Kevin Gates performed his latest single, "2 Phones," live on the Wendy Williams talk show this week, a video of which has been provided for your viewing pleasure below! The two sat down to discuss his plans for his music career, his dream of having a family of his own, and catching a drug charge, which he explains was no fault of his own.
The "I got 2 phones, one for the plug and one for the load" rapper is gaining much recognition and success from his debut album, Islah. The album was released at the beginning of the year after being pushed back from its original December 2015 release date, according to Hot New Hip Hop. Though the release date changed, Gates' body of work still shined and garnered much success, landing him at #2 on the Billboard charts, according to his Thursday March 10 interview on Wendy Williams..
During the segment, 30-year-old Gates performed his hit single to a room full of standing and rocking audience members and then sat to talk with Williams about the album, which as he explained, was named for his eldest daughter. The rapper explained the significance and the meaning behind the name that he gifted to his baby girl.
"It means I have a spiritual awakening," explained Gates. "It means to reprove. It means to make better. And my daughter did all of those things for me."
Gates, whose birth name is Kevin Jerome Gilyard, explained how his love for music, family and friends keeps him grounded. The Baton Rouge native said how being raised by his grandmother in a home without his mother or father made him long for the closeness of family and hoped to one day have one of his own. With his wife and mother-in-law seated in the audience, the Islah rapper explained how hurtful it was for him as child to see everyone else with their parents, knowing that he didn't have that for himself.
"That's all I ever wanted because I went to school and all the people that went to school with me, they lived with their mother and father, I lived with my grandmother," explained the "Not The Only One" rapper. "So I always wanted that family setting. I used to watch it on TV, I never had it. And it's a lot of people like me that never had that, that come from where I come from."
Gates explained how he looks to singer Monica, for that connection. Not only does she act as his vocal coach, but to him, her children are like his younger siblings and Monica has become more like his mother. It's because of her coaching that the rising artist is able to rap, sing and harmonize, as described by Rolling Stone, "alternating between vocal modes within a verse."
The Louisiana born rapper finds comfort in surrounding himself with family and friends, but sometimes the wrong friends. During the interview, Gates spoke candidly about being a "two-time convicted felon," but explained how his convictions weren't because of something the he did, but what his friends did, that he ended up taking the wrap for.
"I'm a good friend," stated Gates. "So if me and you in the car...your life mean more to me than my life so I'ma take the charge [and] you go." Gates explained how he took the drug charge and "went to jail [for] being a good friend."
"I didn't go to jail because they caught me doing something," he added.
Check out the performance and full interview below: