Machine Gun Kelly, rapper signed to Diddy's label, arrested in Ohio for invoking flash mob

Via AP: Machine Gun Kelly, a rapper signed to Sean "Diddy" Combs' record label, has been arrested in Ohio on charges he invoked a fan flash-mob at a suburban shopping mall via his Twitter account.

The local paper reports that Cleveland's mayor "recently vetoed an ordinance that would have criminalized some uses of social media and was aimed at curbing flash mobs." From Reuters:

The 21-year-old rapper, whose real name is Richard C. Baker, and two others who failed to comply were removed from the mall, police said. They were charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct and released. Video footage posted online shows the event drew a large crowd. Some chanted "MGK! MGK!" as the heavily tattooed rapper tussled with officers.

"If havin fun with my fans and bringin the rage back to my hometown means I have to be arrested...then keep pullin the cuffs out," read a message posted on the rapper's Twitter account.

Video Link, below: "MGK"'s official video of the shopping mall takeover.


    1. It’s called inciting a riot, and there’s laws against it. If you owned one of those shops, and your customers couldn’t go in, or these kids started looting- wouldn’t you be against this kind of behavior too?  Its not like they are dancing in sync. Its a Flash-MOB. Mob as in grouping together for harm or chicanery, not anything good. Just like you can’t scream fire in a crowded theater. There are points where you simply DO NOT have the right to say whatever the hell you want. It’s called the safety of others.

      1. If…these kids started looting…

        You have disturbing fantasies. Most flash mobs don’t turn into riots.

        1. I think the real question is what was meant by ‘RAGE’ here. I’m not familiar with the parlance of the kids these days, but ‘RAGE’ alongside instructions to wear disguises could be interpreted as inciting violent behaviour.

          I’m honestly not sure if that’s something that could have actually happened. If the kids mean ‘rock out/mosh/dance/party’ when they say ‘rage’, then that’s not a problem. If they mean ‘go crazy and break stuff/hurt people’ then I’d suggest that our friend does actually need a lesson in responsibility.

      2. Just because it was termed “flash-mob” in popular culture and it stuck, doesn’t mean it’s inherently harmful.  Are you even familiar with the history of flash-mobs?  It’s people who gather to a pre-defined location, then suddenly do harmless fun things, while everyone in the area who isn’t privy is surprised.  Things like everyone breaking out into a song (which it looked like the one in this story was supposed to be), or everyone taking the bus at a specific time without any pants on.  I don’t see how you can take the MOB part out of the context of the actual phenomenon, and put a negative spin on it.  Get real.  How is this a riot? Why would the kids randomly start looting?  Oh, maybe because their right to peacefully assemble for harmless fun is being suppressed?  The media is putting a horrible spin on flash-mobs, associating them with bad things, when that’s not what they are.  They’re calling any gathering by young people, which is at least partially organized through social media a flash mob, regardless of the motivation. Now it’s ruining everyone’s fun.

  1. I must admit, when I first read the Twitter message, I was thinking “Whoa ominous rapper dudes swarming a mall with RAGE!?”… then I saw the crowd of uber-suburban kids and families and thought that’s pretty much Boxing Day. Now that’s scary!

  2. He “failed to comply”? He stood on the table at 0:36, was jumped and pulled off the table at 0:39, and was in the hands of the cops no later than 0:44. There was barely time for the sentence “Get down from the table, please” to be uttered, never mind for the request (if there was one) to be received, understood, and complied with. 

    1. Oh come on… the “cops” are part of the act. I’m sure Diddy tipped them well to arrest his boy here, lending instant credibility– all hail the new king of the suburban ohio mall rats. His only crime is being too “off the hook.”

  3. The report I read earlier said that he was told to not get on the table before he even got up on it. That’s the order disobeyed.

    The Cleveland area has had some trouble with unruly flash mobs this summer. I applaud mayor Jackson for not signing a frivolous, hot-button law, but that does mean enforcing the laws they have already if they want to curb this behavior. I’m glad they’ve taken the ‘new media’ element out of the equation.

  4. There is something really wonderful about this. Mr. MGK completely played the police. The way the police reacted was exactly the way MGK wanted them to react. The police were, in this moment, completely powerless. MGK played them. The police became unwilling players in a teeny-bopper publicity stunt.

    Now granted there is nothing meaningful or significant about this action. It was marketing pure and simple (but brilliant none the less, I certainly never would have heard of MGK otherwise). But it is still quite a feat to take the power away from the police and be able to manipulate them.

    Okay, next challenge: take the power away from the police in a way that matters, as a part some constructive action.

