Kevin Gates
Shop for Kevin Gates mp3s. Get Kevin Gates essential facts below. View Videos or join the Kevin Gates discussion. Add Kevin Gates to your topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Kevin Gates
Kevin Gates
Kevin Gates - Main Pub 1 - Photo Credit.jpg
Kevin Gates in 2014
Background information
Kevin Jerome Gilyard
Born (1986-02-05) February 5, 1986 (age 32)
Origin Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Genres Hip hop
Website Official website

Kevin Jerome Gilyard (born February 5, 1986),[1][2] better known by his stage name Kevin Gates, is an American rapper, singer, and entrepreneur.[3][4][5] He is currently signed to Bread Winners' Association with a partnership with Atlantic Records.[5][6] His debut studio album, Islah, released in January 2016 and peaked at number two on the US Billboard 200 chart.[7] 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.[5]

Early life

Kevin Gates was born Kevin Jerome Gilyard on February 5, 1986. He and his family relocated to Baton Rouge soon after his birth.[1] Gates had an often tumultuous upbringing and was arrested for the first time in 1999 at the age of 13 for "joyriding" as a passenger.[8] When he was 17, he briefly attended Baton Rouge Community College.[5] Gates is of African-American and Puerto Rican descent.[9]


2007-2012: Early career, setbacks, and Young Money

Gates began his career in 2005 by signing to local label Dead Game Records [10] his career would blossom along with fellow Baton Rouge natives Boosie Badazz and Webbie in the mid-2000s. The three collaborated on Gates' first mixtape, Pick of Da Litter, in 2007. Another mixtape, All or Nuthin, was released in 2008 and featured what Gates described as "a lot of pain...a lot of true stories."[11][12] In 2008, both Gates and Boosie were incarcerated in separate cases, effectively pausing Gates' music career.[11] He spent 31 months in prison between 2008 and 2011.[8][13] During this time, he earned a master's degree in psychology through a prison program. He was released early from prison for good behavior.[5]

After his stint in prison, Gates began working on music again almost immediately.[11] In 2012, he earned some buzz with the mixtape, Make 'Em Believe.[14] He also caught the attention of Lil Wayne's record label, Young Money Entertainment. Gates was signed to the management wing of the label later that year.[11][12] Although he was signed to the management wing, Gates never signed a record deal with Young Money. He noted, however, that it was Birdman who gave him the idea to start his own record label later on.[15]

2013-2014: Atlantic Records and mixtape breakthroughs

In early 2013, Gates released the mixtape, The Luca Brasi Story, via his Bread Winners' Association record label. The mixtape received critical praise with Pitchfork saying it, "imbues trap's claustrophobic bleakness with an emotional nakedness, capable lyricism, and melodic certitude many of its recent breakout stars have lacked."[16][17]Rolling Stone named the mixtape's single, "Wylin' ", the 40th best song of 2013.[18] On the heels of the success of that mixtape, Gates was signed to Atlantic Records.[12] He would then release his first major label mixtape, Stranger Than Fiction, in July 2013.[19][20] The mixtape deals with issues ranging from depression to Gates' time in prison.[21] The mixtape also received favorable reviews despite generally being shorter than Gates had originally hoped.[22]Stranger Than Fiction also marked the first time one of Gates' mixtapes charted on the Billboard 200, peaking at number 37.[5][23]

In support of the mixtape, Gates embarked on a 4-week tour in October across the United States called the Stranger Than Fiction Tour. The tour also featured Starlito and Don Trip.[24] After the tour, Gates again found himself in prison for parole violations. He was sentenced to 4 months, but only served 3 and a half of those. Upon his release in early March 2014, he again focused on music and, in particular, his new mixtape project, By Any Means. The mixtape was released on March 18, 2014.[17] The mixtape featured guest appearances from artists including 2 Chainz, Plies, and Rico Love.[4] The mixtape also made it to the Billboard 200, peaking at number 17.[23]

