Kevin Gates Islah on 2LP + CD
Bread Winners Association artist Kevin Gates presents his long awaited debut album Islah. Gates chose to name his debut album Islah after his daughter who shares the same name. Islah is an Arabic word usually translated as "reform," in the sense of "to improve, to better, or to put something into a better position." The 17-track collection includes the new cuts "La Familia" and "The Truth" and guest appearances by Trey Songz, Ty Dolla $ign and Jamie Foxx among others.
Named as one of XXL Magazine's "XXL Freshmen 2014," Kevin Gates first broke out with 2013's masterful mixtape, The Luca Brasi Story. The set earned the Baton Rouge-based MC both popular success and widespread critical acclaim for his extraordinary emotional power and melodic invention, ultimately leading to a new partnership between Atlantic Records and his own Bread Winners' Association.
In addition, The Luca Brasi Story was named by Rolling Stone as one of the "20 Best Hip Hop Albums of 2013." By Any Means arrived in March 2014 and immediately affirmed Gates as a major force in hip-hop. The mixtape landed at #3 on Billboard's "Top Rap Albums" chart at #17 on the overall SoundScan/Billboard 200, with sales nearly doubling his previous first week sales record. What's more, By Any Means quickly proved itself to be among the most acclaimed hip-hop releases of 2014.
"Easily the most complex, confounding, and fascinating gangster rap record of the year so far," declared Complex. "Breathtaking," agreed The Fader. "Lyrically dexterous in the manner of older Southern giants like Bun B and 8Ball," declared the New York Times, while Rolling Stone raved, "The 28-year-old Baton Rouge, Louisiana, artist raps, sings and harmonizes, often alternating between vocal modes within a verse, exuding a gritty earthiness that sets him apart from contemporary crooners like Future and Rich Homie Quan."
Pitchfork adds, "with ' By Any Means,' (Kevin Gates) completes a three-release run that's as solid as any in recent memory." Perhaps Vibe summed it up best: "If there's one rapper that more people need to be talking about, it's Kevin Gates."