His Songwriting Process
Kevin Gates: "I don’t really have a writing process any more. I don’t know, If I was to tell you [how I come up with my material], I’d be lying. Every song came different. I was walking one day, just walking, put a song together and just knocked it out. I’ve sat down and wrote to beats, and went and knocked it out. It’s different. It depends on how I hear it and how it comes across to me.
"I don’t 'try.' That’s one thing about my music. In being honest, you don’t have to try. If I try, I’m trying to do it, it’s not going to—whatever flows well together, thats what I do. I look at it like a painting. I might paint something on a blank piece of paper, then I might come back later and add something to it, or I might come back and throw it away. Whatever I decide to do with it.
"When I first got out of jail, I was trying. I was trying because everyone was “man, when you going to come with the new.” I don’t like anything that I did when I first got out of jail. I lived a little while, then I went back at it. My grandfather used to tell me, “stop trying.” Everything should come effortlessly. If it’s not coming effortlessly, then you’re not doing what you’re supposed to be doing.
"I don’t know what [writer’s block] is.
"I don’t know what [writer’s block] is. I don’t even believe that exists for me because my mind is always working and thinking. I believe it can happen to someone who tries. People just trying to make up things everyday. I don’t have to try. I could rap about one of my homeboys, and write a novel. I could rap about my daddy and write a novel. So, all the individuals, I already know these guys, the things that I’m rapping about in my songs, so how could I get writers block? I stay in the streets. That’s where my raw material comes from, being in the streets. Which is going to come to come to a point in time where it’s not going to really be safe for me to do that, but I’m going to still do it.
"[With production,] I go off how I feel. It depends on how the music makes me feel.
"They got a dude named Big J. I think he changed his name to Go Grizzly or something. I got a nice little relationship with him. Got another producer named Lil Ken, another one named Guss [Make My Beats], another one named B-Real, another one named EQ. I really like their music. And Mouse on the Track. I didn’t just start working with those individuals this year. Guss, EQ, Mouse, B-Real, Lil Ken. I came up working with those individuals."