In May 2014, Gates was named a member of XXL's Freshmen Class[25] He also announced the By Any Means Tour which would run from July 15 to August 30, 2014 and feature Chevy Woods.[26] In August 2014, Gates announced the creation of a new energy drink called "I Don't Get Tired" or "#IDGT."[27] The drink is based on Gates' 2014 single of the same name that also featured August Alsina.[28]

2015-present: Success with "I Don't Get Tired", Islah, and By Any Means 2

With the release of his 13th mixtape, Luca Brasi 2, Gates earned his third Billboard 200 listing in a row. The mixtape peaked at number 38.[29] The mixtape featured the single "I Don't Get Tired" which became Gates' first song to make the US Billboard Hot 100[30] and his first song to be certified Gold.[31] In February and March 2015, Gates embarked on the I Don't Get Tired Tour throughout much of the South.[32] In May 2015, Gates released another mixtape, Murder for Hire, which was said to be the third installment in the Luca Brasi series.[33] In July 2015, he released the song, "Kno One," which would become the first single from his debut studio album, Islah.[34]

In late August 2015, Gates was the subject of some controversy after a video surfaced of him allegedly kicking a female fan in the chest at a show in Lakeland, Florida.[35] Gates responded to the allegations shortly thereafter in the form of a song called "The Truth," noting (among other things) that the fan had been tugging on his shorts.[36] In October 2015, Gates married his longtime girlfriend, Dreka Haynes. The couple has two children together, one son and one daughter.[37] Later in October 2015, Gates announced the title and release date of his debut studio album, Islah, which means "to make better" in Arabic and is also the name of his firstborn daughter.[38] The album was originally slated for release on December 11, 2015.[39]PerThe album would eventually be pushed back to January 29, 2016. It would also feature a total of four singles including, "Kno One", "Time for That", "Really Really" and "2 Phones".[40] Both "Really Really" and "2 Phones" received commercial success.[30] The album sold 112,000 copies in the first week of its release and it also peaked at number two on the Billboard 200 chart.[3][23] The album had almost no guest appearances with the exception of Trey Songz, Ty Dolla Sign, and Jamie Foxx who are all featured on the bonus track, "Jam".[40][41]Islah received largely positive reviews with Inverse calling it the "Best Album of 2016 So Far."[42] Pitchfork noted that it was "by far the best single release of his career."[43]

On May 26, 2016, he announced that the sequel to Murder for Hire will be coming on May 27, 2016.[44]

On September 22, 2017, Gates' spouse Dreka released By Any Means 2 while Kevin remained in prison. She handled executive controls of the project.[]


Kevin Gates is known primarily for his "confessional anthems" that blend often autobiographical lyrics with refined Southern beats.[3] In a review of his debut album Islah, Consequence of Sound noted that "autobiography and honesty have always been central to [Gates'] artistry."[45]Spin has noted that Gates often combines "melodic tunefulness" and "clenched-teeth street rap."[41] In recent releases, he has incorporated more singing, having trained with the singer, Monica. Gates' lyrics often deal with subjects like depression, poverty, and prison time.[3][21] He has listed numerous artists among his influences including Nas, Biggie Smalls, Jay-Z, Tupac Shakur, Eminem, and others.[5]

Personal life

Gates married his longtime girlfriend, Dreka Haynes, in October 2015. The couple have two children, Islah and Khaza.[46] Gates hinted that he had children by other women in a 2013 interview with Complex: "I got some children. I'm real real close with them. I lay in the bed with them, hold them, love on them. It really doesn't make sense to say [how many kids I have]. Not in a bad way, but it's not like the public will ever get to see my children, and if they do see them, they aren't going to know they're mine."

