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About Kevin Gates


Kevin Jerome Gilyard , 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 a number of 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.


Kevin Jerome Gilyard was born on February 5, 1986, to a Puerto Rican mother and an African American father. He and his family relocated to New Orleans, Louisiana, before settling in Baton Rouge. Gates had an often tumultuous upbringing and was arrested for the first time in 1999 at the age of 13 for joyriding in a stolen vehicle as a passenger. He lost contact with his father at a young age, but later reconnected with him as a teenager. His father died of complications from AIDS when Gates was 14 years old. When he was 17, he briefly attended Baton Rouge Community College. Gates is of Moroccan and Puerto Rican descent.


Gates began his career in 2007 by signing to local label Dead Game Records. His career blossomed 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." In 2008, both Gates and Boosie were incarcerated in separate cases, effectively pausing Gates' music career. He spent 31 months in prison between 2008 and 2011. During this time, Gates claimed he earned a master's degree in psychology through a prison program. He was released early from prison for good behavior.


After his stint in prison, Gates began working on music again almost immediately. In 2012, he earned some buzz with the mixtape Make 'Em Believe. 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. 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.


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."Rolling Stone named the mixtape's single, "Wylin' ", the 40th best song of 2013. On the heels of the success of that mixtape, Gates was signed to Atlantic Records. He released his first major label mixtape, Stranger Than Fiction, in July 2013. The mixtape deals with issues ranging from depression to Gates' time in prison. The mixtape also received favorable reviews despite generally being shorter than Gates had originally hoped.Stranger Than Fiction also marked the first time one of Gates' mixtapes charted on the Billboard 200, peaking at number 37.


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. 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. The mixtape featured guest appearances from artists including 2 Chainz, Plies, and Rico Love. The mixtape also made it to the Billboard 200, peaking at number 17.


This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Kevin Gates", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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