Kevin Jerome Gilyard (born February 5, 1986), better known by his stage name Kevin Gates, is an American rapper, singer, and entrepreneur. He is currently signed to Bread Winners' Association with a partnership with Atlantic Records. His debut studio album, Islah, released in January 2016 and peaked at number two on the US Billboard 200 chart. Prior to Islah, Gates also released numerous mixtapes including Stranger Than Fiction, By Any Means, and Luca Brasi 2, all of which peaked in the top 40 on the Billboard 200 chart.
Kevin Gates is known primarily for his "confessional anthems" that blend often autobiographical lyrics with refined Southern beats. In a review of his debut album Islah, Consequence of Sound noted that "autobiography and honesty have always been central to [Gates'] artistry". Spin has noted that Gates often combines "melodic tunefulness" and "clenched-teeth street rap". In recent releases, he has incorporated more singing, having trained with the singer, Monica. Gates' lyrics often deal with subjects like depression, poverty, and prison time. He has listed numerous artists among his influences including Nas, The Notorious B.I.G., JAY-Z, 2Pac, Eminem and others.