Gates is a practicing Muslim along with his wife, and went in September 2016 to Mecca for Hajj.[47][48]

Legal issues

Gates' first arrest occurred when he was 13 for being a passenger in a stolen vehicle. Gates was briefly jailed for the offense, and said that being jailed had a profound effect on his life: "If they would've just pulled up to the jail, left me in the police car, never took me inside and just took me back home, I don't think I'd ever have done anything else again. But what it did was--by me going into jail at such a young age--all it did was criminalize me in a sense. It kinda steered me in the wrong direction after getting there and settling in; it took the fear of jail away from me."[8]

In 2003, Gates was involved in an altercation outside a movie theatre and stabbed his opponent multiple times.[8]

Gates was charged with battery for kicking a fan in the summer of 2015 while he was performing on stage at an event in Lakeland, Florida. He used Florida's stand-your-ground law in defense.[49] On October 26, 2016, he was convicted of the charge and sentenced to 180 days in jail.[50] In 2017. Gates was sentenced to a 30-month prison sentence at the East Moline, IL correctional facility for gun charges stemming from a 2013 incident, but was released on parole on January 10, 2018.[51][52]


Studio albums


  1. ^ a b Campbell, Damon (5 February 2016). "Best Hip Hop Moments in #BHM: Kevin Gates is Born". The Source. Retrieved 2016. 
  2. ^ Coppage, Wanda J. (14 March 2016). "Kevin Gates Performs '2 Phones,' Details Drug Charge & Family on 'Wendy Williams' [VIDEO]". Music Times. Retrieved 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d Kramer, Kyle (5 February 2016). "Kevin Gates Just Keeps Getting Better, Really". Noisey. Retrieved 2016. 
  4. ^ a b Renato, Pagnani (23 March 2014). "By Any Means". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Reeves, Mosi (14 April 2014). "Kevin Gates Gets Ready to Go Global". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2016. 
  6. ^ Maduakolam, Emmanuel (13 January 2016). "Kevin Gates Discusses Growth on 'Islah' Album and His Overwhelming Presence". XXL. Retrieved 2016. 
  7. ^ "Watch Kevin Gates Talk Writing Process: 'Why Are You Trying to Dissect It?'". Rolling Stone. 12 February 2016. Retrieved 2016. 
  8. ^ a b c d "Kevin Gates in Jail". TrapworldHipHop. July 2014. Retrieved 2016. 
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ a b c d Courtney, James (15 July 2014). "Why Baton Rouge Rapper Kevin Gates Could Be the Next Rap Superstar". San Antonio Current. Retrieved 2016. 
  12. ^ a b c Drake, David (1 March 2013). "Who is Kevin Gates?". Complex. Retrieved 2016. 
  13. ^ Lamarre, Carl (23 July 2014). "Kevin Gates Says Going To Prison Was The Best Thing That Happened To Him". XXL. Retrieved 2016. 
  14. ^ Diep, Eric (15 February 2013). "The Come Up: Kevin Gates". XXL. Retrieved 2016. 
  15. ^ Ivey, Justin (10 April 2014). "Kevin Gates Talks Newfound Success, 'Bread Winners' and 'By Any Means' [EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]". The BoomBox. Retrieved 2016. 
  16. ^ Jenkins, Craig (27 February 2013). "The Luca Brasi Story". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2016. 
  17. ^ a b Rys, Dan (12 March 2014). "Kevin Gates Gives XXL His First Interview Since Being Released From Prison". XXL. Retrieved 2016. 
  18. ^ "100 Best Songs of 2013". Rolling Stone. 4 December 2013. Retrieved 2016. 
  19. ^ Staples, Derek (29 July 2013). "Kevin Gates - Stranger Than Fiction". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 2016. 
  20. ^ Kramer, Kyle (18 November 2013). "Kevin Gates: Love and Other Drugs". Noisey. Retrieved 2016. 
