Kevin Gates

17 albums, 102 tracks

Born in Feb 05, 1986



"Kevin Gates"

Feb 01, 2019

At 32, But Signaling An Even Older Authority, Kevin Gates Dishes More Intellectual Trap

Written by @taylor / 5 mins read

I gotta love Kevin Gates for bringing some sort of quality control to the Trap game, where there are so many lesser down-south artists who are more concerned with creating or riding a trend, while not spending enough time incorporating stories and alter egos into the mix. Gates is 32, which could mean ‘old’ to some of you ageist readers, yet 32 is quite young to be sounding as old and wise as this Louisiana rapper sounds and preaches. His drawl, courtesy of his Baton Rouge upbringing, is thick, and on this album, it is especially electric, with autotune warble and plenty of melodic overtures. While I wouldn’t say that I am in love with these tracks so much that they will be on repeat every day, I am thankful for such intelligent oration to be heard when Hip Hop is most in need of substance.

Substance That Sounds Ignorant Is Still Substantial, Sub-textually

Luca Brasi 3 is laden with 18 tracks, and as a whole, it is all a little too same-sounding through out, yet in comparison to something from Lil Boosie (fellow veteran Baton Rouger) or the newer Youngboy Never Broke Again, it stacks up quite well in such company. Some tracks are deceptively ignorant – meaning, Kevin Gates is not above the arrogant, gregarious platitudes of a style that he grew up on, though always in the background, there is this sense that he is so much smarter than the content. This magic trick works, allowing him to keep one foot in the streets and one in the hall of critical acclaim. On the hype track “Money Long”, ignorance is on full display with lyrics like “don’t get your head blown (boom), drop a digit on ya / say your money long (whew), but my dick longer / let the dons step off planes, I go dumb, hold up, wait (let’s do it) / breadwinner, I don’t wait, what you skrrt, ain’t no brakes (skrt).” More gangsta game is exhibited on “Luca Brasi Freestlye”, where he really sounds like the real deal gangster of cinema lore, updated for today’s drug trade, as he raps “Cell phone ring that’s another hunnid G’s (hello?) / asian out in Cali ’bout to send a bunch of P’s (leggo!)” The lingo and references are specific and tied to the underworld.

Kevin Gates Is A Mood Chameleon

How is it possible that while employing a very similar delivery, depending on the amount of melodic autotune support, Kevin Gates can come extremely hard on a hardcore Trap track like “Adding Up”, while coming off as also extremely balladic on the tender love song “Shoulda”, with hooks like “I don’t wanna be without your love tonight / whenever I’m with you it feels like paradise / mix a few mistakes with wrongs and rights / when you listen to your heart it gives you sound advice.” What I have always appreciated about Kevin Gates is that whatever he is rapping about, he tends to keep it honest, not just lyrically, but with his security as a man. On the aforementioned track, where every other rapper would have immaturely said ‘you shoulda been with me when you had the chance, but now I don’t want you anymore so fuck you’, Gates expresses the woulda-shoulda accusation, but is sure to include humanistic gestures like “you shoulda just let me have you / I could’ve made you so happy / but I don’t do second chances,” adding “forever I wish you happiness,” even though he admits she is a dancer. From gangsta to empathetic philosopher, Gates remains a chameleon in a genre exemplified by users and abusers.

Endurance Is Essential To Listen To ‘Luca Brasi 3x, Yet It Will Grow On You If You Allow It

The sore spots on the album for me would have to be on the redundant or ‘off’ sounding “I Got You”, “A Great Man”, “Servin H”, and perhaps “Kung Fu.” Not that these songs were terrible – in fact they were each better than your favorite mumble rapper’s usual output, yet, something about the sparse metallic beats, and the incessant shouting or vocal theatrics, ended up making me skip these tracks for better ones, which I found to be “Discussion”, “Shakin”, and “Ridiculous”, which had the right balance of beat volume and vocal prowess. As far as can’t-stop-replaying-it bangers, I most enjoyed the extremely cruisable Trap of “Adding Up”, the uplifting “In God I Trust”, and the laid back yet reflective street gospel of “Tryna Yea.” So it is with a mixed feeling that I say this album is a noble effort, and if anything, it is too long with its approach to similar sounding beats, and this equates to, perhaps more importantly, an endurance test of how long I can listen to Kevin Gates loud drawl barking in my ear.

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  • Atlantic
  • Bread Winners'


Kevin Jerome Gilyard (born February 5, 1986), better known by his stage name Kevin Gates, is an American rapper, singer, and entrepreneur. He is currently signed to Bread Winners' Association with a partnership with Atlantic Records. His debut studio album, Islah, released in January 2016 and peaked at number two on the US Billboard 200 chart. Prior to Islah, Gates also released numerous mixtapes including Stranger Than Fiction, By Any Means, and Luca Brasi 2, all of which peaked in the top 40 on the Billboard 200 chart.
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