Train of Thought: Machine Gun Kelly “Warning Shot”

After making noise by grinding independently for five years and dropping well-received mixtapes like 2010′s Lace Up, Machine Gun Kelly was rewarded when he signed a reported $1 million deal with Sean “Diddy” Combs’s Bad Boy Records last month. Since then, MGK caused a stir by creating a flash mob with his enthusiastic fans, and dropped a couple of new tracks. The first was “Wild Boy (Remix),” a rowdy anthem alongside Waka Flocka Flame. Then, earlier this month, the up-and-comer released “Warning Shot,” featuring Livvi Franc that was included on Diddy’s Bad Boy: The Preview—a mixtape the Puffster dropped to showcase the label’s current roster.

MGK recently broke down the first verse of “Warning Shot” with, explaining who he’s firing at, working with Diddy, who had the best verse on “Renegade,” what made DMX great and more. —Adam Fleischer

“Okay I came in, no clout/Small bank, and my big mouth/Small name but these big shots/Know just what this kid’s ’bout/I said shit, then I meant shit/Coroner, I dead shit/I treat hoes, just like hoes/That throw bones go fetch shit/I’m pitbull, that ‘X’ shit/That ‘goin in at they neck’ shit/That ‘we gonna have a problem if I am not on they next shit’/'Cause I wreck shit, can’t tame me/I’m Eminem and I’m Jay-Z/I’m the renegade of this rap shit, me and all my boys like A Team/Fuck’s wrong wit y’all? This is my warning shot I better see you get ghost/Because I will treat competition like hoes, skip conversation and cum at they throats/Boy I’m from the C-L-E-V-E-L-A-N-D and I will be reppin that until I die/And you either with me or riding against me so let me know put them L’s in the sky, lace up!” Who is this a warning shot for?

Machine Gun Kelly: When I came in—well, to this day, I don’t really have any cosigns at all. No one’s really wanted to make friends with me in the rap game. I’ve been around muthafuckas for a while, and I’ve never really been the one that people have reached out to. I don’t view it as I’m not wanted. I view it as I’m a fuckin’ problem. So I pretty much just made a warning shot to everybody. Like, Yo, I’m not here to be friends.

And everything is connected to each other. “Okay I came in, no clout/Small bank, and my big mouth.” I always had the least amount of money out of all the rappers coming out, ‘cause I always did mine the slow way. I never had all this big show money, I never had the hype, I never had any of that shit. But I had the biggest mouth, like, “I don’t need that shit. Fuck y’all, I’m still gonna do it.” And then I ended up getting the biggest major record label deal [out of] everyone who was all hyped up. So that was a big “fuck you” to all the people that were getting all this hype, to all the blogs that were hyping the wrong people.

Is this your first song with Diddy talking shit on it?

No, Diddy’s not even talking shit—that’s just for the [Bad Boy] Preview [mixtape]. I’m gonna release the real song, and it’s just me. The real version doesn’t have Puff on it. That was a mixtape version.

His shit talk has been one of his trademarks. It’s kind of like an entrance into the Bad Boy family maybe?

I agree. But I think I gotta do it right. We weren’t in the studio together for this one.

But you’ve had that chance before right?

Fuck yeah.

And what’s that been like?

It’s always good. We have the same type of mentality, [sometimes] we butt heads, but we butt heads in a good way. That’s my homie, though. I don’t have to contain anything with him. I can just say it and there’s a big respect ‘cause of how we came in. There’s no walking and getting cheesecake.

You’re coming at some throats with this shot.

That’s one line I don’t feel like people are gonna get. “Fuck’s wrong with y’all? This is my warning shot I better see you get ghost/Because I will treat competition like hoes, skip conversation and cum at they throats.” You really gotta spell it. C-u-m. Not c-o-m-e. When you fuck with a hoe, and you’re disrespectful to ‘em, you cum on their face, cum down their mouth, shit like that. When you’re disrespectful to a hoe, you just fuck ‘em and abuse ‘em—not abuse them, but abuse your powers. When you meet a chick you really like, you probably can’t cum on their face right when you meet ‘em. But with a hoe you can do that. So it’s the same thing with all these cats. Everyone who wasn’t down, I don’t have shit to say to you. I’m just coming at your neck muthafucka. I’m biting that shit off.

You shout-out Eminem and Jay-Z and say you’re a “Renegade of this rap shit.” Who had a better verse on “Renegade”?

Em. It’s the only consensus.

Did he have an advantage ‘cause it was his own beat that he made?

