May 31, 2013


Kevin Gates: everybody’s sworn favorite — except for the one guy in the comments section who insists otherwise.  We celebrate complicated personalities in rap — at least in the post-Kanye world. I have met few more tough to categorize than the Baton Rouge vampire-loving auto-tune-using anti-materialist who loves luxury goods. Sometimes. I guess by dint of being a music writer or a fan of music, we’re supposed to celebrate Kanye for bringing up the fact that excess materialism is a bad thing. For someone who holds that as self-evident, I am unimpressed. Kevin Gates is bored with designer clothes and says that material things seem to hold you back. This isn’t revolutionary sentiment either, but there is a sadness and disillusion that his voice conveys. The words matter less than the way you say them. Kanye’s lyrics were uneven on 808s & Heartbreaks too, but I could hear the anguish and conviction in his delivery. I no longer hear that. This is my opinion.

The details are there too. Gates new girl is in a Benz while his ex is in a Sentra. He ain’t a buster but he ain’t afraid to bust you. Roaming. There is a power in being someone who is rootless and shape-shifting. You can project whatever you want onto Gates. I’m still not clear what to take away from this song, but it feels like an anthem — maybe his best since “Satellites.” Justice League are professionals too. This is the type of thing that should bring him more material things that I hope he continues to regard with skepticism.

MP3: Kevin Gates – “Roaming Around”

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