People used to take my raps and crunch ’em up and throw ’em on the ground. I used to get made fun of all the time ’cause who believes that the guy sitting next to me in my math class is going to blow up and become a superstar? You don’t believe that, right? But like, you should have.
Don’t listen to what the cool people say, man. They’re not cool. Do what you do, what you do is cool.
Just contribute. You wake up and you look like a bum, you’re not contributing . You’re just being lazy and just getting by, man.
Machine Gun Kelly’s Top 10 Rules For Success
Evan: He’s an American rapper and actor from Cleveland, Ohio.
His major label debut album Lace Up was released in 2012 to critical acclaim.
His second studio album General Admission debuted at number four in the US.
He’s Machine Gun Kelly and here’s my take on his top ten rules for success.
Rule number one is my personal favorite, and I’d love to know which one you guys like the best.
Also guys, as you’re watching, if you hear something that really resonates with you, please leave it down in the comments below and put quotes around it so other people can be inspired.
Also when you write it down, it’s much more likely to lock in for yourself as well. Enjoy!
-= MGK’S RULES =-
2. Turn PAIN into GREATNESS
3. Don’t listen to the #LittleMan
5. Don’t sell yourself short
6. Be creative
7. Follow your dream
8. Have confidence
9. Push the boundaries
10. Care for others
Rule #1: #Believe
Interviewer: What you represent now, for all those kids out there trying to make it in whatever field it is, whether it’s music or something else, what words to you have for them in terms of how you’ve lived your life and you’ve made it to this point? Because you’re not supposed to be here right now, but what advice do you have for them in terms of their lives and their journey?
Lace up, lace up.
Interviewer: What does lace up mean for say, if it’s you know, the casual person that might be seeing you for the first time on this show? What is lace up?
It means what you want it to mean, but to me in a day and age like this, it means put both feet on that ground, lace up, get ready to face the world, go out there, take it on, and turn a grain of sand into a diamond. You know what I’m saying?
Interviewer: I think they love that answer right there. They’re definitely laced up.
See, that’s what it’s about, man. You know, it’s about believing in something. You know what I’m saying? Like having faith in something, man, like that’s what it is. We’re not tryin’ to hear some President in a suit who can’t even live his own life, you know, because he’s so worried about public perception.
“Put both feet on that ground, lace up, get ready to face the world, go out there, take it on, and turn a grain of sand into a diamond.” – Machine Gun Kelly
I’m ready to step up
We can’t relate to that, you know what I’m saying? Like they want to see someone doing what they’re doing, living how they’re living, coming from where they’re coming from, and making something better of themselves than just sitting on their ass, you know what I’m saying? That’s why they’re screaming because they see that in us and that’s what I’m coming with on this album, I’m just going to be the people’s champ. You know what I mean?
I don’t want to hear some reverend tell me I have to believe in organized religion. I don’t want to hear some President tell me what he’s going to do and not going to do because they never do it. I don’t want to hear some teacher put a limit on where my education could take me. You know what I’m saying?
They want to teach me to go and fix lights in the house, but you don’t want to tell me that I can take my own career into my own hands and be an entrepreneur and come up with something like this.
They didn’t teach me you could do this. I’m just, I’m not scared, man. I’m ready to step up and be a leader for this generation and be a voice for this generation. All these people can act like they’re talking for these kids but it’s just an act.
Like I’m still one of those kids, man. This means the world to me and that’s what this album is about. I just know things are going to change, man. I feel it, I feel it, I believe in like-
Rule #2: Turn Pain Into Greatness
“Take it, take it and make, you know, pain is the best inspiration, so if you’re a creative out there and you’re getting bullied take it and make something great out of it.” – Machine Gun Kelly
People used to take my raps and crunch ’em up and throw ’em on the ground. I used to get made fun of all the time ’cause who believes that the guy sitting next to me in my math class is going to blow up and become a superstar? You don’t believe that, right?
But like, you should have and it’s a bummer. You know what I mean? Yeah, I don’t know man. I mean, take it, take it and make, you know, pain is the best inspiration, so if you’re a creative out there and you’re getting bullied take it and make something great out of it.
Rule #3: Don’t Listen To The #Littleman
Yeah, don’t let cool people tell you you’re not cool. ‘Cause they’re not cool. So you know, I was a loser for, by stereotype for many years and it’s like the classic case of look at me now. You know what I mean?
“I’m done listening to what the cool people say, man. They’re not cool. Do what you do, what you do is cool.” – Machine Gun Kelly
So I mean, let me tell you something, if you’re out there right now and you have no idea who you are or what you belong to, it took me, I just figured out last year. Last year was the first time I ever looked in the mirror and was like, I like that guy. It took me 25 years. I’m done listening to what the cool people say, man. They’re not cool. Do what you do, what you do is cool.
