New Music: Kevin Gates - Luca Brasi 2 Mixtape
Emotional thug Kevin Gates finishes 2014 strong with the Luca Brasi 2 Mixtape.
Louisiana rapper Kevin Gates and 2014 XXL Mag Freshmen Class member Kevin Gates is hard at work on his album for Atlantic Records right now, but in the meantime he's not leaving us hanging, finishing up 2014 strong with the delivery of his Gangsta Grillz mixtape, Luca Brasi 2, hosted by DJ Drama. It's the follow up to his 2013 breakthrough mixtape The Luca Brasi Story, and his most recent release since By Any Means, which came out earlier this year (he also jumped on a track with Rustie not too long ago). He’s joined on the tape by Atlanta's Rich Homie Quan (Word Around Town), R&B upstart August Alsina (I Don’t Get Tired #IDGT), B.O.B. (Talk on Phones), Red on Da Track for Perfect Imperfection and John Gotti (which also made it onto the tracklist for By Any Means), Rico Love, Bobby Johnson, B.O.B. and Bobbie Black.
"Kevin Gates, I'm everybody's sworn favourite": for those new to Gates, his appeal lies mostly in his ability to somehow be a Drake for gangsta rap. When it comes to Gates, who has a Masters' Degree in Psychology, romance and toughness are easy bedfellows (unusual in rap): Gates somehow takes the brutality of gangsta rap and matches it with sentimentality: a sentimentality that comes through in the emotional candour of his lyrics, the melodicism in his rapping, and that gravelly tone of his voice, that bring a warm, lived in feeling to even the toughest bars.
Gates kills it on Luca Brasi 2, it's a smart display of his skills, its rife with Gates' schizophrenic narratives and personality. As per most of Gates' releases, there's one Frank Ocean like R & B number on there and its Wassup Wit It, wherein Gates outlines that he's "married to his hustle" and spells things out pretty clearly to the girl he's singing to: "I ain't trying to know your business / I ain't trying to fall in love with you / I'm just trying to fu&k with you...You can love me all you want, but I ain't never changing. Can't be something that I'm not." The August Alsina - assisted Don't Get Tired is also a highlight.
Gates has kept up a steady flow of street raps for a while now, he's spent around five years on the mixtape circuit, before jumping into the Top 40 of the Billboard 200 album chart with his 2013 release, the Wiz Khalifa, Juicy J, and Starlito-featuring Stranger Than Fiction, released on indie imprint Breadwinners Association and received a fair bit of attention, along with By Any Means. I started by Gates listening, as did many, with tracks Paper Chasers, and Satellites, if you're looking for good entrypoints they're the ones. We hope that Gates has a good home in Atlantic Records. Last year Gates turned down a label signing offer Birdman's Cash Money Records (that's seen releases from Nicki Minaj, DJ Khaled, Lil Wayne and more), because he didn't want to take a hand out, a subject he raps about on Wish I Had It, a track off By Any Means. "A vision without action is merely a dream" he says at the beginning of the track, "Young Money wanna sign me / My rap jacket too violent." Gates has a strong, growing fan base, and so hopefully some major buzz from Atlantic and a big single is on its way for him next year, would like to see him move big numbers of records and do the big monies, as he surely deserves it!
Luca Brasi 2 is free to stream and download below via DatPiff, or its selling on iTunes for those that wish to support him.