Gates has released three mixtapes in the past two years. Two of those might as well be called albums -- not just for their quality but that both By Any Means and Luca Brasi 2 charted in the top 40 on Billboard despite being available for free on all mixtape platforms. He's also managed three headlining tours and has another, in support of Islah, around the corner that will take him to Europe.
While discussing Islah, his focus is still on the work and not the reward. "If I wasn't doing this, I wouldn't be able to provide for my children. So I would be laying down on them...it puts things into perspective, like, if I ever want to go buy a chain, I gotta be like really, really rich."
"It's coming. Sooner or later," he said with a sigh.
Islah will likely earn him more money than any of his previous projects, but, really, it's just another product of his endless hustle. He didn't even know if "Kno One," his most successful single this year, would make the album. "I make too much music to know -- to stop what I'm doing and worry about 15 or 16 songs."
"It's just constant, a continuation of what's already understood. We don't get tired."
His work-over-reward mindset was reiterated when, at the end of the interview, when he was probably supposed to give an album "pitch," he offered some final words on Islah. "I'm supposed to be promoting the album, but I feel like, you can get it if you want to. If you don't want it, don't get it. I don't care. I don't care if you go get it or not. I'mma continue to make great music."