Kevin Gates is the stage name of the American rapper Kevin Jerome Gilyard. His career started in the late 2000s. However, he didn’t start seeing a significant breakthrough until the early 2010s, not least because he spent much of the interval in prison.
Still, Gates resumed rapping as soon as he was out, thus enabling him to build his fan-base bit by bit. Now, he is a well-established artist with a sizable body of work. Moreover, he releases new material regularly, which says much about his musical prolificity.
Here is our opinion of the ten best Kevin Gates songs released so far:
“Satellites” has the distinction of being Gates’s debut single. Even so, it was far from being his first release. For context, “Satellites” came out on his 17th mixtape, Make Em’ Believe, meaning it had a fair amount of experience behind it. The song never made it onto the charts. Still, it has been gold certified by the RIAA, meaning it has sold 500,000 or more units.
9. “Big Gangsta”
“Big Gangsta came from a much later point in Gates’s career. Specifically, it was on his second EP, Only the Generals Gon Understand, which was released in 2019. By this point, Gates was a much better-known artist. Despite that, “Big Gangsta” couldn’t have gone platinum without its superb flow, as shown by how its counterparts from the same EP didn’t manage the same.
8. “Time For That”
Speaking of which, “Time For That” might be an even better example of Gates’s ability to maintain a smooth flow throughout his music. On it, he switches between singing and rapping with consummate skill. Something much easier said than done. Subject-wise, “Time For That” is surprisingly touching because the narrator is persuading someone to enter into a serious relationship.
7. “Out the Mud”
As mentioned earlier, Gates releases new material regularly. Given that, interested individuals should be able to guess he is an extremely hard-working person. “Out the Mud” is an autobiographical boast about this exact characteristic, which Gates seems to believe to have contributed much to his success. If people are working hard on something, they could do much worse than putting this song on.
6. “Hard For”
Some artists put out more or less the same music again and again. There is nothing wrong with that so long as people enjoy it. The thing is. Many people don’t, which is why too much consistency is often considered boring and monotonous.
Fortunately, Gates isn’t one of these artists because he is more than willing to invent and innovate when it comes to his musical output. For instance, “Hard For” features the distinctive sound of an acoustic guitar, which isn’t the kind of instrument most people would associate with hip-hop. Better still, Gates managed to work that sound smoothly into his song, thus making it more than a mere gimmick.
5. “Me Too”
Gates released “Me Too” on his 16th mixtape, Luca Brasi 3, in 2018. This is yet another of his songs that went platinum, though it didn’t do quite as well on the charts as some of its counterparts on this list.
Regardless, it isn’t hard to see why “Me Too” managed to sell more than a million copies in the United States. Simply put, it is a fun song packed with energy. Something even better because the narrator isn’t taking himself too seriously.
“PTOE” came out in 2022. That is because it is one of the songs that make up Gates’s third studio album, Khaza. Everyone changes because no one can be perfectly static. As a result, it is very common to see artists’ musical output reflect their ever-growing experiences.
“PTOE” is the product of a clear veteran of the hip-hop industry. On it, Gates managed to be vulnerable by revealing his fears and doubts while remaining true to himself by reaffirming his goals and ideals. As such, “PTOE” comes off as bittersweet, which isn’t necessarily a bad flavor for those in the right musical mood.
3. “2 Phones”
This song was the second of two massive hits from Gates’s debut studio album, Islah. Indeed, it went to the number 17 position on the Billboard Hot 100, meaning it is his best-received song by the general public.
Most fans would say that this is well-earned because “2 Phones” is widely considered one of Gates’s best songs ever released. Amusingly, the song is named thus as a nod to how busy his life is, seeing as how even a phone dedicated to business and another phone dedicated to pleasure aren’t enough to keep up.
2. “Really Really”
The other hit from Islah was “Really Really.” Like its counterpart, it also managed to go quadruple platinum in the United States. Sadly, “Really Really” peaked at the number 46 position on the Billboard Hot 100, meaning it wasn’t received quite as enthusiastically as “2 Phones.” Despite this, interested individuals should give it a listen because it has its own particular upsides.
“Really Really” was penned as a retort to the criticisms directed at Gates at that point in his career. Funny enough, he didn’t deny them. Instead, he leaned right into them, thus showing an admirable degree of self-awareness and self-confidence.
1. “I Don’t Get Tired”
If there is one song that describes Gates, “I Don’t Get Tired” might be it. It is more or less what it sounds like, which is to say, a statement of unyielding determination to work for what he cares about in life.
By this point, chances are good interested individuals can guess material success is one of these things. However, the song also makes it clear that his loved ones matter to him, which is good because people don’t always acknowledge that personal relationships need to be worked upon in the same way as anything else. If people are feeling a bit unmotivated, “I Don’t Get Tired” could be exactly what they need to turn that around.
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