No. I don’t think so. Because you listen to [my coming release] Rage Pack and I’m rapping over numerous types of beats, and you’ll be like, What the fuck is Machine Gun Kelly doing on this beat? And then you’ll hear me rap on it and you’ll be like, “Ah, this is what the fuck he’s doing on this beat.” I wouldn’t put it on my album if I didn’t know how the fuck to rap on it.

Makes sense.

And I made a bunch of artist references throughout the whole song. I said, “I’m Pitbull, that ‘X’ shit/That ‘goin in at they neck’ shit.” DMX is my favorite rapper, so I compared myself to DMX.

What drew you to DMX?

He was unpredictable. He was exactly who he said he was. He let the world see him for him. And he wasn’t a nice muthafucka. And he had a million dollar voice.

Is it hard at all for you to show vulnerability in your music? Because you do that a lot. Is there ever a hesitation?

Not at all. Well, now, because I see people try to take advantage of it—to take advantage of the vulnerability and think that they can say and do whatever to you because they know you so well—which is my goal, but I see it taken advantage of a lot. That’s the price you pay I guess. I’m sure that’s why people like X and them fight all those demons. But that’s what makes the greats great.

Recommended for You

Around the Web

Best of XXL

  • GOD2U

    There is absolutly nothing special about this dude. Except hes white. His voice sucks. and lyrically hes worse.

    • MyName

      @GOD2U theres nothing special about you either. Lace Up!
      @realman He’s ok, but nothing compared to MGK.

      • GOD2U

        I am special just ask your mom.. She loves my dick GET DRESSED!

        • MyName

          @GOD2U damn that lame ass middle school “your mom” joke, i’m a senior in high school, i bet your some immature “adult” in there 20′s hittin’ up blogs fckin’ with people. 1st Grow Up. Then LACE UP!!!

          • CLeveland_Wildboy

            We dont need all the haters. EST is a fucking cult. Its a family. There isnt an Artist out there with better fans. House of Blues concert changed this city. Period. Lace up, est, Thats my team

    • LACED

      You gotta be kidding me? you’re a joke, lace up!

      • GOD2U

        Cuz im funny? Thanks GET DRESSED.

      • echeney09


        Kells is THE BEST rapper to come out. Get real

    • mgk

      You’re a effin joke! Everything about mgk is freaking amazing. If you think he’s nothing special lets see you do better. You need to lace the fuckk upp !

      • GOD2U

        Whats amazing? He bit bone thugs style and has sub par lyrics. if thats amazing then Lil B is a lyrical Genius.

        • chrissy

          i dont see you signing a million dollar deal, so keep your mouth shut because no one gives a damn what u gotta say. mgk puts on for his fans and hes a read dude like that and you should clear your ears ad really listen to his lyrics.

          • GOD2U

            A million??? surrrrrrrrrrrre your his accountant right? and my ears WERE clean til i heard this dirty piece of shit. now i gotta clean my ears for days to get rid of the remnince of this bullshit

        • MidWest

          they both from Cleveland. Bone and MGK. i imagine there styles will sound alike. have you ever even tried to right a verse? record yourself? get studio time? You talk like you know the industry and who’s hot. i ain’t sayin i’m anything more than you but i am an intern at a studio in Orlando, Florida and everyone knows. Like him or not, MGK is a beast.

          • GOD2U

            MGK IS NOT FROM CLEVELAND HE MOVED THER 5 YEARS AGO… He uses cleveland. Bone was born and raised in the city. The only real Cleveland Rep. IM FROM CLEVELAND so dont go there

    • brandon

      i bet you like tha carter iv

      • GOD2U

        Lace up??? whoever says that in a sentence is as gay as someone who says swag. Sounds fuckin retarded

        • JMS

          Dude, Mgk is the muthafuckin shit… and arguing online is like running the special olympics even if u win ur still retarded. LTFU!!

          • GOD2U

            Ha thats was a good one tho for real GET DRESSED THE FUCK UP!

    • leo

      last time i checked no body’s voice in the rap game sounds amazing so that is irrelevant

  • realman

    Jay sinificance should of got that record deal real talk

  • Jordan

    Yep. That’s why he is in XXL and signed to Diddy. You must be wearing crocs. Lace Up! MGK is the movement.

    • GOD2U

      Everybody gets into XXL stupid. And no one puts out albums on Bad Boy. STUPID. Name the last rap album STUPID.

