Rapper, entrepreneur and record label owner Kevin Gates will be bringing the Only The Generals Tour to the Armory on Tuesday, October 17th. Supporting Gates at the Armory will be BigXThePlug and DJ Chose.
As an artist, you’ve got to know yourself and your own vision first and foremost. Kevin Gates certainly does. The Baton Rouge-based rapper doesn’t pull any punches, and his honesty fuels everything he does. More importantly, you can get to know him very well just by listening to what he’s got to say on tape.
Rap felt like destiny for him from a very young age. In a house with stacks of records and CDs, he became engaged by the likes of Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, and The Notorious B.I.G. as a child. Watching music videos religiously, the burgeoning MC would then perform for his aunts and uncles during family gatherings. “I’d emulate what I saw on TV,” he recalls. “I’d pretend like I was a rapper for my family. I just knew that this is what I was meant to do. I never questioned it. I felt that for as long as I can remember.”
In 2004, he entered a local studio for the very first time and started professionally recording. Three years later, he dropped his breakout debut mixtape, Pick Of Da Litter. As he passed out thousands of CDs around the area, his buzz started to spread like wildfire and he began playing multiple shows per week. Shortly after, he unleashed the 2008 hit “Get in the Way” featuring Lil Boosie, developing a devout national following in the process. However, in the aftermath of the track’s success, Gates faced incarceration until 2011. “When I got out, my fan base had strangely grown,” he admits. “It was so crazy to me. Once I came home, I knew that I had to just focus on the music. I practically never left the studio after that. It was all about recording and making more songs.” Gates also took the opportunity to found his very own record label, Bread Winners Association, in 2011. As a banner for his movement, the company touts an important ethos for the artist that courses through all of his output.