Knitting Factory Entertainment
Kevin Gates - Khaza Tour
Sep 23 Thu
Kevin Gates - Khaza Tour8:00 PM | Doors: 7:00 PM
416 S. 9th St., Boise, ID
Buy Tickets $45.00 - $100.00
Kevin Gates transformed into one of the most impactful and inimitable rappers in the game by simply being Kevin Gates.
Nearly 15 years into an unbelievable career, he doesn’t chase trends. He doesn’t censor himself. He doesn’t hold back. Instead, he speaks his mind and fulfills every promise. It’s why the Baton Rouge, LA native has racked up 15 billion streams, 6 billion views, and dozens of multiplatinum, platinum, and gold certifications. It’s why he’s logged four Top 5 entries on the Billboard Top 200 in addition to seven Top 5 entries on both the Top Rap Albums Chart and the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Charts. It’s why he’s sold out successive headline tours, delivered show-stopping sets at Rolling Loud and JMBLYA, and ignited arenas with Cardi B. It’s why he’s received various high-profile award nominations. It’s why he’s reached rarified air, emerging as second best-selling hip-hop artist of 2016 only behind Drake. It’s why he’s also spawned countless think pieces. Among those, Pitchfork described 2019’s gold-certified I’m Him as “another showcase for the Baton Rouge rapper’s fully formed and gloriously weird personality” and praised, “The hooks are magnificent, his most boisterous and fine-tuned since Islah.”
As always, he doesn’t compromise on 2021’s Only the Generals Part II [Breadwinners Association/Atlantic Records] and more music on the horizon. The new project is a sequel to 2019’s Only the Generals Gon Understand, which upon release, debuted Top 10 on Billboard’s R&B/Hip Hop Albums & Top Rap Albums charts.
“When I’m making music, the thing that goes through my mind the most is, ‘This is fun. I’m having a blast’,” he confesses. “For the first time in my life, I’m doing it the way I want to do it, and I’m having fun with it. When you compromise, you slow down. We can agree to disagree, but I can’t compromise who I am. When you want to appease others, you sacrifice great music. You feel yourself dying inside. I love this shit. I’m always going to make music. I get up, work out, and train hard because I want to be one of the greatest artists ever. I’m going to be the best version of Kevin Gates I can ever be. I’ve never had this kind of hunger. Man, I’m a living legend. I am,” he assures with a grin.
This hunger continues to define his output. Throughout 2020, he dropped a string of fan favorite tracks, including The Road to Fast 9 standout “Convertible Burt” with Tory Lanez, “Weeks,” and “Power” with Dermot Kennedy. The super sexy video for the latter co-starred his wife and longtime partner Dreka and quickly generated 13 million-plus views. He also turned his attention towards the future, by looking back.
Celebrating his Puerto Rican heritage, he decamped to Puerto Rico in order to create and record.
“They call Puerto Rico ‘La Isla Del Encanto,’ which means ‘The Island of Enchantment’,” he explains. “The energy here is beautiful. I’m maybe an hour outside of the city, recording in a private villa in the jungle. My inspiration behind coming here was the people in my family. They talk about it with a spirit. There’s magic to it. The music I made here is like no other. The island makes you move with energy, and I could feel my grandmother’s spirit around me. It’s just where the fuck I came from.”
He introduced Only The Generals Part II with the song “Plug Daughter 2,” a follow up to his original, "Plug Daughter." On the track produced by Internet Money founder Taz Taylor [XXXtentacion, Big Sean], heavenly keys underscore a magnetic hook punctuated by a high register harmony. His smooth delivery glides over a bed of 808s before he tears through the beat with tenacity.
“To be a general, you’re on the frontline, but you still govern,” he goes on. “Whether you’re a man, a woman, or a child, you’ve got responsibilities. When you’re a general, you recognize those responsibilities. This project speaks to the heart, so it’s only for the generals. It’s not an album. I just wanted to bless the game with something beautiful.”
Speaking of beautiful, he intertwines Spanish and English over acoustic guitar on a personal favorite “Puerto Rico Luv.” Then, there’s “Fairytale.” His melodic vocals belie the intensity of the track’s storytelling where he confronts childhood trauma while he pleads, “Asking God to send my unicorn, still believe in fairy tales.”
“I think it will be shocking to all of my listeners, because I speak on a subject matter I’ve never spoken on before,” he says. “I know it’s going to help heal a lot of people who have undergone the same type of trauma. It’s medicine music.”
It also signals another rebirth for Kevin Gates and the dawn of a new era.
“For all of the people who want to know what I’m doing and what direction I’m headed in, I don’t know,” he admits. “It’s okay to not know. I just know that I’m truly following my heart for the first time. In doing so, I’m feeling my way through. I don’t know where I’m going, but I know I’m on the right path. It’s a beautiful journey.”
He’s only gotten better at being Kevin Gates.