Lucas Foster put both his phones on silent to write these bars.
Kevin Gates is no longer the hottest rapper in Baton Rouge and has not been since Youngboy was 17. He has entered the midmajor street rapper lane that has made him a bag big enough to swim in but has made him less interesting to discuss. We know what he can do: construct viscerally touching, heartfelt street ballads that are equally gripping and narcissistic. We have heard him wax poetic on any number of cultural and socio-economic issues as perhaps rap’s consistently engaging interview.
This week he released another album that is roughly comparable in quality to his mid-decade work and will probably be discussed in a much different way than a new Gates album was discussed four years ago.
On “By My Lonely,” perhaps not the highest high on the album, he made a sound more fresh than anything he’s done since the Twitterati had coronated him. He did this by interpolating a 5-year-old Speakerz Knockerz song that was something beyond influential to the sound of rap today. His tragic and relatively mysterious death has clearly not removed him from the cultural consciousness.