Feature photo by Jordan Spencer
In late March, Baton Rouge rapper Kevin Gates was scheduled to be freed from prison after finishing out his sentence for kicking a woman in the face during a 2015 show. While he was being processed for release, however, authorities discovered an outstanding warrant and arrested him again. As a result, he was sentenced to another 30 months in prison. Today, Gates has broken his silence for the first time since initially being incarcerated in October 2016.
Through a handwritten letter shared via Instagram, Gates asked fans not to be “troubled in my time of absence” and reassured them he still would “remain true” to his character. Check out the full note below.
Alongside the message, the charismatic rapper released a music video for his Joan Osborne-sampling single, “What If”. The visual treatment sends both a political and spiritual message by depicting police brutality in the projects and showing scenes from jail, while also showing families coming together on the outside. In it, Gates can also be seen praying to Allah. Watch it up top.
Gates’ letter reads:
In The Name of the
Dear Loyal Family,
Disallow yourselves to be troubled in my time of absence. All of the great ones who came before and will come after me: Have had to go through this. By this I’m speaking in reference to hardship. A great a person is measured by all of the great tests they can undergo and still remain true to who they are. With that being said “I’m Him.” I love you all. In closing I remain the same.
Forever, Kevin Gates
Update – September: Gates has announced his next project, By Any Means 2, out September 21st. It’s a sequel to his 2014 mixtape, By Any Means. Fully curated by his wife, Dreka Gates, the album is kicked off by the cathartic lead single, “Had To”.
Hear it below.
By Any Means 2 Artwork: