On Friday, Kevin Gates released his debut studio album, Islah. The full-length LP follows a prolific decade of mixtapes and singles from the Louisiana rapper, which gave him an independent-minded view of album-making and the industry in general. In the above video, he discusses these philosophies and more.
“I could care less about the particulars,” Gates tells Rolling Stone. “I like to make music.” For Gates, radio play and mainstream attention don’t factor into how he calculates his own success.
“I could give a flying flip about doing promo because, no disrespect, nobody put me in the position that I’m in,” he says. “I was doing sold-out shows before I got radio play.”
As for Islah, Gates goes it alone, with no featured artists on the whole album except for Trey Songz, Ty Dolla $ign and Jamie Foxx on a bonus track titled “Jam.” “If I lose, I’m going to lose by myself, and if I win, I’m going to win by myself,” he explains of the guest-free LP. “I’ve always been a loner.”
Islah is out now via BWA/Atlantic Records.