Rule #4: Evolve
Interviewer: When you came up with the Waka Flaka record to this, there’s like a big difference in your style, of your approach, what’s the reason for that?
Probably because we grow and evolution’s beautiful and like I want to be iconic and great and I borderline am iconic and I am great. The only thing left to do is just to-
Woman: Tell me how you really feel.
Is to just evolve and continue to do so. I mean I’m responsible for possibly bringing rock and roll just in general into hip hop within our generation and making that whole wave a cool thing and influencing all those artists.
When we were doing those festivals back together in 2012, 2011, 2010 years when Wild Boy was a thing and when so many other mixtape songs that I was doing were a thing. So like yes, when I brought what I brought in and everyone else took it, I do what all trendsetters do and I just set a new trend and go on to the next thing and let them keep doing that.
Rule #5: Don’t Sell Yourself Short
I had that run on Lace Up where I had Invincible, which was the WrestleMa …So I performed in front of 80,000 people, messed that whole thing up. Could have taken that song to so much farther than it was, but I was so scared of popularity, so scared of that, that I just ruined it.
I ruined the whole round. Went to a radio station, I was specifically like yeah, I hate this song. So, alright thanks guys. And they were like well yeah, I don’t want to play this now, it sucks, like that did suck.
So I was like you know what, prove that you can, you know what I mean? Like prove that you can. The most punk rock thing ever is to get in the system and then do something about it. I wanted to prove to myself that I could be that person or that superstar essentially, right? Like I’ve been playing the Cotillion, which is where I’m playing tonight, I’ve played this place six times in four years. Six times.
DJ: I didn’t know it was that many times.
It’s been six times, so like where is the fire going to come from if you’ve played it six times, right? You’re like okay, is this where I just cap it off at? Is this the only place that I, is this as far as I’m going to get?
And then I got a call like hey, Meghan Trainer’s voice blew out, would you like to replace her on the iHeart Jingle Balls Arena Tour for a couple dates? And I was like oh my god, yes. You’re going to let Machine Gun Kelly come to play Jingle Balls? Yes, I am there, full band, guitar in hand, let’s go.
I get to play, there’s like loud music, there’s amps.
And went there, toured up, and that was a fire that I’m like okay, now I want that. Like now I have something to re-desire for, ’cause when you go play those punk dive bars at first, when you’re coming on the scene you’re like, oh my god this is so cool. I get to play, there’s like loud music, there’s amps.
“I feel like I’m not selling myself short now. I’m accomplishing what they though I couldn’t do and what I thought I couldn’t do.” – Machine Gun Kelly
But I’ve played it for six years now, you know? I mean the Cotillion so many times or so many places you’re like, okay. I could go to the Cotillion and literally know the Wi-Fi password or the door codes. I’ve done that.
I’ve literally went across the country and I’m like oh my god I know this door code, four , you know? Or I know this Wi-Fi, why do I know this so much? Or I can go open up my phone and it already recognizes the Wi-Fi from last year.
I’m accomplishing what they though I couldn’t do
So now I have a new fire and I’m chasing that and I just want to constantly keep topping myself. So Bad Things, I’m very proud because my fan base, and you know my mentality was always like, oh man, mainstream, sellout, and it’s like shut up.
You would be a sell out if you cut yourself short, if you sold yourself short, man, like don’t. Obviously the talent was there ’cause Bad Things came out and that was me and my writing and it is now number ten on the Billboard charts and number one most added record of the top 40 I believe, or something like that.
And I’m here right now with you doing this interview at a top 40 station, like that’s really cool man. I feel like I’m not selling myself short now. I’m accomplishing what they though I couldn’t do and what I thought I couldn’t do.
Rule #6: Be Creative
I’m not into people that aren’t creative anymore, man. I’m like over it, you know what I’m saying?
Interviewer: They’re boring.
Yeah man, it’s whatever man. We’ve been doing the same shit for years. Ya’ll want to still keep doing the same , get the out of here. So I’m just like really into just like visionaries and all aspects of it and I think that like clothes ended up being something that I just viewed as clothes for awhile.
Then there was a moment where I was like holy , it expresses so much. The fact, like he has an EST shirt on, right? EST is our , that’s our game.
Interviewer: It’s your crew.
But it’s something that like, it means something. It screams off of your, you know what I mean? Like you wear it and feel like you have like, a cape on, you know what I mean? And so I started realizing that clothes are more than that and you could express so many things through it.
And also you could, when you walk through an airport, and you look cool as . That’s like giving people a free movie. That’s walking art .