  21. ^ a b Hunte, Justin (22 August 2013). "Kevin Gates Describes Overcoming Depression & Incarceration On "Stranger Than Fiction"". HipHopDX. Retrieved 2016. 
  22. ^ Jenkins, Craig (25 July 2013). "Stranger Than Fiction". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2016. 
  23. ^ a b c "Kevin Gates - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 2016. 
  24. ^ Lilah, Rose (10 October 2013). "Kevin Gates Going On "Stranger Than Fiction" Tour". Hot New Hip Hop. Retrieved 2016. 
  25. ^ Maduakolam, Emmanuel (21 May 2014). "Kevin Gates". XXL. Retrieved 2016. 
  26. ^ Lamarre, Carl (6 May 2014). "Kevin Gates Kicks Off His By Any Means Tour In July". XXL. Retrieved 2016. 
  27. ^ Nostro, Lauren (27 August 2014). "Kevin Gates Is Launching an Energy Drink Called "I Don't Get Tired"". Complex. Retrieved 2016. 
  28. ^ Thorpe, Isha (22 December 2014). "Kevin Gates Stays on His Grind in 'I Don't Get Tired' Video With August Alsina". The BoomBox. Retrieved 2016. 
  29. ^ Greene, Jayson (12 January 2015). "Luca Brasi 2". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2016. 
  30. ^ a b "Kevin Gates - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 2016. 
  31. ^ "Gold and Platinum". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2016. 
  32. ^ Smith, Trevor (26 January 2015). "Kevin Gates Announces "I Don't Get Tired" Tour". Hot New Hip Hop. Retrieved 2016. 
  33. ^ Marshall, Jimaral (27 May 2015). "Kevin Gates "Murder for Hire" Release Date, Cover Art, Tracklist, Download & Mixtape Stream". HipHopDX. Retrieved 2016. 
  34. ^ Smith, Trevor (27 July 2015). "Kevin Gates "Kno One" Video". Hot New Hip Hop. Retrieved 2016. 
  35. ^ "Woman Kicked in the Chest by Kevin Gates Recounts Attack". BET. 1 September 2015. Retrieved 2016. 
  36. ^ Harling, Danielle (2 September 2015). "Kevin Gates Responds To Allegations Of Kicking Fan". HipHopDX. Retrieved 2016. 
  37. ^ Fitzgerald, Trent (18 October 2015). "Kevin Gates Marries Longtime Girlfriend Dreka Haynes [PHOTOS]". The BoomBox. Retrieved 2016. 
  38. ^ Walker, Angus (22 October 2015). "All Too Human: The Perfect Imperfection Of Kevin Gates". Hot New Hip Hop. Retrieved 2016. 
  39. ^ Lilah, Rose (27 October 2015). "Kevin Gates Speaks On Naming His Album After Islah & Parenthood". Hot New Hip Hop. Retrieved 2016. 
  40. ^ a b Baker, Soren (29 January 2016). "Kevin Gates "ISLAH" Album Stream, Cover Art & Tracklist". HipHopDX. Retrieved 2016. 
  41. ^ a b Pagnani, Renato (25 January 2016). "Review: Kevin Gates Needs No Assists to Fuse His Yin and Yang on 'Islah'". Spin. Retrieved 2016. 
  42. ^ Cook-Wilson, Winston (2 February 2016). "Kevin Gates Made the Best Rap Album of 2016 So Far With 'Islah'". Inverse. Retrieved 2016. 
  43. ^ Greene, Jayson (3 February 2016). "Islah". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2016. 
  44. ^ Goddard, Kevin (May 25, 2016). "Kevin Gates announces Murder for hire 2". Hotnewhiphop. Retrieved 2016. 
  45. ^ Madden, Michael (26 January 2016). "Kevin Gates - Islah". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 2016. 
  46. ^ "[Interview] Meet Dreka Gates, Kevin Gates' Beloved Wife & The Force Behind His Music Career | The Source". The Source. 2016-04-18. Retrieved . 
  47. ^ "22 Rappers Who Are Muslim - XXL". XXL Mag. Retrieved . 
  48. ^ "Dreka Gates on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved . 
  49. ^ Walker, Angus (August 1, 2016). "Kevin Gates denied Florida Battery Charge expulsion". Hotnewhiphop. Retrieved 2016. 
  50. ^ Stutz, Colin (October 26, 2016). "Kevin Gates Found Guilty of Battery After Kicking Woman at Florida Concert". Billboard. Retrieved 2016. 
  51. ^
  52. ^ "Kevin Gates Released From Prison: Report". Billboard. Retrieved . 

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



Music Scenes