MGK wasn't on my radar. I think it really had nothing to do with him particularly. More than anything else I think it had a lot to do with Diddy. For those who don't know, MGK signed to the damn near defunct Bad Boy. I say this simply because they barely have artists anymore. Allow me to list:
· The Notorious B.I.G., the crown jewel of the label, was taken before his time.
· Junior M.A.F.I.A. are defunct.
· Lil' Kim is...yeah, that.
· 112 is all but gone.
· Faith Evans took her talents elsewhere.
· Shyne went to jail for something that to my mortal eyes looked to be Diddy's fault.
· Ma$e became a pastor and came back. But not to Bad Boy.
· Da Band got fired.
· Dream fired.
· Day 26 got fired.
· Danity Kane got fired.
· I severely doubt Cassie makes music much except for the occasional feature.
· Boyz N Da Hood are gone to hip-hop group heaven. Not dead just away from Diddy.
· Donny is doing whatever he's doing.
· Diddy-Dirty Money was destined to fail, really
The list is probably longer but we have a review to get to. I will say that some people deserve points for getting out when they did.
· Young Jeezy
· Yung Joc
· Gorilla Zoe
· Dawn Richard (but points will be taken for Dirty Money)
· French Montana
· Janelle Monae
· 8Ball and MJG
The only artist that is really left is MGK. I'm silently hoping he doesn't got the way of everyone who works with Diddy. I say this mostly because his debut studio album is a very amazing effort. It wasn't until I got over my Diddy based prejudices that I was able to see this.
Lace Up, MGK's aforementioned album, is full of good features and really well done songs. Here are the ones I loved:
"What I Do" was my first surprise to me. Without a doubt based on the first few minute and the hook MGK belts out, this is an anthem of braggadicio. Bub B comes through first to give the song his Texas stamp of excellence. Despite the presence of hip-hop royalty and the additional feature of Dub-O, MGK holds his own on his verse. This is the one of those tracks you have beating out of your car speakers.
Now, I know "Wild Boy" has been played to death but that doesn't take away from it for me. Waka Flocka Flame and MGK create a perfect symbiosis of sound here. Between Waka's screamed verses and MGK's angry rhyming style on this one, the track just works. Moreover it promises to make your heart race and have you dancing uncontrollably. As I write this my head nods and I pump my arms along to the beat. It's just that kind of song.
"D3mons" is a darker track on the album. No other way to say it. It's also a bit of alphabet soup. I say that because it's an MGK song featuring DMX amd that's a lot of letters. To be wholly honest, it's nice to hear DMX's growling , his unique voice, and that amazing flow on a track again. MGK adopts a similar style with his verses and they come together to make a track that has that ethereal quality DMX mastered in a new generation of hip-hop song.
"Edge Of Destruction" is quite the song. It excels in both speed and lyricism. How does the track succeed at this feat? By having Tech N9ne and Twista on the track doing their thing. I am a fan of both Tech and Twista so hearing them on this one made me smile. MGK once again proves to listeners that he belongs here with these well established artists.
Also check out "Lace Up", "Runnin'", and "Invincible".
As far as debut efforts go, this is a rather strong one. Between sound production and great features, maybe MGK will be another to escape the Bad Boy curse. Take that!