By Ethan Ball

Kevin Gates has recently emerged as one of 2016’s best rappers with his debut album, which was released January 29th.

Not only was it the number one rap album in the country, but the number three album overall behind Rihanna’s ANTI and Adele’s 25.

There’s no doubt that this album gained him the bragging rights all rappers dream of.

The album is titled “Islah,” which is also the name of his daughter.

Gates explained the meaning of his album title as, “Islah means to reform, to improve, to make better, and I believe that’s what my first daughter did to me.”

It features 17 tracks, with singles “La Familia,” “2 Phones,” and “Really Really.”

Something that I really respect about Gates is his level of honesty.

Gates has been very open with his depression.

In an interview in August of 2014, Gates says, “I have to make music. It’s a therapeutic to me. I suffer from severe cases of depression. That’s my only way to vent. That’s my only way of release, through making music.”

In his song La Familia, he speaks about his drug knowledge, saying, “16 252’s that’s four bricks on a scale.” 16 times 252 is 4032, and a brick is equivalent to 1000 grams.

Gates has never been one to hide his involvement with the coke industry.

The song “2 Phones” is primarily about having two burner phones, most likely for use in selling drugs.

In “Pride” he talks about the love he has for his daughter and wife.

The video has a strong emotional attachment, showing him in an orange jumpsuit in a jail cell.

After a brief disagreement, his girlfriend and him split up for three years, he explains the emotions he felt, “I got back on drugs bad while I was still chasin’ cheddar, my heart was broke, soft and stressin’ battlin’ with my depression.”

On October 18, 2015, Gates married his girlfriend and child’s mother Dreka Gilyard considering their shaky past.

If you haven’t yet listened to the new album Islah, it’s worth checking out, if you’re into gangsta rap of course.

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