    1. It might just be me, but I find the term “wigger” almost as offensive and the word it’s derived from: “White” + “N—-r”<–(that's the one right there). (I can't even type it, it makes my skin crawl from the hatred it represents.)

      I understand it's used as a synonym of poseur, but I think in this case the word poseur works just fine.

      1. Thats one interpretation. The other existing etymology breaks it down into “Wants to be” + n-word. Yeah, it´s supposed to be a horrible insult, exactly because the n-word is awful so only a truly clueless poseur would actually aspire to being called that.
        See also:

      2. N—–r? Well, you may not be able to type it, but I can – NOLDOR! There! I typed it! Now, I don’t want you to think I’m an elf-hater or anything, I mean Glorfindel himself declared me an elf-friend. It’s just that I refuse to frightened by a word.

        1. precisely.  if you actually grew up in an integrated community around elves who were, all the
          while, frequently using the n-word, you wouldn’t have such a pearl-clutching reaction to it.  where my nolduzzz at, yo!

        2. precisely.  when you grow up in an integrated community around elves who use the word frequently, you don’t have such a pearl-clutching reaction. where my nolduzzz at?

      3. I always thought it was a wig maker.

        How about wigga?

        Frankly, I find it more offensive when someone says something along the lines of “white trash” because the hateful intention is real. Words like the one I won’t use – since you seem sincerely disturbed by it and I do try to be polite – just sound to me like a silly appellation for a silly subculture (not hatin’, just amused by suburban gansta rappers). Even with words like cracker and white trash, though, bigoted labels for Caucasian folks just don’t have the same cultural cachet. They’re still in bad taste, and I still think it lowers the bar to use them, but there’s simply not as much history of institutional inequity behind them.

        1. “Wangstas” – *snicker*. I’m totally gonna run with that one from now on.

          Now, can we apply our combined language skillz to pick apart exactly what “rage” was supposed to mean in this context? Is it a special little dance? Or a greeting sign you do with your left hand?
          Crusty old folks like me (and probably the coppers too) still primarily read that word as an incitement to severely mess things up. But if that’s not how the kids use it – then maybe all this is just a silly little misunderstanding?

          Allthough you could argue that if there is ONE thing a rapper should be held responsible for, it’s his vocabulary.

  5. I am guessing the authorities were concerned that the flash mob would turn into one of the latest trends, the flash looting mob. And I’m sure tney were doubly nervous about the RAGE command.

  6. I have to admit I had no idea who he was, but I’m listening to it now… so Mr MGK, well played!

  7. Showing the power of their movement? What movement? The only movement I see is that of money from gullible suburban teens to the pockets of a bunch of adults how have done their homework on how to best manipulate kids. Of course this doesn’t make them that much different than the stores in the mall.
    Seems kind of obvious though that these teens don’t have much interesting going on in their lives. While it is easy to be dismissive of a group that has material comforts that most of the world can only dream about, the emptiness must be pretty brutal. But that’s the modern American Dream. Luckily they’ll grow up in a few years and settle down into good little consumption units. That their need for something different lead them to follow a highly manufactured personality shows that they’re already well on their way.  Next step: choose a political party and declare unending loyalty to it.

  8. Looks like there is a new thug “street cred” test. Way to go arseholes!  You’ve ruined “flash mobs” for the rest of us.

    1. Yeah really, when “nice” people flash mob, they do kind things like my friends who flashmob the homeless, or people who dance in time square. Now every idi0t with a cell  phone can go flash loot. Wonder how long till we lose the ability to text more than 10 people at once.
      There is a valid concern for big groups gathering. Just ask England. If people can’t behave in groups, they don’t get to group up. Screw your freedom, I dont want a teenage punk breaking into my shop.

      1. …flashmob the homeless…

        What does “flashmob the homeless” mean? Everyone gathers in one place and gives them a home for 15 minutes and then they take it away before disappearing into the night?

        1. Sorry, to be more clear, no they roll up on unsuspecting groups of homeless downtown and give them bags of goodies, toiletries, soap, food, etc.

  9. Perhaps the shopping mall can let him appear once a year, like Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny.  This guy is to thug “street cred” what Santa and the Easter Bunny are to religion.

  10. I’m not a big fan of the po-po, but that looks like absolutely no fun to try and handle that situation … MGK has a widow’s peak like Nixon’s …already ….

