Hailing from Baton Rouge, La., Kevin Gates blended a viscous baritone, technical wizardry and a knack for hooks on his way to becoming a rap superstar in the mid-2010s. His run-ins with law enforcement, as well as his viral interviews have also made him a cult figure online. He began his rap career with Pick of Da Litter, a project that established his ability to write trenchant street raps. From that point on, he'd continue releasing projects, unloading several offerings between 2009 and 2013. Kevin crystallized his status as a rising star when he released The Luca Brasi Story in 2013, a mixtape that earned praise for its memorable hooks and sharp lyricism.
Although he was hampered by some legal issues, the rapper managed to secure a deal with Atlantic Records by 2014 as he began to set the groundwork for his truest breakout. That moment unfolded when Kevin released "Really Really" (2016) and "2 Phones" (2016), two infectious singles that landed in the top 50 of the Billboard Hot 100 albums chart. Powered by the songs, Gates' major label debut, Islah (2016), earned a slew of critical accolades before being certified platinum. As his star power continued to rise with the quality of his music, Gates' eccentric interviews began making him a trending topic on a regular basis. While he's become at least as well known for his viral antics as his artistry, he remains a potent commercial force, supplying a steady stream of emotionally transparent raps and dynamic singles.