By E.J. Judge
Machine Gun Kelly will be the first to admit that his reputation is that of a “bad boy.” While that moniker may be partly warranted, it can also be viewed as unfair. He’s been an inspiration to many in his adopted home state of Ohio. Evidence of that can be seen in the life of Ryan Yex.
In 2011, Kelly and Yex met outside of a Blink-182 concert. Yex, then 17 and a part of the tightly knit MGK fanbase in Cleveland, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at birth and spent his time in a wheel chair. It was outside that blink-182 concert that he made a bold exclamation. “I’m going to walk someday.”
Yex found inspiration in MGK’s message, citing the rapper’s upbringing from nothing and his positive message “Lace Up.”
“There was no hope in Cleveland,” MGK told 92.3 AMP Radio’s Shoboy and Nina about the state of Cleveland at the time. “This kid… he pulled up to me, he was like, ‘Yo, I’ve literally watched you for the last three years on this mixtape circuit out here. You came to our high school once… the stuff that you do… it motivates me. I have cerebral palsy. I’m going to walk one day. And when I do that, I want you to be there.’”
Yex would have surgery and, with the help of physical therapy and inspiration from his favorite musician, was able to finally walk. And he did so on stage with MGK. Yex took four steps on stage that night and his progress hasn’t stopped since.
“A year later, his parents came up with him… he had taken 60 steps,” says MGK. “I throw a festival in Ohio every year. I saw him at my festival last year in a captains hat, with a walker, Mardi Gras beads around his neck… he’s gonna be a track star by the time he’s 30.”
Watch Shoboy and Nina’s full interview with MGK and Camila Cabello here.