Though he admits to once struggling with self-esteem issues, Kevin Gates says he has now realized his true worth.
The Louisiana rapper spoke candidly about his insecurities in the fourth and final installment of his interview with Sway Calloway. Gates says his new record, “Great Man,” was a reference to his newfound self-awareness and how it conflicts with the person he’s painted out to be.
“When I look in the mirror, I see a great man. I don’t see what other people talkin’ about. I see a great man,” he explains at the top of the video. “I see a man that don’t go to the club...I see a man that loves to spend time with his family. I see man that—I’m not disrespectful. If I don’t know you, I won’t talk to you. I’m not disrespectful at all. People paint me to be this monster. You can’t poke go poke the bear with an arrow and then get mad because he bit you.”
Gates explains that he hasn’t fully overcome his self-esteem problems, but has made big strides thanks in large part to his wife, Dreka Gates.
“I still wrestle with certain insecurities,” he tells Sway. “Like, I don't feel like I'm as attractive as I would like to be, because I was told that I was ugly a long time ago.... Sometimes I be a little bit extra—a little extra, little flamboyant—to make up for feeling like I’m inadequate because I’m not attractive. But my wife is like, ‘You’re so beautiful.’”
Gates says he has made an effort to conduct himself in “a beautiful manner,” and that others have always complimented his caring nature. The rapper also touches on his family life and how he wants his children to enjoy all the things he never had, but fears harming their development. He underscored this concern by recalling a recent trip to Disneyland.
“I had a blast. I was a kid again,” he says. “We paid for the pass, but we don’t have to wait in line, and we buy the escorts that escort us on the rides. I’m like, ‘You know what’s crazy? My children never knew what it’s like to have to wait in line to ride a ride. I don’t know if I’m hindering them or helping them. I just want to give them everything I never had.”
Gates also spoke about Luca Brasi 3 and how he wanted it to be a timeless gift to his fans—a project they could revisit and cherish forever. He says he never forced his work or tried to be something he isn’t; he just tries to make good music in his pursuit of “greatness.”
“I know this is just the beginning of Kevin Gates. I can’t wait to see where Kevin Gates goes from here,” he says.
You can watch the full interview above. Gates goes on to discusses prayer, the meaning of the I’m Him album title, and his philanthropy.