Machine Gun Kelly: "I’m wild and say what I feel like saying"
Birth date: 4/22/90
Hometown: Cleveland, OH
Childhood idol: The Jackass guys | My tour rider includes: At least two bottles of Cîroc, applesauce, wifebeaters, pita chips | TV guilty pleasure: CatDog | Biggest style influence: Punk rock, The Ramones | Worst job: Chipotle. I was the only white kid, so they made me do all the bitch work | Favorite meal: Angel hair pasta with vodka sauce | Most embarrassing moment: When I shit my pants before an award show | Best way to kick back: Mushrooms | Fashion philosophy: Wear the same shit every day | Favorite R&B album: Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill | Currently in my iPod: Nipsey Hussle’s The Marathon Continues mixtape and Blink-182’s Neighborhoods | Secret obsession: Dirty Converse Chucks | Advice to my 16-year-old self: You can’t rage forever | If it weren’t for music I’d be: Dead | My city taught me: That you can be the underdog and still come out on top | Why I’m about to blow: It’s inevitable. I’ve escaped death too many times; too many signs have led toward the blow up. I’m something completely different. I’m wild and say what I feel like saying. I’m trying to change the world, so if you’re not a part of that, fuck off.
Luke James: "Biggest industry lesson learned…Um, say what’s on my mind."
Birth date: 6/18/84
Hometown: New Orleans, LA
Earliest music memory: Watching Moonwalker | How I got my start: Singing background for Tyrese, Tank and Mario; Songwriting (Chris Brown, Justin Bieber, Britney Spears) | Classic movie fix: Mo’ Bet- ter Blues | Most-played mobile app: Words With Friends | Secret obsession: I’m a bit of a womanizer | Biggest style influence: James Dean | Advice to my 16-year-old self: Be careful what you stick your dick in | Why I’m about to blow: My music comes from an honest place. I’m emotional. I’m cussing. I’m not trying to be proper. But that speaks to our generation because it’s exactly how we talk. We set out to just be free [with my album], as musical and jarring as we want to be. It’s fall-in-love shit.
Miranda Brooke: "My mom always knew that I could sing so I stood out and just kinda went with it and never stopped."
Birth date: 11/1/92
Hometown: Chattanooga, TN
Childhood music crush: Bow Wow | Favorite rap album: Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter II | Most embarrassing moment: I fell off the stage one time. I got up and just started dancing | Favorite fashion icon: Cassie | Hidden talent: I can rap a little bit | Biggest fear: Dogs | Fashion secret weapon: karlas- closet.com | Why I’m about to blow: When I was in the choir at age 5, one of the older guys—he was probably 19—forgot the words to R. Kelly’s “I Be- lieve I Can Fly.” He’s panicking, just standing there. I take the mic from him and start singing all the words, like, Oh my God, this is what I need to be doin’! There isn’t a voice for teenage girls right now—especially, with that Southern hospitality feel to their music. I’ll fill that void.
John West: "I always feel like my music has been a rhythmic in nature"
Birth date: 5/11/82
Hometown: Baton Rouge, LA
Biggest fear: Failure | Industry words of wisdom: Don’t talk shit | First job: Crawfish and shrimp peeler at a Louisiana seafood restaurant, O’Brien’s Icehouse | Biggest style influences: Michael Fassbender; Will Ferrell in Anchorman | Hidden talent: I’m a cartoonist—I do caricatures, comics | Favorite kick-back song: “Idle Moments,” by Grant Green | Advice to my 16-year- old self: You have a million talents; keep exploring | Why I’m about to blow: The album’s called Humble Hustle, so I’ll count my chickens once they’ve hatched. I just love that we can mash up different urban textures and bring something soulful and meaningful—that’s what I’m trying to do.
Future: "Loyalty is royalty."
Birth date: 11/20/85
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Studio essentials: Sprite, blunts and a lighter | TV guilty pleasure: Keeping Up With the Kardashians | Best body part on the opposite sex: Legs | Current top five rappers: Lil Wayne, Meek Mill, Rick Ross, Kanye West, Jay-Z | Biggest style influence: Lenny Kravitz | My city taught me: Carry yourself in a different manner than what people expect | Best drink to double-fist: Patrón Platinum and orange juice | Why I’m about to blow: I knew I was next up when I got this call from Drake, like, “I want to be a part of this whole Freebandz movement.” T.I. jumped on “Magic,” Big Boi and Jeezy jumped on “Ain’t No Way Around It,” Luda called—dudes in the game are stamping me, like, “We’ll do whatever we need to push you to the top.”