Giving you the direct perspective from Kevin Gates and his producer The Featherstones, "Track Breakdown" is an HNHH series that highlights a specific cut by speaking to both the artist and producer about the song's creation.
Kevin Gates doesn't seem to do much talking, but he doesn't really need to when his music says it all. Kevin Gates is a rapper who comes from the streets of Baton Rouge, Lousiana, and chose to focus on his rap life instead of the streets. His music reflects this, and in it he expresses himself in ways not many gangsters usually do.
There's a lot of emotion in Gates' lyrics, there is wordplay and there is melody-- we might not usually associate those three things with a hard rapper like Gates, which is what makes his sound so unique and interesting. Gates has been slowly building a fan base for himself, ever since being released from prison in 2011 after a three year stint for drugs and firearm charges. All his hard work has culminated most recently into an album, Stranger Than Fiction.
The album follows The Luca Brasi Story mixtape and we find Gates really come into is his own when it comes to sound and theme-- something which was obviously developing in Luca Brasi. The overall feel of Stranger Than Fiction is completely in-line with the particular song we're looking at, "Smiling Faces." It has a dark, moody and almost lonely feeling which is echoed through out the album, and it gives you a look into the life of Gates.
We spoke to Kevin Gates about "Smiling Faces" where he raps about two-faced friends and other doubts in his mind. It's a very honest track, and as the rapper tells us, he let the emotion lead him when making it. The production also plays an important part in making this jam unique-- it's simple yet there are so many layers. The producers behind it, The Featherstones, spoke to us about how they linked up with Gates, revealing they have more collaborations in the bag, which we will hopefully hear soon.
For now, listen to "Smiling Faces" below, and then click through the gallery images to find out more about the record.