Mixtape: The Luca Brasi Story
Producer: Cy Fyre
Kevin Gates is one of the most well-established rappers in Baton Rogue, a hugely popular local figure with a mature lyrical style. His love songs are particularly strong; the cliche about rappers making throwaway songs "for the ladies" applies to Gates on no level, and the way he blends the urgency of feeling with the physical gives his loverman raps rare kind of spiritual realism. His verses are more than the sum of their parts thanks to evocative imagery. "Around Me" is the closest to a pop moment on dense but ultimately rewarding The Luca Brasi Story, which came out February 1.