Kevin Gates is a well-known musician, with a host of popular singles. But, what was the song that kick started his career?
Kevin Gates released his first EP, ‘Pick of da Litter’, in 2007. The EP marked a breakout moment in his career, and was home to his first songs, including ‘My Momma Know’ and ‘Game Tight’.
Read more below about Kevin Gates’ life and career.
For a period of his childhood, Gates resided in New Orleans with his grandmother, in an area he states is “Poverty-stricken.” He moved to Baton Rouge, however, and explains that this is the area he grew up in.
The city is described as having “the energy of youth while holding fast to its traditions in Southern lifestyle.”
“I gravitated towards a lot of individuals who were doing the wrong things with the right intentions,” he explains of his troubled youth. At the age of just 13, he was arrested for stealing.
He faced his first criminal charges aged 15 for aggravated assault, a felony that he served almost two years in a juvenile prison for. Gates, however, believes this period of incarceration did little to deter him from future crime.
“It took my fear of imprisonment away,” he explains. “That criminalized me at a young age.”
He says that a lack of opportunity for youth drives many in Baton Rouge to crime. Those who do lead successful careers, he claims, leave the area.
“There’s nothing to do there but go to jail,” he tells an interviewer. “Most of the local talent…have to leave the city to make it.”
His father was estranged from him for much of his childhood, with Gates first meeting him when he was in 8th grade.
One of the leading tracks on ‘Pick of da Litter’ was ‘Get In The Way’. The track addresses his image as an individual to be taken seriously, with lyrics including “Beat up your face, no surrender,” and “Last time I checked, I wasn’t soft on these streets.”
In 2008, his second EP was released, entitled ‘All or Nuthin’.
Making music, he says, is a “religious experience,” with those around him noting that there’s an energy in the room.
In 2013, he released the album ‘The Luca Brasi Story’. The album marked his breakout into wider media recognition.
Rolling Stone featured the work on their list of the best hip-hop albums of the year. “Kevin Gates is what the South’s been missing – a lyricist dealing with heavy topics like depression and heartbreak with the work ethic of a drug-runner steady on the grind,” they write in their review.
Now, Gates has a host of work under his belt comprised of albums, EPs, and mixtapes. He’s had 10 songs appear in the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, and he achieved a top 10 hit on the Hot R&B chart with single ‘2 Phones’.
On the 2016 album ‘Islah’, which means ‘make better’ in Arabic, Gates collaborated with some impressive names. On the album’s single ‘Jam’, he works with Trey Songz, Ty Dolla $ign, and Jamie Foxx.
Life Outside Music
Gates was involved in a long-running public feud with Boosie Badazz, a fellow rapper from Baton Rouge. The argument began after Gates’ friend was murdered and it was claimed that Boosie had paid for the kill.
Boosie was ultimately found not guilty of the crime, and the pair appeared to make amends over Instagram.
Gates has faced multiple legal issues and has served time in prison between his music releases. In 2017, he served 9 months in prison for illegal gun possession.
He was also incarcerated for battery after an altercation during a Florida show, where he kicked a fan.
Despite his involvement with the law, the star has found huge success in the music industry.
The musician is open about his newfound wealth. “I spent millions on clothes, jewelry, and cars because I was insecure,” he told Men’s Health.
“I wasted about two and a half million,” he admits. His stints in prison, he says, helped him to control his spending.