In Machine Gun Kelly's world, rage is the rule. And you'd better believe the 21-year-old Cleveland MC lives in his own universe - an increasingly crowded universe, built one person at a time via ceaseless tweets, furious concerts and a politician's propensity for handshakes.

In Machine Gun Kelly's world, rage is the rule. And you'd better believe the 21-year-old Cleveland MC lives in his own universe - an increasingly crowded universe, built one person at a time via ceaseless tweets, furious concerts and a politician's propensity for handshakes.

"We have tens and tens of thousands of fans, and honestly I've touched damn near all of them," said MGK, born Richard Colson Baker, on the phone between New England tour stops last week.

Rappers have been the new rock stars for some time now, but in 2011 the most successful ones feel more like cottage industries. Internet heroes like Lil B and Tyler, the Creator are selling a lifestyle - not just music but code words, community and cult of personality.

Count MGK among that breed. Kids download his "Rage Pack" mixtape - emblazoned with a kiddie version of the typically shirtless, heavily tattooed rapper urinating on a brick wall - then flock to his concerts to "rage on." They form mosh pits, flash boobs and generally go nuts. Hilariously, he calls them "power ragers."

"They just release all that positive energy," MGK said. "I think they just basically took it from us because we damn near mosh on stage. We go f---ing apes--t. They don't really have a choice but to follow along."

Before "rage" entered the MGK lexicon, "Lace Up" was the motto. The phrase, which means "get ready," was the title of MGK's previous mixtape. Now fans get "Lace Up" tattoos and eagerly await his first proper album, also called "Lace Up," due out next year on Bad Boy Records.

Sean Combs' stamp of approval came with dollar signs attached, but MGK, who performed on the Warped Tour this year, was just as stoked about cosigns from Blink-182 and Tommy Lee. He swears by DMX and positions himself as the second coming of Kurt Cobain. Like Cobain, he answers to nobody's canon but his own.

That's evident on "Rage Pack." One minute he's matching blows with Waka Flocka Flame on an aggressive Lex Luger beat; the next he's emulating an easygoing Wiz Khalifa flow over a poppy Naked and Famous sample. His distinct persona unites such diverse threads.

"The way you build a culture around your music is just having a lot of personality, and just letting people in," MGK said. "We have a crazy lifestyle surrounding our stuff. We're not boring. We're not bland. We're just crazy eccentric, so people want to be a part of that."

MGK's concerts were ballooning even before the recent flurry of celebrity endorsements. He swears the upgrade to big rooms like LC Pavilion, where he'll open for Mike Posner this Thursday, hasn't deflated his live show.

"We have really good eye contact, which I think is key in shows," MGK said. "And we throw water like we're f---ing Brett Favre. Even if you're in the back, you're going to get wet. Or a kid's going to punch you in the face and you'll be like, 'Damn, that was crazy.'"

The party rages on.