18 Songs, 58 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Baton Rouge rapper Kevin Gates has been comparing himself to Luca Brasi, the devoted and doomed henchman of The Godfather since at least 2013’s The Luca Brasi Story. But Luca Brasi 3, released by Gates after an extended stint in prison, is much more an extension of the persona (and catalog) he has built as a rapper than a parallel to a fictional gangster. “I've been gone a year and a half, so it's a lot of things that I didn't really speak on that I get to speak on,” Gates told Beats 1’s Zane Lowe. “And there's a lot of things on ‘Luca Brasi 1’ [The Luca Brasi Story] and Luca Brasi 2 I couldn't speak about because I was dealing with it at the time.”

Topically, at least, the third installment doesn’t veer far from the previous two, with Gates using his unique, warbly croon to sing about his success (“Money Long”), the invincibility he feels as a man of faith (“In God I Trust”), and also to deliver a message to the women who've missed their chance with him (“Shoulda”). “Luca Brasi Freestyle” is a lyrical showcase, while “Me Too” (very much no relation to #MeToo) is Gates as smooth-talking lothario, a well-established and adored role within the MC’s repertoire. The rapper also offers a little more insight into his immediate worldview with the project’s closer, timely entitled “M.A.T.A.,” or “Make America Trap Again.” “This is my first time truly being free,” Gates said. “I always had something over my head, I always was fighting the court case, I always had a warrant or something pending. This is my first time truly enjoying life."

EDITORS’ NOTES

Baton Rouge rapper Kevin Gates has been comparing himself to Luca Brasi, the devoted and doomed henchman of The Godfather since at least 2013’s The Luca Brasi Story. But Luca Brasi 3, released by Gates after an extended stint in prison, is much more an extension of the persona (and catalog) he has built as a rapper than a parallel to a fictional gangster. “I've been gone a year and a half, so it's a lot of things that I didn't really speak on that I get to speak on,” Gates told Beats 1’s Zane Lowe. “And there's a lot of things on ‘Luca Brasi 1’ [The Luca Brasi Story] and Luca Brasi 2 I couldn't speak about because I was dealing with it at the time.”

Topically, at least, the third installment doesn’t veer far from the previous two, with Gates using his unique, warbly croon to sing about his success (“Money Long”), the invincibility he feels as a man of faith (“In God I Trust”), and also to deliver a message to the women who've missed their chance with him (“Shoulda”). “Luca Brasi Freestyle” is a lyrical showcase, while “Me Too” (very much no relation to #MeToo) is Gates as smooth-talking lothario, a well-established and adored role within the MC’s repertoire. The rapper also offers a little more insight into his immediate worldview with the project’s closer, timely entitled “M.A.T.A.,” or “Make America Trap Again.” “This is my first time truly being free,” Gates said. “I always had something over my head, I always was fighting the court case, I always had a warrant or something pending. This is my first time truly enjoying life."

TITLE TIME

About Kevin Gates

Transferring the reflective style of rappers like Drake to the genre of gangsta rap, Louisiana-based MC Kevin Gates spent five-plus years on the mixtape circuit before climbing into the Top 40 of the Billboard 200 album chart with his 2013 release, Stranger Than Fiction. Born and raised in Baton Rouge, Gates made his mixtape debut in 2007 with Pick of da Litter. Mixtapes with titles like All In and I Don't Know What to Call It, Vol. 1 appeared over the next few years. After he dropped the popular The Luca Brasi Story mixtape -- one of the first releases on Bread Winners' Association, a label he co-founded with wife and booking manager Dreka Gates -- things changed quickly. It led to appearances on high-profile mixtapes from Pusha T and Gudda Gudda, and Gates subsequently signed a contract with major label Atlantic. Stranger Than Fiction, the first of several releases to bear the logos of Bread Winners' Association and Atlantic, was released that same year. It featured guest spots from Wiz Khalifa, Juicy J, and Starlito, and debuted at number 37 on the Billboard 200 chart. Plies, 2 Chainz, and Doe B helped deliver his 2014 mixtape, By Any Means. The next year saw the single "Kno One" preview Islah. Gates' proper debut album, it was issued in January 2016, debuted at number two, and was certified gold before the rapper returned with an EP-length mixtape, Murder for Hire II, that May. The single "What If," whose main hook referenced Joan Osborne's 1995 hit "What If God Was One of Us," appeared in March 2017. The track appeared on By Any Means 2, which appeared in September. ~ David Jeffries

HOMETOWN
Baton Rouge, LA
BORN
February 5, 1986

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