Kevin Gates

Puerto Rican-American rapper and singer Kevin Gates was born Kevin Gilyard on February 5, 1986. At a young age, his family moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he had a troubled upbringing and was arrested for the first time when he was 13. His musical career began when he signed to local label Dead Game Records in 2007. That same year, he collaborated with fellow rappers Boosie Badazz and Webbie on his first mixtape, Pick of Da Litter. After the release of his second mixtape, All or Nuthin’ (2008), he was incarcerated and spent 31 months in prison, putting a hold on his career until 2011. Jumping back into the music game, his 2012 mixtape Make ‘Em Believe caught the attention of Lil Wayne and he signed a management deal with Young Money Entertainment. Setting up his own label (Bread Winner’s Association), he received critical acclaim for his 2013 mixtape The Luca Brasi Story. The success of that title led to Gates signing with Atlantic Records, who released his mixtape Stranger Than Fiction, which charted at Number 37 on the Billboard 200. After touring for the mixtape, he was incarcerated again and spent nearly four months behind bars. Upon release, Kevin Gates went back to music and released another mixtape, By Any Means (2014). After several more charting mixtapes, he released his debut album, Isiah, in January 2016, which reached Number 2 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart. That same year, he was incarcerated again on an assault chart followed by another sentence related to a 2013 firearms incident. Released in January 2018, he began making music again, releasing several EPs and then his sophomore album I’m Him (2019). Two years later, he returned with the mixtape Only the Generals, Pt. II (2021), followed a year later by his third album, Khaza, which went to number 2 on the US rap charts. In July, 2023, Gates re-released 2013 mixtape Stranger Than Fiction.

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