Kevin Gates has always been open about his struggles with mental health, and in a new interview he said he just passed the one-year anniversary of almost dying by suicide.
The Baton Rouge rapper said on Big Facts that he wrote a suicide note in December 2020. He was set on ending his life, but a fan thankfully convinced him not to go through with it.
“December 10th through the 12th was the hardest for me this year,” Gates said nine minutes into the interview above. “I disabled my Instagram. … See, I don’t do the, ‘Man, I’m ’bout to kill myself!’ I don’t want no attention. I was going the way of the samurai. Just smash myself because I was to the point I ain’t wanna live no more.”
He explained that before leaving social media for a bit, he put together a party for his daughter Islah and was convinced it was his “last time seeing her.” When asked what drove him to suicidal thoughts, Kevin said he wasn’t happy and was facing too much pressure as “a provider.” He felt as though he was simply being “tolerated” by those around him rather than “celebrated.”
"I had a raw letter that I wrote about everything,” the 35-year-old explained. “I was just saying, I don’t regret nobody I ever stepped on; if I did, your momma ain’t raise you right. I wrote about how I’ve been in love before and had my heart broken. How the first woman to ever break my heart was my mother, and the only woman to ever love me was my grandmother.”
After putting together the letter, Gates went to the gym for what he thought would be his last workout. That’s where he was approached by a fan. “White boy walked up on me—kinda big, I see him in there a lot. He said, ‘Can I approach you?’ … He like, ‘Man, your music the only thing that make this crazy world make sense.’ I was like, ‘Man, the world’s a cruel place. Trust me, I know,’” Kevin said. He told the fan directly that he was going to kill himself, and they immediately started to cry.
“He cried and he grabbed me and he said, ‘If you do that, so many people gonna take their own life ’cause you all we got.’ This show you how God work through people," Gates continued. "I said, ‘You know what? I guess I’ll stick around a while.’ I’m still just playing, I do my little proper voice when I’m being sarcastic.”
After the interaction with the fan, he told himself to “give it three days” before making any dramatic decisions. “When I disconnected my Instagram and stopped making comparisons to my life and other people’s highlight film, and just started living for me and really appreciating the good things about myself, and love what you have and have all that you need and really engaging with myself and the world—that’s what really shook me all the way," he said. “If I only help one person with my story, with everything I’ve been through, then I’ve served my purpose.”
Watch the whole interview with Kevin Gates above.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, help is available, including the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.