By Justin Ivey
It’s always an event when Kevin Gates returns home, and the Baton Rouge native will do just that when he performs at Mike’s In Tigerland on Friday, March 13. Gates is the biggest rap star to emerge from the capital city since Lil’ Boosie, and his national profile has grown exponentially over the past few years.
Kevin Gates’ career journey saw him quickly gain traction within the local Baton Rouge scene in the late 2000s and establish himself as one of the top rappers in the city. Despite being sentenced for drug and firearm charges in 2009, his profile continued to rise. Gates feels the prison stint was beneficial to him professionally.
“The world had time to catch up,” Gates told TheBoombox.com in an interview last year. “I was so ahead of the curve. While I was incarcerated, my stock so you’d say, it elevated and went to a whole ‘nother level.”
2014 was an interesting year for Gates to say the least. The talented rapper promoted his “I don’t get tired” mantra and gained some infamy in doing so. Gates posted bizarre Instagram videos and routinely discussed his sexual exploits, which soon gained the attention of gossip outlets like TMZ. Many of Gates’ shocking statements put him in headlines for all the wrong reasons as fans and media alike wondered whether Gates was joking or being serious.
Despite all the controversy, if you could call it that, Gates had one of his best years as an artist. The emcee earned a spot on the annual XXL Freshmen list in May. He also released two critically acclaimed projects, March’s By Any Means and December’s Luca Brasi 2. The latter was hosted by DJ Drama, one of the top mixtape DJ’s in hip-hop, and included in Drama’s legendary Gangsta Grillz series.
It should come as no surprise that Gates consistently met a high standard with his musical output. While Gates’ more outlandish tendencies tend to dominate the conversation these days, Gates demands the best of himself as an artist.
“Not to toot my horn, but I have a high standard that I set for myself,” Gates said to TheBoombox.com. “I think I’m my worst critic. I’m really hard on myself. I put myself under the utmost scrutiny because if I beat myself up, no one else will ever be able to. I’m not in competition with anyone but me.”
As the star of Kevin Gates keeps rising, Baton Rouge fans will have another chance to see their hometown hero as he performs under the big tent at Mike’s In Tigerland. Gates has routinely performed at The Varsity Theatre in the past, so this Friday’s show at Mike’s will present a different perspective on the Kevin Gates experience. Those in attendance should expect a night full of energy and excitement because, as Gates would say, he doesn’t get tired.