Did you see Machine Gun Kelly's performance on SNL over the weekend? I did. Despite the fact that I live in Northeastern Ohio and have been hearing MGK's name for years, I've never really listened to him. I had read about his pivot to pop punk, and me, a lady who has gone to many a Warped Tour, so I was curious, finally. His performance was solid. But my immediate thought was "hey, does anyone else remember when Machine Gun Kelly got arrested at South Park Mall?"
Here's what happened:
In 2011, Colson Baker, aka Machine Gun Kelly, was on top of the music world, having just signed to Diddy's Bad Boy label. One day, he tweeted out to his followers, "I'm thinking about doing a flash mob at a mall or something tomorrow lol cleveland should we do one while I'm home?"
Over the next few hours, he came up with the location (South Park Mall in Strongsville, Ohio), and gave his fans directions: show up in the food court, and at 5pm, "No one move til you hear 'Cleveland' start, once it starts run to
whatever table i'm at and Lets bust a mid-mall crowd surf and RAGE
Here's the problem with the food court at South Park Mall: it's on a second level, and there are railings that look down to the second floor everywhere. And there were people EVERYWHERE. The chances of someone flying over said railings during a mid-mall crowd surf would've been very, very high. I personally would've gone with a mall with a more open food court, but unfortunately, it was 2011 and I wasn't contacted.
Three people stood up on the tables; one was Machine Gun Kelly. They were asked by management to not stand on the tables, because they were so close to the railings. They didn't listen. The last time MGK stood up on a table, he was immediately taken down and cuffed by the police. By 6:45pm, his management tweeted that MGK and his boys were in a holding cell, and the hashtag #FreeMGK was born.
When he was asked why he did it, Kelly gave this (wholesome AF) quote:
"This whole flash mob thing that we did today wasn’t necessarily about looking all funny, like flash dancing, it was more of a chance to like, you know, it was the first appearance we’ve done in Ohio since we announced a major label deal, and it was kind of a chance to show all the kids that we really care about them and that we’re still here and we’re still grounded and we’re gonna be Ohio boys and Cleveland boys till we’re six feet under."
He was charged with disorderly conduct, went about his life, and now almost 10 years later, he's performed on SNL and he's dating that lady from The Transformers movies. Not too shabby for a kid named Colson from the mean streets of...Shaker Heights, Ohio?