The delivery that comes with a collection of music can send a message in itself. An EP (extended play) is shorter than an album and can serve as a starter project for an artist’s fans. In addition it can also give those who are unfamiliar with the artist an idea of what to expect in the future and if they enjoy what they hear, it creates a buzz. That intangible feeling that looms when an artist is on the rise, is something that a mixtape or an EP can create if it’s strong enough.
That said, “Half Naked and Almost Famous” is an EP created by Cleveland born artist Machine Gun Kelly. The MC is still relatively early in his career and intends to impress fans and new listeners alike with what will be his first project released under Diddy and Bad Boy Records. Granted, having someone like Diddy serve as a guide with your music could be a gift or a curse, but there is no debating that Sean Combs has longevity in this industry. That said, does Machine Gun Kelly manage to bring into being an appetizer of sorts that’ll make the masses clamor for more?
This is a, Warning Shot…
The opener ‘Warning Shot’ has MGK lyrically firing off alternating between different styles in terms of delivery over a great beat produced by J.R. Rotem. It serves as a great start to the project but is lessened by it’s mediocre hook. While it’s not necessarily bad due to the subject matter of the track, it seems just slightly weaker than the quality verses that Kelly provides.
Yeah B*tch, Yeah B*tch, Call Me STEVE-O!
Next is the lead single for the project: the chaotic riot starter that is “Wild Boy” featuring the charisma-loaded monster that is Waka Flocka Flame. Disrespectful lines followed by quotables for days lace the track with Flocka reinforcing the insanity from the adlibs to the verse he throws smack dab in the middle. A banger if there ever was one, the only thing holding this record back is probably that it’s a little too crazy for the radio.
This for the ones that had it hard, the ones like me, the Underdog…
Emotion, Cleveland pride and hunger sums up what we get with ‘See My Tears’ produced by J.U.S.T.I.C.E League. The hook is large with it’s chant and claps while Kelly’s sharp delivery cuts deep into the beat even if it tends to overshadow him at some points. The overall track itself is great as a whole and shows that MGK has the potential to make more than just hype music.
Tell the world Lace Up, Kellz…
The heavily pop influenced title track hits hard and sits on the line between party feel good song and Hip Hop track but the hook pushes it more towards the former. Another sample fills the hook on the solid beat, crafted by Kellz’ own in-house producers Slim Gudz and GB Hitz (who also created Wild Boy and E.S.T for Life). It shows an interesting point, if this is the type of music we’ll get from MGK, a good balance of pop and Hip Hop, especially with these producers pushing him, his sound will grab this generation with ease.
Lace the F**K UP!
Less about Kelly and more about representation, MGK is joined by Dubo and DJ Xplosive, both of which representing the title of the track alongside him. The beat is fun yet not the best way to close a track, although the idea here may be to leave the listener wanting more. Short, sweet and effective.
…and that is exactly what “Half Naked and Almost Famous” is. A well executed EP “laced up” with tracks that (with enough promotion) can help MGK gain fans and recognition. He has the talent, he has the backing, he has the producers, all of which is necessary to bring forth something worth applauding but the fact is an EP is much easier to build than a full album. Nonetheless, I’m willing to give Kelly the benefit of the doubt and say that his upcoming album will be great, especially if this EP is any idea of what we’re going to get.