Kevin Gates often talks about how his life is like a movie, but the man himself is more like an open book. Arriving last night at the release party for his By Any Means mixtape, which dropped March 18, he was immediately in a buoyant and talkative mood, telling stories about his grandmother and family before hitting play on his music. With plenty of Popeye's chicken and peach flavored vodka to go around, XXL was there and took in five moments from the party, from his thoughts on the late Doe B to his opinions on beauty.


"Wish I Had It" is a "diss" song aimed at Flo Rida and B.o.B, which Gates made after listening to Atlantic President of A&R Mike Caren tell him how great of artists they were. "They're great individuals, but they ain't me," Gates says he told Caren. The lyric? "Out the streets, stay in the streets all I can do is be me / With Flo Rida, nothing in common, I'm not a B.o.B."

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Gates has very developed thoughts on physical beauty, saying, "Beauty is based on symmetry..." before sending the conversation off into unprintable areas. Maybe not on this particular topic, but it's fairly easy to see Gates as one day following in Bun B's professorial footsteps with his ability to spark conversation and discussion, particularly in the areas of stereotype and prejudice. He has a commanding presence at most times.

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On getting asked a question about the late Doe B, with whom he has a song, "Amnesia," and had shot a video with before Doe's tragic murder in December, Gates was typically thoughtful, saying he still speaks with him every day and that it's no different from other people he's met that are gone from his life. "I've been in the pen with individuals doing life," he said. "I'll never see them again, but they're still with me spiritually."

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He really, really doesn't pay attention to producers, saying he avoids listening to what the names of producers are in order to not start thinking about what type of song it's "supposed" to be. The beat to one of his biggest and most well-known songs to date, "Satellites," he bought off someone he found on the Internet for $300. "I look at the beat like a beautiful woman," he said. "I don't know what I'm gonna do with it when I'm alone with it."

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An interesting anecdote: when sending letters from jail, he would always sign them, "In conclusion, I remain the same."

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