25 Songs That Should Have Blown Up in 2012

Kevin Gates "Satellites"



Kevin Gates remains one of the most underrated lyrical talents in hip-hop, a subtle writer with a gift for smart wordplay and harrowing survivalist stories. His music retains an edge, but has an adult approach; mature and conflicted, he has an ear for nuance and is capable of making love songs ('songs for the ladies'? please) that are as well-crafted as his street-oriented work. Perhaps most tellingly, rather than indulging in naive one-dimensional fantasies, something feels at stake.

"Satellites" is a perfect example; Gates is a sublime songwriter, crafting a memorable hook and kicking a double-time verse to close out the song. He seems to recognize that truth is felt more strongly in contrast, that uncertainty underlying it all only rachets up the song's inherent drama.

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