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Machine Gun Kelly, French Montana, and More Rock XXL‘s CMJ Showcase

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Last night (October 21), as fans wrapped around the block of NYC’s Highline Ballroom in the Chelsea district of Manhattan to witness the likes of Machine Gun Kelly, Dom Kennedy, French Montana, and more rip the stage for XXL‘s CMJ showcase dubbed “A Night of New Hip-Hop,” anticipation for the night’s attraction reached fever pitch.

Kicking off approximately at 12:20 a.m., a vintage Starter New York Knicks snapback-sporting, Action Bronson hit the stage churning the lyrics to his “The Come Up” Freestyle followed by “Barry Horowitz.” Running through a gang of favorites including “Bag of Money” featuring Meyhem Lauren, “Muslim Wedding,” and more. West Coast MC Kid Ink then took to rocking the crowd. After performing the Jahlil Beats-produced, “It’s On” and “Blowin Swishers,” the tatted spitter brought out Cory Gunz for their collaboration, “Tatted Up. ”

From there, Chris Webby came through busting crowd favorites such as “Roger That” (“I’m the best in the burbs and bitch you could Roger That!“) as well as “La La La,” where he closes his set saying, “Wear a condom, don’t drive drunk, and get fucked up!”

When it’s announced that Cleveland native and recent Bad Boy signee, Machine Gun Kelly was next, a thick cloud of excitement swooped the room, fueling a the night’s loudest ovation. “Lace Up,” the rapper exclaimed before jumping into the smooth “LTFU (One More Time).”

“First of all I want to thank all you standing in line to come up in here” he says before paying homage to Eminem, reciting the lyrics to “Lose Yourself.”

After more than 20 minutes, it was clear that MGK had made the show into his own as he delivered an exhilarating performance featuring multiple stage dives, crowd surfs, a live band, KurtCobainBack references, pouring water bottles, and more.

Before signing off in nothing but his drawers and socks, the Bad Boy artist staggered the crowd with his riotous Waka collabo, “Wild Boy.” “Yeah bitch, yeah bitch I’m a wild boy…Cobain’s Back!” MGK got so wild that he strained his back and left the stage limping.

The long-running set was followed up by LA spitter, Dom Kennedy who represented for the West rocking to joints such as “Dom’s Prayer,” “Platinum Chanel,” “Me Again” and more.

To cap off the night in the City, Bronx rapper French Montana kept the hometown crowd rocking—who were churning “Free Max B” before he hit the stage— with his string of brooding block anthems including “Break a Bitch Down,” “Choppa Choppa, Down,” “Tony Montana” freestyle, and a slew of others including Uncle Murda’s “Warning,” who joined the stage as a special guest.

“Free Max B and Happy Birthday to Stack Bundles,” he commanded before signing off.—Ralph Bristout

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