Though Cleveland rapper MGK built his grassroots following around a very specific brand of post-punk and pre-packaged rebellion, his debut album is a more scattered affair. Essentially, Lace Up is a series of genre studies in contemporary hip-hop that bounce from Roscoe Dash-style, sing-along swag rap to riotous Waka Flocka-inspired club bangers through Alex Da Kid-produced radio-friendly emo-pop tracks. While MGK's reasonably comfortable in tracing these steps, he's at his best when echoing the tightly-woven, blue collar gothic lyricism of fellow trailer park chic rapper Yelawolf. For all his bluster, MGK's greatest skills lie in his simple storytelling.
Andrew Nosnitsky, Google Play