Mixtape Review-By Any Means by Kevin Gates
A cynical person would probably say that Kevin Gates is a product of the modern rap landscape. A lot of his songs have to do with longing for female companionship or trapping and the melody in everything he says might be considered a post-Juvenile trait. As any reader of this site knows I am not cynical; Kevin Gates is a standout artist. If you gave ten of your current favorite rappers use the same beat same song concept alongside Gates he would have the version that sticks with you. It’s more than a skill at half-singing or his voice being a weapon of a thousand growl variations, Gates is a master of tempo and balance.
By Any Means is his new mixtape and more evidence of the thinker at work. His trap contribution Arm and Hammer growls and throttles your speakers but isn’t full of outrageous lies either just proper amounts of good humor, paranoia and determination. He brags along with the best of them on Amnesia showing genuine excitement over the birth of a child on Movie and one other thing I forgot to mention, no one feels betrayed better than Kevin Gates. The ability to swing from slyly not remembering people (Amnesia) to shaming those who betrayed his trust (Stop Lyin’) is an emotional strain. I’ve never heard a Kevin Gates song and thought to myself that he was doing this one for the club or to hit some target demo. It’s a saving grace especially when we get to the really gross sex songs. I’m not sure how a reasonable person could make it through Go Hard featuring Rico Love, where we hear dripping in the background while Rico croons a chorus about how he wants to give oral to his lady until she goes to sleep, unless we knew he was coming from an honest place. He is an honestly gross dude just like he’s an honest trapper or street tale storyteller, honest in the sense that he means it.
His internal rhyming is meticulous and everyone sounds great on songs with him. Plies sounds re-invigorated and 2 Chainz sounds ferocious. Production is handled by Dun Deal, V12 Tha Hitman, Beewirks, Honorable C-Note, The Runners and others and it’s exactly the Gates sound you found on Luca Brasi and Stranger Than Fiction; that big rippling boom brought to order by a true master of ceremonies. A conductor of the track who can make you cringe your way out of a head nod with shocking confessions like the car crash “don’t know how I’m walkin’” portion of the lead single Don’t Know. He sews little shocking fragments of stories into his verses that make you want to learn so much more. It’s not because he is in an emotional zone or it’s a topic on the top of his mind. He’s smart and knows how to lead an audience where he wants them. By Any Means doesn’t blow away any previous offerings, Stranger Than Fiction was the high point of his bouncing vocal changes and Luca Brasi felt like it told you everything you needed to know but once you are a fan of Gates music you are in it for the long haul. If you don’t understand you aren’t yet a fan.
stream or download By Any Means below: