Today, Feb. 5, marks the 33rd birthday of Louisiana rapper, Kevin Gates.

With a whole stack mixtapes and a studio album under his belt, and the Louisiana rap community backing him up, the explosive Southern upstart's rise to prominence has been a long time coming.

Born Kevin Gilyard in 1986, Gates was raised in Baton Rouge, LA. This former XXL Freshman earned a spot as a member of the 2014 class after signing with Atlantic Records in 2013 and dropping fire street hits like "Wylin'" and the motivational, "I Don't Get Tired." Thanks to his Young Money-assisted, business savvy techniques and his knack for fusing intricate verses with catchy hooks, Kevin has collaborated with the likes of Gucci Mane, The Game and many more, proving his continued resilience as an MC and rising star.

To show he's truly never weary of putting in work, Gates has put out nine solo projects over the course of six years, including eight mixtapes, which for the most part, play like full-length albums, and his 2016 debut studio album, Islah. Fueled by four singles, including the Mad Max-produced "2 Phones," The critically acclaimed 15-track LP debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and has since been certified platinum by the RIAA. In a 2016 interview with XXL, Gates explained how the process for the Islah album differed from that on his mixtapes. "The song quality, it’s just different," he said. "The way the songs are put together and arranged. I don’t mean like the tracklisting or the body of work. It’s not boring on the ears, the flow pattern and everything. It’s just beautiful. I got better."

Back in October of 2015, the now 33-year-old put a ring on it and married his longtime girlfriend, Dreka, who held him down and made sure his music was still released as he did his time for a felony gun possession charge.

In 2018, Kevin was freed from jail, and since then, he's dropped the Luca Brasi 3 mixtape, performed with Gucci Mane on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and seemingly settled any issues he may have had with fellow Baton Rouge rapper, Boosie Badazz.

Throughout the years, the former XXL Freshman has built a following for himself based off of the rawness and honesty he puts into both his music and his social networking.

Happy Birthday, Kevin Gates!

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