      • young knox

        im pretty sure biggie was on bad boy, a fucking rap legend. diddy isn’t just gonna pick any one off the street, hes gonna make sure hes the best

        • GOD2U

          ONE ARTIST. THATS IT ONE ARTIST WHOS BEEN DEAD FOR 14 YEARS…. its not thats hes looking for a great artist. its that NO ONE signs to bad boy RETARD…

      • chrissy

        wow youre getting serious with this. stop sweating your balls, you’re a NOBODY. go listen to some lil B

  • Lewis

    And you’re a punk ass bitch

  • highnmighty


    • GOD2U

      IM GHOST… just like this kids career in 6months.

      • CLE boi

        alright bro 1 he just got signed to diddy his career aint going “ghost” anytime soon. lil b is a 0 talent rapper who got people to follow him by some fucking GOD givin reason and MGK is a rapper who built his shit from the ground up with fuckin nothing n his pocket. You dont know this motherfuckas story n he deserve this shit. he got thousands of followers n fans just being himself n puttin out good fuckin music. So quit hatin cause You just sound like another pissed off rapper who never made it.

        • GOD2U

          Alright Brooo 1 He signed to Puff who will not put out an album for shit but himself…. Dirty money… If im not mistaken he says Cassie and Red Cafe at the beginning of this track Both who have not put out an Album or have a release date. You KNOW when there dropping?? I’ll wait…………………… Exactly. if kid wanted to be taken serious or was serious about a career he should of went to a serious lable that puts out music not a novelty lable like Bad boy. Besides Red Cafe they have no rap artists. C’mon SON. oh and i dont rap i listen to quality hip hop and this shit is a gimmick fuck gimmicks. GET DRESSED.

          • CrystalIsLaced

            You obviously dont know he is signed to INTERSCOPE too. So SHUT THE FUCK UP. You sound fucking stupid. Next time u wanna talk shit bout someone GET YO FACTS STRAIGHT…and LACE THE FUCK UP.

  • cole g

    @god2u your a faggot pussy motha fucker

    • GOD2U

      Im a pussy but your the one talking so tuff on the internet…
      tuff talk over the internet = PUSSYYYYYYYYYYYYYY. Lace down.

      • rofl

        its apprent that you have a hatred for MGK which is kind of funny that you stalk this page enough to rant about him to everyone who comments… like if you seriously have a problem with him that is soooo big that you feel the need to constantly rant about it. go take it up with MGK himself. the only thing your doing hateing on a fan page is trying to get attention and making a god damn fool out of yourself. good luck with your record deal and millions of followers….. oh wait you dont got it sorry :P

        • GOD2U

          Nah girlllll im bored at work and this shits fun to see everyone get there pussys hurt over an opinion. I can think this dudes trash 7 days a week and i can state that 7 days a week. If my favorite rapper was 2pac and niggas was shitting on him what im gonna do? go to bat for that nigga. he dont pay my bills. yet you all gotta spend the time defending em lol its so easy for me to say this shit. while you all think of a smart way to make yourselfs feel better bout supporting this LOSER. GET DRESSED

          • fagiu

            go do omething better than be a hater, yur either jealou or mierable ith your life. lame talk garbage in the background, the pot light aint for lame

      • CrystalIsLaced

        Seriously? You started shit tlkin so I know yo ass aint callin no one a pussy. Go sit down somewhere and do somethin productive instead of wastin time writing hate cmmts on someone who obviously doesnt give a flyin fuck what you have to say. HATERS MAKE US FAMOUS. You wanna see him go down, Shut up.

        • GOD2U

          I wasent shit talking i was stating my opinion and He sucks and makes me ears bleed cuz his music is that fuckin whack. you can dislike someones music and state it. thats the point of comments. I say who i like and dont and this kids blows more then 2 dollar hooker GET DRESSED…

          • J 59

            dude i was reading all your comments…its straight if you don’t like a rapper but dont hate on other people who like him. Everyone has an opinion…but you make yours look weak when you rant and rave like that my dude…and if you can do better the MGK go record and let us hear you….but right now you sound like a hater and this is coming from someone who isn’t all that crazy about MGK i like some of his shit but not all of it and you dont see me making an ass out of myself….smdh

  • Alison

    MGK is aaaamazing! Lace Up!

  • GrowUp

    Machine Gun Kelly is the realest rapper out there. While the rest are talking about their money, strippers, killing people, and whatnot. MGK is on the real shit.

  • Talen

    Great choice for an interview XXL. Lace Up!!

  • forreal

    LACE UP!!! give em’ hell MGK!

  • LaceUp

    Been a fan since he was making tapes out the basement. 216! #PowerRagers

  • Ashley P.

    MGK, can i have your kids?

