TenDeep: 10 Albums From July You Need To Hear

Kevin Gates, Stranger Than Fiction

Release Date: July 16
Label: Young Money Entertainment, Bread Winners Association, Atlantic Records

Kevin Gates has been a regional star for some time, although in the past few months, he's gained a modest amount of national attention. How? First, he spent time on the guest-spot circuit, culminating in a scene-stealing appearance on Pusha T's The Wrath of Caine. He immediately followed that with the dense, impressive The Luca Brasi Story, which took a pretty epic tack for a free mixtape. Gates' mournful gangster fatalism and gift for melody is on full display on his for-pay follow-up, Stranger Than Fiction, an album-before-the-album in the vein of Kendrick Lamar's Section.80.

It hasn't generated the same level of discussion online as its predecessor—not only was Luca Brasi a well-timed, novel record for unfamiliar listeners, but it was free. That said, Stranger Than Fiction is a strong album which should sustain his growing buzz. Like Luca Brasi, it maintains an easy balance between street-oriented tracks, love songs, and songs which split the difference. In particular, don't miss "Strokin," which builds on particularly catchy production from underrated rising producer Dun Deal. —David Drake

Stay Connected with
Complex Music
blog comments powered by Disqus