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Machine Gun Kelly is one of rock’s biggest and boldest new voices, an artist who is well known for songs like “Bad Things” and “My Ex’s Best Friend.” Kelly has received acclaim from critics for his unique ability to blend musical genres, and in recent months, he has been spotted at many high-profile events and awards shows. As popular as Kelly’s music is, however, many of his most ardent fans might not realize that he has another business venture — a coffee shop that he developed and opened for a very specific reason. 

What is Machine Gun Kelly’s real name?

Machine Gun Kelly was born Colson Baker in 1990. Born in Houston, Texas, the future star moved frequently with his family when he was a child, spending time in Denver, Chicago, and Cleveland. He experienced some bullying as a child and turned to music to help him cope with the tough times at school. It was when he was 15 years old that the aspiring singer/rapper took on the name Machine Gun Kelly. He later revealed to Howard Stern that he took the name from a real-life gangster and had to pay a sizable sum of money in order to officially use the stage name. 

Kelly got his start in the music business by releasing a series of mixtapes featuring rapid-fire rap songs. He released his debut studio album in 2012, an album that included the hit single “Wild Boy.” From there, Kelly enjoyed a rapid ascent to fame, although in recent years, the performer has focused more on rock and pop-punk rather than his first love, rap. In addition to music, Kelly earns income through his work as an actor, and through various business partnerships. 

Machine Gun Kelly recently opened a coffee shop in Cleveland, Ohio

Machine Gun Kelly with a watch
Machine Gun Kelly | Brad Barket/Getty Images for iHeart

In early 2020, Machine Gun Kelly embarked on a brand-new business venture. The artist opened a coffee shop named The 27 Club in his former home state of Ohio, in Cleveland’s Flats East Bank. As reported by WKYC News, Kelly named the coffee shop after a specific group of creatives: “The 27 Club is a bunch of artists and entertainers, and popular personalities that have died at the age of 27.” A few of those artists include Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, and Jimi Hendrix. 

Kelly explained that one of his goals in opening the shop is to keep the memory of those influential artists alive. He also revealed that he wants to turn some of the attention in the area away from dangerous behavior and to more positive pursuits, admitting “I also want to encourage good highs, like coffee and food and having that kinda bleed through the city instead of some of the other stuff that tends to get out there.” Patrons of the restaurant, known as “pottheads,” can enjoy not only coffee and espresso beverages, but cocktails, sandwiches, and sweet treats as well. 

Machine Gun Kelly opened up about his struggle with drug addiction


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Machine Gun Kelly has very personal reasons for wanting to encourage “good highs.” The artist has been open about his own experience with drug addiction, revealing in late 2020 that he dealt with an addiction to Adderall for years.

As reported by E Online, Kelly stated that “Adderall was a huge thing for me for a long time. And I went from orally taking it to then snorting it, and then it became something where I was scared to ever go into a studio if I didn’t have something. I wouldn’t even step out unless there was a medicine man who was going to visit me and give me what I needed.” At that point, Kelly took the steps that he needed to make changes in his life, and with the help of therapy, he was able to kick his drug habit.

“Currently, my drug of choice is happiness and commitment to the art, rather than commitment to a vice that I believed made the art. I’m taking steps,” Kelly revealed.