Interviewer: Walking art .
It’s walking art, so like yes. I don’t want to hear no one from my hood or people that aren’t from the hood, the PS actually, commenting on me, you know, what hap–. Man, shut the up. I too go back to the same spot, whatever.
But at the end of the day, I’m living it, but giving you a life to live too ’cause when I’m walking by you, you are feeling an emotion, just the same way as when I see people walking by, young, old, whatever, that put effort into expressing something.
“Open your creative mind, drop the fear. What people say about you lasts for a day and it’s gone.” – Machine Gun Kelly
Whether you look ridiculous or you look normal with some flare, whatever the you like. Contributing, just contribute. You wake up and you look like a bum, you’re not contributing . You’re just being lazy and just getting by, man. Look at us, we’re in a state of like-
Yes, man, yes, totally.
Interviewer: Fear has permeated the entire country.
But there’s a creative renaissance going on right now. There’s a creative renaissance going on right now, which is really cool. Everyone needs to adapt, it’s a whole new era. Open your creative mind, drop the fear. What people say about you lasts for a day and it’s gone.
Interviewer: That’s the thing, that’s the thing.
I’m a sellout for all of 24 hours before they love me the next day when I put a good song out. You know what I mean? I don’t care, just do you, be fearless.
Rule #7: Follow Your Dream
Follow your dream, man. There’s so many doubters dude. I mean you just have to go through that, you have to be a lot stronger than the people who talk down on you. You know what I mean? It’s super hard growing up when it’s like, not one wants to see you succeed.
And especially when you’re in class and people see you writing raps and people start laughing at your, taking your and throwing it on the ground. You know what I mean? Teachers laughing at you , Dad laughing at you, everybody, you know what I mean?
I got a daughter and it’s rough when you got your baby mother and you’re like yo, don’t worry, I’m going to be a rapper, you know what I’m saying? And she’s grown up in the city, it’s like everyone around us all wants to be rappers, so it’s like oh god, why the did I pick the one that wanted to be a rapper?
Rule #8: Have Confidence
I just recently found my confidence, right? This year is the first year that I had this like boost of confidence. And it’s because, you know this idea of what cool is is like burned into our brain and I just don’t think it’s…
I’m starting to open up to so many more things and see how many things are just a facade and being cool is a total facade, you know. Even celebrity wise, like all these people that I thought were these awesome people, you meet ’em, and they’re so uncharismatic and so lame and so corny and so uncool.
DJ: That’s so sad.
You know what I mean, it’s so sad. These are the people that are making us feel bad about our bodies or our face or our hair or our lifestyle or our choices. Like ugh, just spare me man, I’m so over it. You know what man, I say take it all in stride, shrug it off. The cool fall off quicker-
Let them peak, man. Let them peak. That’s what I say, let them peak.
Rule #9: Push The Boundaries
DJ: Yeah, who are you?
An underdog who became a champion. You know, came from the middle of nowhere and took about like two albums finding, or excuse me like seven mixtapes and two albums to kind of find my voice and I finally found my voice.
Here I am on my third album with my first top ten record I’ve ever had and it feels like it’s the beginning again. You know what I mean? You know I’m re-inspired. I’m 26 years old, I don’t give a and I love pushing boundaries.
Rule #10: Care For Others
So there’s this one friend of mine, man. I met him at a Blink 182 concert. I met him at a Blink 182 concert, man. Pulled up to the other side of the van and I saw him get out. But right now, I’m going to bring him out to you guys. This is a personal friend of mine. He’s an EST brother of ours and he’s also one of my biggest inspirations. Ladies and gentlemen, please make some noise for Ryan-
Now listen, I want you guys to know, this man told me about two months ago…
I’m going to walk someday because his message, I know he came from nothing and I’m coming from nothing too.
I want you to look at him right now. That is amazing man. That is amazing.
Evan: Thank you guys so much for watching. I made this video because Roderick asked me to. So if there’s a famous entrepreneur that you want me to profile next, leave it down in the comments below and I will see what I can do.
I would also love to know what did Machine Gun Kelly say that had the biggest impact on you? What clip resonated the most with you and why? And what immediate action are you going to take in your life or your business after watching this video? Leave it down in the comments below, I’m super curious to find out.
Finally, I want to give a quick shoutout to Ariel Ziv. Ariel thank you so much for picking up a copy of my book, Your One Word, and flying to Toronto to meet me and get it signed. I really appreciated the conversation. I hope you’re enjoying the read.
Thank you so much for your support. So thank you guys so much for watching. I believe in you, I hope you continue to believe in yourself and whatever your one word is. Much love, I’ll see you soon.
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