MGK, or Machine Gun Kelly, was born Richard Colson Baker in Houston, Texas in 1990. His parents were Christian missionaries who took their young son on their missionary trips around the world. In fact, he lived in Egypt until the age of four and spoke fluent Arabic before ever learning English. After the family returned to the U.S., they took up residence in Colorado where Baker attended an ethnically diverse middle school. It was during his time in this school that he became interested in hip hop music, citing hip hop stars DMX and Ludacris as his earliest influences. In 2009, he traveled to New York where he performed at the famed Apollo Theater, winning two consecutive victories with his performances. With these two victories, he became the first ever Caucasian rapper to achieve this level of success at the Apollo.
By 2010, he began releasing his mixtapes for public consideration, his first mixtape being entitled 100 Words and Running. His single “Alice in Wonderland” received particular acclaim and paved the way for his second mixtape, Lace Up. In fact, his single “Cleveland” from Lace Up is still played before the Cavaliers’ games in that city. The song also receives widespread air play in that local market.
As he became more famous, he adopted the professional nickname of Machine Gun Kelly, or MGK, a reference to the Prohibition Era criminal George “Machine Gun Kelly” Barnes. The nickname also refers to Baker’s rapid fire lyrical style. In 2011, he took the first steps to becoming a professional performer after meeting with Juicy J of the group Three 6 Mafia at an SWSX show in Austin. This meeting paved the way for a future meeting with Sean Combs, whose influence helped him get signed to Bad Boy Records under the Interscope label. To date, he has built an MGK net worth that is estimated at $1.2 million.
How Much Is MGK Worth Now?
While the MGK net worth of $1.2 million may seem modest, people should realize that MGK has only been in the hip hop industry for a few years. In fact, his net worth is expected to grow as he becomes more commercially successful. Since signing with Bad Boy Records and Interscope, he has taken significant steps to solidify his presence in this genre. In 2011, he collaborated with Waka Flocka Flame on the video for his song “Wild Boy.” This collaboration carried over to a widely hailed performance 106 & Park, the BET program.
In March 2012, he released his debut album, which was called Half Naked & Almost Famous. The album was highly anticipated by his fans and by industry critics alike. It hit the Billboard 200 chart at number 46 in its first week, selling a respectable 8500 copies. By August 2012, it had sold more than 36,000 copies in the U.S. alone. That same year, XXL magazine listed him as one of the Top 10 Freshmen hip hop performers, showing him on the cover alongside fellow performers French Montana, Macklemore, Iggy Azalea, Hopsin, and others. After releasing another mixtape, entitled EST 4 Life, he won the MTVu Breaking Woodie Award.
He began work on his second studio album in 2014 and continues to release mixtapes, as well as making videos for his singles. Shortly before he became a mainstream presence in hip hop, he and his then-girlfriend became parents to a daughter. He mentions his daughter on his website. As a parent and a growing presence in this genre of music, MGK and his fans can expect his net worth to rise substantially as he continues to record and perform his own music.