Photo of Kevin Gates

When I sing in the shower, or the car or am the weird dude rapping to himself, you might  catch me randomly yelling Kevin Gates lyrics like  “I’m f*cking with the plug daughter.” It’s probably because I lack the verbal dexterity to say, “Six years ago I purchased a car. Most likely something you can’t afford.”
  To be honest I lack the ability to go word for word with Gates, Wu-Tang Clan, Nas or most rap.
  I listen to rap. I tried to email the Louisiana rapper’s publicist prior to his concert Saturday. I wanted Gates’ opinion on the shootings in Lafayette, gun control, what his six jobs are, and insight on some of his more humorous interview subjects.
  But Gates either viewed the gun control/Lafayette question as problematic or just didn’t really need to talk to me because he is famous and transitioning from being someone who tours the club circuit to being a full-fledged rap star.
  He sold the Newport out.
  The line was crazy. It was mixture of how a club rap line looks--i.e. people dressed tough and fabulous, mixed with college and just regular people of all sorts.

  Once inside, City from 107.5 hosted while DJ Highlyte played bangers.
  After the crowd was sufficiently worked up, Kevin Gates’ friend OG Boobie Black took the stage. I always love seeing dudes like that on-tour because you can tell they are just excited to travel and receive love from fans. OG Boobie Black tossed around a balloon into the crowd while he rocked a few joints.
  Shortly thereafter, Kevin Gates took the stage.
  At first Kevin Gates didn’t even have the mic to his face. He had the crowd sing to him, “they say I’m too aggressive/ that's the pressure” from the intro of Gates' Luci Brasi 2 tape. During this intro Gates details pressures like “your b*tch gonna f*ck someone after you get arrested,” and “my n*gga broke the street law with an eight minute confession.”

  Gates' smile was lit. 1250 people in Ohio partying to your stresses?
  The realness, and acknowledgment of being the rapper of the now filled up the room.

I was worried though. I was standing there like, this guy is gritty like Webbie but has the nuance, melody and emotional range of, say, someone that listened to the Drake verses on Lil Wayne songs chopped and screwed them through penitentiary rules instead of Degrassi.
  No disrespect to the six, God.
  After 10 minutes of this, Gates announced this was not the show. He was just partying with the crowd. Gates put the mic on a stand J-Cole style and told people it was time for the concert.
  He went into songs like the emotive, “Posed to be in the Love,” “Perfect Imperfection” and so on.
  Between songs Gates would discuss, don’t believe in others until “their plan is successful.”
  He rocked for 90 minutes. So if there was a joint your wanted to hear. “Thugged Out,”  “Pourin’ the Syrup.” You got it.
  And you got going commentary.
  Gates' back story is similar to many rappers: extreme poverty, jail, hustling, leading to

a story worth hearing.
  However, Gates stands out more than most. 1) There is an underlying integrity and charisma. 2) He is more than willing to admit failures, defeats and insert unflattering details.
  He is candid about depression issues which Gates addressed from the Newport.
  Gates, given his gravely voice, textures of machismo and hurt in 2015 has range.

  So when Gates dropped his ode to overcoming, “I Don’t Get Tired,” the crowd all felt like they had spent the years grinding and adapting with Gates and was celebrating what he learned, you heard?