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Kevin Gates (born February 5, 1986) is the stage name of Kevin Gilyard, an American rapper and singer from New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
Gates’ musical endeavours began when he started rapping in 2007 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he grew up. Along with fellow Louisiana rappers Webbie and Lil Boosie, Gates first drew attention to himself with the 2008 single “Get in the Way” featuring Lil Boosie. Influenced by the likes of Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z and Nas, since 2007 the rapper has been known for his time on the mixtape circuit releasing a string of mixtapes including 2007’s “Pick Of Da Litter”, 2008’s “All Or Nuthin”, 2009’s “All In”, and 2010’s “Behind Enemy Lines” and “The Leak”.
Shortly after his single “Get in the Way” Gates got sent to jail until 2011, upon his release he immediately returned to recording music, which included the mixtapes “I Don’t Know What to Call it Vol. 1 (2011), “Make ‘Em Believe” (2012) and “In The Mean Time” (2012). 2012 also brought a number of collaborations for the rapper including work with Juvenile and French Montana.
It was in 2013 however where Kevin Gates really blew up with his mixtape “The Luca Brasi Story” which became instantly popular, being downloaded over 130,000 times and resulted in Gates appearing on high-profile mixtapes for Pusha T, Slim Thug and Gudda Gudda. It wasn’t long before he signed to the major label Atlantic after completing his contract with the indie imprint label Breadwinner by releasing the well-received album “Stranger Than Fiction”, featuring artists Wiz Khalifa and Juicy J. The album debuted at No. 37 in the Billboard 200 and led to the rapper being named part of the 2014 XXL Freshman Class.