SANTA MONICA, Calif., Aug. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- MGK, the rising rapid-fire rapper from Cleveland who became the first MC in history to win the famed Amateur Night competition at the Apollo, has been signed to Bad Boy/Interscope Records. Information about his forthcoming debut album, Lace Up, will be announced in the near future. MGK has continuously impressed with his exciting and exhilarating live performances at SXSW and Bamboozled, as well as on the Warped and Lil Wayne tours, just to name a few. Far more than a rapper, he is quickly becoming the voice of a new generation as he attracts new fans with each show. "The moment we started the EST 19XX movement during the recording of the Lace Up mixtape, I made a pledge to my fans to protect our brand and become the honest voice of our generation," said MGK. "We represent the underdogs, the outcast, the uncool. We are a true cult with a loud voice." MGK first caught the attention of Bad Boy Entertainment CEO Sean "Diddy" Combs thanks to his online viral videos, including those of his memorable showcases at SXSW. The excitement grew after Combs heard mixtapes from MGK --especially Lace Up--and also MGK's personal story, which had cultivated a devoted fan following. "MGK is a breath of fresh air," said Combs. "He's not just a star, he's a movement!" Added Harve Pierre, President of Bad Boy: "MGK is a great addition to the Bad Boy team. He speaks for a generation of kids who are just like him. Fans relate immediately to his lyrics, his flow and his energetic live performances." Penning rhymes about personal issues from addiction to family, MGK has become a symbol of relentless perseverance for his fans. Hailing from a broken home and having lived in nearly a dozen cities, MGK found hope in rap while in a Denver high school. He later attended high school in Cleveland, where he built a local following through his heartfelt lyrics, passionate performances and the release of his first mixtape, Stamp Of Approval. After graduation, the 18-year-old MGK was forced to fend not only for himself but for a child. His daughter Casie gave him new incentive to work even harder. A trip to New York's famed Apollo Theater in 2009--he won twice--truly launched his career. The mixtapes 100 Words And Running and Lace Up landed shortly thereafter. The MC's catchphrase of "Lace up," which began as a mixtape interlude, became a call to arms for fans. Earning Best Midwest Artist at the 2010 Underground Music Awards, his "Alice In Wonderland" clip then won Best Music Video at the 2010 Ohio Hip-Hop Awards, where MGK has nabbed Best Live Performer two years in a row. MGK states, "We decided to partner with Bad Boy/Interscope because they understood our idea and the importance of keeping our integrity. They want to give us their resources to help share our vision with the rest of the world. This is not about mainstream success. EST 19XX represents a cultural shift, a worldwide revolution. Lace the F*@* Up!!!!"