I know this will sound weird, but I’ve been enjoying Kevin Gates lately. His music, though I can’t relate to anything he’s talking about, has the hunger and passion that’s needed when creating art.
I’ve even used his style on a new club song that’ll be released very soon. I thought it’d be interesting for me to have that aggression on a song.
I don’t look for this kind of music, so it’s rare that I actually hear enough of it to ever enjoy it. I can remember three different times when his name was brought up to me:
The Introduction to the name Kevin Gates: A few years ago, my friend Richard was teaching a junior high class, and somehow the topic of favorite rappers came up, and many of the students said ‘Kevin Gates’. This offended Richard. The kids didn’t say Nas, Andre, or Eminem, but KEVINGATES. Later that day, he asked me if I ever heard of him, which I didn’t, and didn’t attempt to afterwards.
The mixtape: Last year, my brother (who does like these kind of rappers) asked me if I ever heard of him, and then told me, “I know you don’t like street music, but you should really check him out. He talks about real life, and things that matter.” I went home and downloaded his album (Stranger Than Fiction) and finally gave him a try. Though I wasn’t blown away, I thought it was pretty good. Not something I’d listen to on my own though.
Satellites: Again, Last year, my friend Kip sent me a link to the song Satellites and told me I’m going to love this song. Of course I didn’t believe him, and of course I was wrong. I can remember playing the song over and over, thinking ’not sure why I like this song so much, but I do’.
I’m interested in seeing his progress over time. It’d be easy for me to overlook him because of his street style, but that would be a mistake from me. I see talent. I just hope he starts to evolve into an artist with more substance, because I see the potential for him to have a bigger impact on the art form that is hip-hop.