Kevin Gates


Remember the saying don't judge a book by its cover? Well, 2014 XXL Freshman Kevin Gates may look intimidating on the outside, but inside the Baton Rouge rapper has a very sensitive side. In a recent interview with Noisey, Gates opens up about suffering from severe depression and how he can relate to some of Taylor Swift's songs.

For rappers especially, it's hard for some people to believe their lifestyle and mindset is anything different from what they talk about in their songs. Like your everyday music lover, rappers are still in-tune with songs that express deep rooted meanings despite the genre they fall under. This is proven with many artists like Pharrell collaborating with Gwen Stefani or Jay-Z with Lincoln Park. Gates tells Noisey about the different music he's into and how he connected with a Taylor Swift Song.

"I don't just listen to rap," said Gates about his eclectic musical interests. "Like Taylor Swift says, “And my daddy said stay away from Juliet,” I can understand what she meant by that metaphorically, like, she was the princess. I’ve been through that situation. I was courting, going through the courtship phase, you know, the lady’s father intervened, he didn’t want her dating me and things of that nature. But I was a knight in shining armor, so I had to fight for her.It resonated with me and the other part of the song that was like, [singing] “Do you remember, we were sitting there by the water? You put your arms around me for the first time.” I love that. It’s so realistic. It’s simplistic. And when I listen to that song it reminds me of one of my favorite authors, Nicholas Sparks. He wrote The Notebook."

After learning to accept his prognosis while earning his Master's degree in Psychology in prison, Bates now talks candidly about battling with depression and how he chose to channel it positively.

"Because music is my release, and I notice that once I started the conversation, then other people are like, “Well, Kevin Gates uses music to channel his depression.” --- That’s what I just advocate that because it’s okay to suffer from a certain ailments. It’s how you treat those ailments, it’s how you deal with those ailments that matters."

Kevin Gates is currently preparing to kick off his By Any Means Tour on July 15.

You can read the entire interview here.