy Q, Ghostface Killah, Moka Only, Maestro Fresh Wes, Shad, Joey Bada$$, Mac Miller, and more. Follow Sarah on Twitter: @ThisIsSarahJay

  1. Whale

    I’ve had much respect for MGk, had and still do . In his interviews he constantly appreciates his fans… I’m a chick, MGK is hot. Do I want him to fornicate me? Of course I do.. He talked about the whale on his tour bus in an interview one time, how she had to weigh 220lbs..technically he is calling some of his fans whales…. I’m not a porn star or a stripper, 12 months ago I weighed 220lbs.why? Bc I kicked a 10 year cocaine habit, and the weight followed, with the help of his music…lead you on…changed my life…I’m a fan, would love to be fornicated by him, and alive today bc of him…but I was a Whale… It’s kinda ironic

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