The best way to understand Kevin Gates is to simply listen to his music. His 2016 album, ISLAH, affirmed Kevin Gates as one of hip-hop’s greatest new stars, second only to Drake as the best-selling hip-hop artist of 2016. One of the rare major hip hop releases to contain no featured artists, the album made an incredible chart debut upon its January 2016 arrival, entering Billboard’s “Top Rap Albums” chart at #1 while also coming in at #2 on the SoundScan/Billboard 200 with sales in excess of 110,000 – Gates’ biggest sales week to date. ISLAH of course includes a pair of smashes in the 3x platinum certified “Really Really” and the 4x platinum, top 20 blockbuster, “2 Phones,” the latter of which ascended to #17 on Billboard’s overall “Hot 100” – Gates’ highest charting mainstream single to date. What’s more, Gates’ distinctive accompanying visuals saw him ranked by the New York Times as the #5 most-watched artist on YouTube in the US between January 2016 and April 2017. Indeed, “Really Really” has drawn more than 222 million views thus far, while “2 Phones” has earned a remarkable 271 million views and counting via YouTube alone.
Gates has been releasing a constant stream of music since his debut album. Despite his legal challenges and incarceration circumstances over the past three years, the Baton Rouge-raised emcee hasn’t stopped delivering heavy-hitting music to his fans, including BY ANY MEANS 2, CHAINED TO THE CITY, LUCA BRASI 3, and his latest ONLY THE GENERALS GON UNDERSTAND.