Louisiana rapper, Kevin Gates, is a man who has experienced all the trials and tribulations of life but has remained positive and humble through it all. He has created hit records like “2 Phones” along side his Bread Winners’ Association label. We had the opportunity to sit down with Kevin and get to know him a little better and find out what we have to look forward to in the near future.
What was your musical journey like?
What was my musical journey like? It was a very humbling experience because I had a lot of doors shut in my face. I had to have the determination to keep going. I had to realize not everybody was going to like me but the people that do like me and support me, that’s a blessing.
How did you get your start in the music business?
Me and my wife, Dreka, we took the “grass roots approach” and what that is is developing an intimate relationship with your fans. Every fan that I met. I come from the crack era. I come from the era of selling crack cocaine, selling rocks and I wanted to know the name of every smoker on a first-name basis. I was like that in the beginning with my approach with every fan. I would give them my CD and tell every one of them “ I want to be your favorite rapper. I want to be your favorite.”
How do you feel about the state of Hip-Hop now or the culture in general?
I have no feeling towards it. I’m unbiased. As far as the culture, I’m in my own lane. I’ve created my own type of culture because my music doesn’t touch the people that are apart of the so called “popular crowd, the popular club.” You know? I make the music for the misfits. I make the music for the people that have been picked on and people who may have suffered from depression. I make that music for that type of people because some of the sweetest people I’ve met are substance abusers. Substance abuse victims are some of the sweetest people I’ve ever met in my life. So, I make music for those type of people that have been tore down by life because they had a good heart. Every time they tear you down, I’m going to build you back up.
What was your childhood like? How have your experiences help mold you into who you are today?
That’s another story in itself.
How do you define RESPECT? What is RESPECT to you?
I treat people the way I would like other people to treat me and that’s my definition of RESPECT in its entirety. Treating people the way you want to be treated. You know, sometimes you have to step outside of yourself. My nature, my driven nature, is so assertive that it can come off as aggressive. I know what I want and I want it the way I want it. If I can’t have it the way that I want it then I don’t want it at all. Me realizing those things is me putting that to the side and realizing people may take that as being aggressive. I’m not going to be like that. I’m going to look at it from their shoes. I may not feel like smiling but I’m going to smile because I know me saying hello or just being courteous can change somebody’s whole day. So that’s my definition of RESPECT. I had to go into elaborative detail about that.
Who or what are your biggest influences?
My biggest influences in my life right now is almighty God Allah, Islam and my family. I want to be a great father and a great role-model to my children first. How you judge a man based on his character, is by how he treats his family. You can be a great person in the streets. That public display, thats public affection but who you are in private defines who you are to me. That’s just me. My thoughts.
Any new music or tours to look forward to this year?
I’m always creating new music. I’m a perfectionist. I may make a song and 10 minutes later I want to change something. I’m always critiquing my own self. I’m a work in progress. I’m just enjoying the journey.
Who are some artists and producers you would like to work with that you haven’t worked with already?
My first song, “Satellites,” I got that off of the computer from Platinum Sellers. I bought that beat for $300. It’s a multi-million dollar song and I only paid $300 for the beat. So, I don’t put a label on who I want to work with. It just depends on if the vibe is right and the energy is there. If the energy is not there, then I’m not going to put energy into it. If the energy is there, then I’m with it.
What’s next for Kevin Gates?
I’m just enjoying the journey. I’m enjoying watching Keven Gates go from what he was to becoming who he is. You know, I’m watching it. I’m a fan. I want to see what’s next for Kevin Gates. I don’t know. I’m just enjoying the journey one day at a time.
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