  11. I don’t know who this guy is,.  I’m guessing he’s either this generation’s Vanilla Ice or Tiffany.

  12. Puh-lease!  Strongsville is to Cleveland like whitebread is to toast. 
    There is no connection between Frank Jackson, Cleveland’s mayor, and
    Strongsville.  True the Cleveland area has had a number of ‘flashmob’
    incidents that have resulted in violence in recent months, but those
    have been on the East side, a world away from Strongsville.  If this guy
    wanted any kind of cred, he would have instigated an event in
    Cleveland’s Tower City complex.  If he wanted real trouble, he would
    have done it in Cleveland Heights, the location of the last major
    flashmob flashpoint.  Instead he got a bunch of suburbanite wanna-be
    melba toasts to get together in a suburban enclave 50 minutes outside of
    the city as a publicity stunt.  This is a joke in the extreme.  “Flashmob” has become the new topic du jour amongst Cleveland area youth who have just discovered what it means.  I see a sequel to “Footloose” in the making here.  “We just want to DANCE!!!…umm…I mean RAGE!!”

  13. I think Antinous said all that needs to be said about that dork.

    But I still have to rant a second.
    What the hell is that loser doing trying to commandeer the name of a famous American anti-hero? The real George Barnes would skin that greasy little punk just to make sure his pocketknife was sharp.

    1. Someone realized if they used the concept to commit crime “They can’t stop us all.”

      Now in this case – it looks like maybe the guy just wanted to do something fun – not promote a riot or looting.  I assume “rage!” is something like “rock!”

  14. In my day we had to stalk our music stars. Then we had to trudge uphill, both ways, in the snow, with heavy cameras (loaded with “film”) to scream at them from a distance. Now, with kids today, they just get twittered and their mom can drop them off at the mall. No character building whatsoever.

  15. However vapid and silly this particular example is, there is a principle behind it that ought to be protected, instinctively, by all of us.  The State is becoming more unhinged and irrationally fearful with every passing day and incidents like this manifest a simple truth: the power to control and punish citizens should not be given to paranoiac institutions.  If twitter flash mobs are outlawed, people will move to phone trees.  If phone trees are outlawed, they’ll move to Samizdat.  Governmental bureaucracy will never be large enough to listen to every whisper, and somehow, the freedom to gather unhindered will eventually prevail, despite the current efforts to move towards the licensing of all public assembly.

    1. If twitter flash mobs are outlawed, people will move to phone trees.  If phone trees are outlawed, they’ll move to Samizdat.

      There’s always horn calls.

      1. Allow me to be the first to organize a flashmob via a cunning mixture of morse code, semaphore and smoke signals.

  16. Revolutionary! Just like The concerts that Tiffany played in the malls in the 80’s but with more tattoos and less music.

    1. According to their FAQ, Improv Everywhere insists what they do are not “flash mob” events. Seems like they are splitting “we’re special and different because we say so!” hairs.

      “No. Improv Everywhere was created about 2 years before the first “flash mob.” While some of our missions may have certain similarities to a flash mob (large numbers of people appearing in a public place and then disappearing suddenly), we have never embraced that term. Some missions use just a few folks while others might use thousands, depending on the idea and depending on how many people show up to participate. Also, our projects are rarely over in a flash. Many last for hours.”

      1. There does seem to be a reasonable difference between “show up in front of the courthouse with a watergun and start shooting anyone else with a watergun at noon!” and organizing very obviously not improvised musicals, etc.

        1. There does seem to be a reasonable difference between “show up in front of the courthouse with a watergun and start shooting anyone else with a watergun at noon!” and organizing very obviously not improvised musicals, etc.

          Improv Everywhere does a lot more stuff than just “flash mobs” with the main crux of what they do is improv in public spaces. Heck, I love their Anton Chekov bookstore reading prank! 100% brilliant! But a good chunk of the “missions” they do that have gained them notoriety include very clear “flash mob”-bing. Their FAQ, painfully tries to distance themselves from the concept because they honestly truly do non-“flash mob” work, but it still seems like an artisanal restaurant trying to distance themselves from a chain restaurant by saying, “Hey well serve food, but we are really more about the food experience!” Yes, and both places are restaurants that serve food.

  17. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

  18. Is that a Commodore logo on the waistband of his underwear? IT TOTALLY IS! He’s kickin’ it old-school like a young fool, rappin’ it plenty on his VIC-twenty!

    Er, yeah.

  19. Gulliver, I was always confused with the term white trash- it seems to imply that you need to specify the whiteness, because most ‘trash’ is not white. Which is incredibly offensive.

    I don’t buy EeyoreX’s explanation that wigger is only an insult to the poseur deserving it- using the word n****r to form the neologism is, in my opinion, validating the use of the slur. It’s an insult to black people, too, as it suggests that some of them deserve to be called n*****s in the first place.

