Kevin Gates is a popular rapper and a songwriter from the United States, Louisiana to be precise.
He is known for an astonishing fact that his first album he ever released named “Islah” was in the Top 3 albums on the US Billboard chart.
He was born as Kevin Jerome Gilyard on February 5, 1986 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States. Kevin has African-American and Puerto Rican roots.
He has a brother and a sister with whom he is very close. They supported and helped each other even more after their father became sick.
He was 17 when his father died after being ill a long period of time. This was hard for him because he was just a teenager and had to take over his father’s place as the head of the family.
He find solace in music and writing songs and he was aware that he has to fight hard to escape the poverty of Baton Rouge.
Kevin was growing up in a poor neighbourhood so he often had troubles with law trying to support his family.
In 1999, he was only 13 years old when he was arrested for a car teft. After finishing high school he has started his student education at the Baton Rouge Community College but he soon dropped it and never finished.
During that time he was a big fan of Master P and Hot Boy$, and hoped that he will have the chance to meet them one day.
After he started making music and rised above poverty, he often tried to explain how growing up in Baton Rouge is very hard and that it is no wonder that children often comitted crime because they have lived in poverty.
It is not rare that people of all ages robbed stores and people to get food.
It was at the beginning of 2000’s that he got the chance to perform with Boosie Badazz. “Dead Game Records” were the label which saw his potential and gave him an opportunity to rise above others and fulfill his dream as a musician.
He soon released his first mixtape in 2007, titled “Pick of Da Litter”. He had guest appearances from two other Baton Rouge rappers who already found their place in the music world: Boosie and Webbie.
It was soon followed by the second mixtape named “All or Nuthin'”.
This tape was kind of an autobiography because Kevin talked about and mentioned a lot of events from his past, good amd bad ones.
He has written all the songs for his mixtapes because he thinks he can only be real if he does the writing himself. He also cares a lot about the fact that he tells only true stories.
The first single that made him interesting to a wider hometown audience was “Get in The Way” which he made in collaboration with Boosie Baddaz.
In 2008, Kevin ended up in prison because of the crime he comitted. He gained a sentence on 30 months because he was caught in posession of a drug and a firearm he doesn’t have a permit for.
After this experience, he realized how he was wrong and turned his attention to a prison education programme.
He educated himself in psychology and earned some kind of degree in the prison’s school programme.
He was also released earlier due to his good behaviour in prison.
A known artist named Pusha T’s offered him a collab on his single named “Trust You”. He also collaborated on “Hustle All Day” performed by Gudda Gudda.
After that, he has gained a great reputation so he began working with famous names in hip hop: Lil Wayne and Wiz Khalifa are some of them.
His first mixtape after he was released from prison was called “Make ‘Em Believe” and it gained great critics.
Lil Wayne, the owner and CEO of “Young Money Entertainment”, invited him to sign a contract with him and offered him collaboration.
Since he was always ambitious and didn’t want to depend on anyone he created his own label ” Bread Winners’ Association”.
In 2013 his label released the first mixtape called “Luca Brasi Story”.
The tape received good critics and the confirmation for its quality lies in the fact that it was listed in Top 50 albums by the “Rolling Stones” magazine.
Although he had his own label, he couldn’t reject an offer from the major record label “Atlantic Records” who offered him a great studio and more tours.
Atlantic released his first professional mixtape called “Stranger than Fiction” in the same year.
This mixtape was also a success and came to No.35 on US Billboard Top 200.
Gates decided to support his tape with a music tour across the USA: “Stranger than Fiction Tour” lasted for about a month and was sold out. His fan base grew a lot after touring around the country.
Gates found himself back in prison as soon as he came back from the tour, because the tour was violating his parole. He stayed in prison for four months. This time, it was something the rapper wasn’t ashamed of. He said he did it for his fans.
His new mixtape “By Any Means” was released in the spring of 2014. This was a free album available on iTunes. It was featured by many known artists such as 2 Chainz and Rico Love. This mixtape ended up in the first twenty tapes on the Billboard 200 chart.
2014 brought him a membership in the XXL’s Freshmen Class and a new tour arround USA. He loved going on tours because he knows that the people who visit his concerts are his biggest friends.
Gates showed a good business nose by creating his own energy drink “I Don’t Get Tired”. It is named on his music single with the same name.
His first studio album was announced to come out in 2015 under the name “Islah”. The meaning of the word Islah is “to make better” and it is also the name of his daughter.
The album included guest appearances of Ty Dolla Sign and a known actor Jamie Foxx.
In 2016, he has made his rare TV appearance in a known TV show “Wendy: The Wendy Williams Show”.
In the fall of 2017, his wife Dreka released a mixtape “By Any Means 2” while Gates was in prison. The tape gained good critics and fan support.
His album, thirteenth in a row, brought him No.38 on the Billboard 200 chart. It was called “Luca Brasi 2″ and it had a single ” I Don’t Get Tired” which nade it to Top Hot 100.
In the spring the same year he released “Murder for Hire”, his new mixtape. The tape was received with very good critics.
The same year Gates was charged for kicking a fan while performing on stage in Florida. He was convicted and received a punishment of 180 days in jail. He was released earlier, in January 2018.
He had a hard time getting used to life outside bars which was proved in his first interview where he was acting very nervous and asked hosts not to touch him.
Four months later, he has released what you would call a mini EP under the name “Chained To The City”.
The EP consist of three songs which all gained good critics: “Change Lanes,” “Vouch,” and “Let It Sing”.
His single “Know Better” was used on the soundtrack of a hit movie “Suicide Squad”.
In 2015 Dreka and Kevin got married. They have two children together.
Kevin doesn’t have a manger, his wife is his manager.
They trust each other enormously and Dreka is very supportive for Kevin although she doesn’t agree with some of his doings.
Since both Dreka and Kevin converted to Islam, their children have muslim names: a daughter is named Islah Karen and the son is Khaza Kamil. They are kept away from publicity as much as possible.
After they both converted to Islam, they have visited Mecca in 2016. They were mesmerized with it and it confirmed them that their decision to convert to Islam was the right one.
Kevin is known for his various tattoos: he has a star right next to his eye which represents God. He has a cross on his forehead which is a mark of a soldier.
He also has a compass tattoo and the most interesting is the one most unexpected for a rapper to have: he has a tattoo of Elvis Presley on his chest.
He has over 6 million followers on his Instagram channel where he regularly posts about music.
He is a very big fan of traditional Louisiana cooking. His favorite meal would be corn and crab bisque together with some hot sauce. He often gains and loses weight due to the fact that he was in prison for a few times. He loses weight in prison then gain when he comes out.
Full name: Kevin Jerome Gilyard
Date of birth: February 5, 1986
Birthplace: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Profession: rapper, record label owner
Height: 188 cm
Weight: 92 kgs
Net Worth: $1,5 million