Kevin Gates Loves Being In Love

The sentiment you are describing seems to be echoed in a song like “Neon Lights.” Do you draw anything from him in your music?
It just resonates spiritually at a place that I was in—a relationship. If you listen to the song, it’s so self-explanatory. When I say, “she do the talking, I can’t be too personal”—I’m afraid to get close. I love so hard to where I’m afraid of betrayal. I tell a woman, “Just lie to me. Whatever you doing, I don’t want to know. Just lie to me.” because I’ma live in the moment… That’s something that I got from Nicholas Sparks. The simplicity of what he writes about. I’m a very passionate individual. I love being in love for however long it lasts. If it only lasts 90 days, I gave it my all. When I was in it, I was in it.

Despite it appearing on different mixtape [Stranger Than Fiction], “4:30 A.M.,” feels as if it is almost the B-Side To “Neon Lights.” How did that song come about?
It’s a true story. The whole song. True story. Even when I got to the end where I got to, “Jessica ’round me.” We experienced a moment of passion that I came to. “Get out!” That comes from getting hurt, being in a relationship and getting your heart broken. You become guarded. That was me experiencing a moment of passion in my vulnerability and then coming to saying, “Get out!” I ain’t mean to handle her that way but at the same time, you are not the woman.

You’ve spoken about struggling with depression in the past and one of the ways that I’ve read that you dealt with it is that you get tattoos. What is it about getting tattoos for you that helps with coping with depression?
When you undergo the pain of the needle, whatever pain that you psychologically or emotionally going through, it fades. It’s not there. It’s therapeutic to me. You’re body becomes numb. We have natural painkillers in our body so if you undergo that pain long enough, it begins to almost feel euphoric. I get a lot of tattoos.

When did you get your first tattoo?
I was like 15. I was in high school. The first thing I ever got was my wrist done. I got my name on my wrist. I got my sister’s name on my wrist. Then I got my neck done. I’m in high school. I got my neck done. Yeah. That was the shit. No one had their neck done in high school. It was a conversation piece. You didn’t see people sleeved up because I wasn’t sleeved up at the time. I saw Travis Barker and I went crazy.

Travis Barker? Are you a fan of Blink-182?
Yeah. Once I saw Travis Barker, I started getting everything tattooed. All my sleeves. Me and him bump heads, he’s going to be like “Yeah.”

Previously: Kevin Gates Battles Out Of The Hood And Into The Studio
Kevin Gates Loves Music, Literature and Nature