  • Nick Spychola

    MGK is a BEAST! BUT he better watch out fuckin around talkin about Eminem… Em’s been doin this shit for over 12 years AND Em’s old enough to be MGK’s Father! He needs to get more respect in the rap game first before coming at ANYBODY especially Em! Don’t come in the rap game trying to be seen or heard by starting beef! Do it by your lyrics and your music!

    • REDONE

      He didn’t diss Em. Sounded to me like he was giving Em props for Renegade.

  • Sinastar


  • Ricky Gunz

    Machine gun kelly is the dumbest rap name in history…. what a loser

  • Rhonda Ellenberger

    Lil’ B is the dumbest rapper in history, oh wait you said rap name.

  • The Joker

    MGK is a joke, every rhyme he spits sounds like the last one, same fast flow on every track. He reps Cleveland, yet he wasn’t even born in Ohio, he’s only lived in Cleveland the past 5-6 years. No matter what he rhymes about he will be like every other white rapper. The only thing he has going for him is his stage performance, but anybody can pour water all over them and jump around like a hillbilly. He’s not that great lyrically. And with his stupid publicity stunt at the mall, what if one of those kids fell over the railing due to all the commotion? He’d be in jail with DMX. Always remember that anyone Diddy signs, especially in the past few years, their careers get ruined, period.

    • GOD2U

      THANK YOU…. some one else besides Machine dumb Jelly signed in and posted a real comment.

    • yo momma

      are u fuckin serious? every other white rapper? look at eminem u dumb fuck, MGK has flow thats destroying all these new “black rappers”

  • Jilli

    lace up or shut up

    • GOD2U

      I will do neither since Lace up is the stupidest term used to describe a movement. Im a start my own its GET DRESSED so while you lace up im already fresh cuz my movements GET DRESSED… Stupid people.


    MGK is a motherfuckin’ monster! Get money, Kellz. Treat hoes like hoes. LTFU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Mario Stepherson

    Im not a hater or no bias nigga but I just can’t fuck with this frontin white boy. This muthafucka ain’t humble at all plus he think he hard

  • CotDamn85

    MGK is dope, but im not sure if it was a good move signing wit didy seeing as how he completely shits on his artists…duh well LACE UP!!!

  • danny

    lace the fuck up son

  • amanda

    He is awesome and ppl need to step off and not hate his voice is sick he better then most the so call artist out there
    LACE UP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • realtalk01

    Funny how you all think bad boy is a good label it will get him out the doors thats all it is. diddy screws his peoples over its a proven fact look it up far as mgk good music but i would of went with a different label bottom line…And yeah biggie was his big move why you think he has all that money biggie thats why..Puffy put shyne in prison and left him in there when the dude was helping him… he is the Suge” Knight of the east coast he pushes his rappers in the wrong direction i hope he didn’t sign his life over to him and as far as renegade you cant even talk like your close to those cats while you still such a small fish in the pound so slow your roll.stupid things diddy lets happen your not going to get far in this game talking ish about others why not do tracks with them….

  • kj

    i like the kid heard his stuff awhile ago but im disappointed he signed to badboy but i guess u gotta do what u gotta do. sad part is nobody but BIG had a career with BadBoy and even that was cut short.

  • javi

    This nigga is fucking corny..he’s okay, he isn’t the amazing lyricist that he wants to be though. You got a long way to go bruh

  • derek

    MGK is the best! Can’t wait for Rage Pack and then for his first studio album next year! I haven’t bought a CD since the 90s but I’ll definitely be purchasing this one.

  • neaya

    I been followed him before he got signed. He was the shhiit then.Still is. I gots my conformation when i seen him perform @sobs in nyc…He did amazing w/A team.LOL Lace up! MGK is one of the best /haters/deal with it.

  • mikeyc

    you fuckin dumb dawg, mgks fuckin real he tells it like it is LACE THE FUCK UP CLEVELAND!!!!

  • mikew

    Damn dude is all worked up over this? Haha MGK is the shit. He’s been working hard for years the fact that you can talk down on that means you’re not doing much with your life. LACE UP

  • mullet216

    Lace the fuck up
    Machine Gun Kelly is mr O.H.I.O

  • welcometohell

    MGK,YELAWOLF,AND RITTZ IS what i listen to for the last couple of years

  • n!gbolls

    fuck off haters really dont be fuc#n mad just lace the fuck up

  • Brittany

    R yall seriously tlkn shyt on dis nigga and or claimin hm as fam??? If u dnt knw ths nigga (MGK) personally, hw bout u fall da fuc bacc!! Ta b real u mkn yaselves look dumb as shyt. no lie.

    • bob

      learn how to spell before you call people dumb

  • bob

    shaker heights is not cleveland. sorry mgk