    [Disclaimer: not a native English speaker, percentage of black people in my environment is microscopic]

    1. I edited your comment per our comment policy. Also, I totally agree with your analysis of ‘white trash’.

    2. That makes sense, IMHO – both your analysis of “x-trash” and your comment on slurs derived from other slurs.

      For me, communication is paramount. If I think there’s a good chance that if I use a word I’ll alienate someone who I’m trying to have a conversation with, I just won’t use the word(s) that might offend them since, if I’ve chosen to try and have a conversation with them, I want it to be a constructive use of time and energy. Personally, to me, words are only as significant as their meanings. A big part of successfully conveying meaning is empathizing with the viewpoint of the person(s) with whom your conversing.

      I still use the word cracker, though :-/

  20. *crosses fingers and prays*
    Please let the label drop him for being stupid. Please let the label drop him for being stupid. Please let the label drop him for being stupid. Please let the label drop him for being stupid. Please let the label drop him for being stupid. Please let the label drop him for being stupid.

    He is SOOOOOOO awesome, he got some people to show up at a mall.
    He got arrested not for the flash mob, but for his actual behavior.
    His army of fans seemed to be so concerned about him and protecting him.
    I see what appear to be bodyguards around him helping him disturb the peace.
    I see him resisting being taken into custody and refusing to comply with orders from officers.

    In my crystal ball I see a large bill being presented to him and his label to pay for any damages done, and for the clean up.

    This was a publicity stunt, a very stupid one.  So he used twitter… BFD.

    They could have contacted the mall and made arrangements, but that would not be nearly gangster enough.
    Nothing to see here other than the media over-hyping the ZOMG FLASH MOBS = RIOTS we need a law battlecry.

  21. If ‘rage’ is standard fan vernacular for simply rocking out, whoo hoo instant concert, then yes this is all right carry on sir, but without knowing the guys, seeing “on count of three, rage” seems a lot like incitement to riot, an unfortunate choice of words if indeed unintentional, and feel it incumbent upon the police (regardless whatever other procedural methodology we may debate further) in keeping peace and order for the common man.
    But looking at that video now, i think all this debate while valid is moot, as this was definitely a marketing ploy, they’da known full well these lil mallrats weren’t about to burn any place down, bless their little cotton socks.

  22. The food court ‘gangstas’ finally have a king. I wonder if they will make Tiffany their queen?

    1. “the right of the people peaceably to assemble” — Obviously it’s not
      peaceable if cell phones or the internet is involved.

      A shopping mall isn’t public property; its owners have a right not to host impromptu concerts by Eminem imitators. Personally, I don’t see the novelty. Malls are already gathering places for herds of poseurs, spendthirfts and grease-o-vores. Nothing these wangsters could do would make the foodcourt (and I use the word food loosely here) any more repellent to me. By my lights, shopping malls are half a step above the Fukushima evac zone in terms of places worthy of avoiding.

  23. Being a Cleveland transplant who hates that hippity-hop stuff, I have to ask: Isn’t this guy some upper-middle class suburbanite who’s just trying to act hard from the “mean streets” of Shaker Heights? Let’s get real here. NEXT!

  24. As much as I hate the precedent of the term “Flashmob” being co-opted by the media to to include people protesting at BART or 30 people showing up at a gas station and stealing everything.  That’s kinda different than the point that I want to make.  I learned in my 90’s childhood that shopping malls are private property and if you’re doing anything other than shopping and being a good consumer, you can/will be kicked out on simple loitering charges and you really can’t argue.  They have their own constant security to uphold their own set of rules, and they are often more strict about enforcement.  The same freedoms don’t really apply as they do in public spaces.  There was a mall where my grandparents lived that had a rule against unaccompanied minors being in groups greater than 2, or they’d kick you out without question. Having a large flashmob in a shopping mall, regardless of the motivation, was a bad idea.  This should have been expected.

    1. As much as I hate the precedent of the term “Flashmob” being co-opted by the media…

      Not true. The whole concept of “flash mobs” are now being co-opted by thugs, jerks and idiots who are using social media to organize groups of people to commit violence, crimes or just cause pointless chaos. The “media” is using the 100% correct term unless someone else can come up with a term to better differentiate violent mobs from hipster prank mobs.

      1. Uhh there already IS a better term.

        Although lately, I’ve been hearing Flash Rob as a term bandied about for these sorts of crimes.

        1. “Flash rob” is almost there, but not perfect since it’s not a future proof monicker. But for now, I’ll accept it despite the fact that it’s a misnomer when used in non “rob” situations where violence & chaos is the main goal.

  25. Unfortunately the term “mob” was co-opted by the OG flashmobbers which has now led us into this tangled mess of mixed up classifications. I say we leave mob to the people who want to mob and  improveverywhere-type flashmobs either disband entirely or come up with something cuter. I don’t think clan, syndicate, outfit or crew have been used yet.

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