Kevin Gates Talks On Prison Life, Tattoos & The Time He Got A Brick With Elvis' Face On It
Kevin Gates recently dropped off By Any Means, a free album that was also available on iTunes and managed to debut at #17 on the Billboard 200. Gates is very open in his lyrics, and so if you are a fan you probably know quite a bit about his personal life just from listening to his music. Nonetheless, there is still some mystery surrounding Gates. While we ourselves had a personal interview with the Baton Rouge native about his depression, among other things, the rapper recently sat down with Hot 97's Peter Rosenberg for another personal interview where he discusses prison life, what his many tattoos means, and even explains the Lil Wayne-Birdman "father/son" relationship in layman's terms.
Gates is a well-read rapper, and as he reveals during the interview, he got his Masters in prison. "I received my Masters in Psychology in prison. I got my ACT in prison, I did all of that in jail." As for how much time he actually spent locked up, he says, "That's a lot of years, I been in and out since a child. This is the culture of Louisiana. They have more people locked up in the state of Louisiana than any other country in the world. It's very poverty-stricken. So being in and out jail is a way of life for most poverty-stricken individuals. I don't wanna say young black males, so I'll just say young males. But the majority is like 99% black, over-crowded prison systems."
Gates continued, "I was re-inserted back into society in 2011. That was for drugs and a fire-arm. Most of all of my charges are things of that nature. But that was for drugs."
After confirming that he's managed by Young Money, the rapper went on to explain to Rosenberg the significance of his prominent tattoos.
Rosenberg pointed out that the star near Gates' eye is similar to the one of Cash Money boss, Birdman. "That's what it stand for. It's the symbol of god," he said. As for his cross on his forehead, he reveals, "That's the soldier sign, that's the compass, north, south, east, west. It's a little more to it...But it is a compass."
"I got Elvis on my chest," he added, which led in to an interesting story of why he has an Elvis Presley tatt in the first place:
"I got a brick one time, and it had Elvis face stamped in it. You know how they be having the Mercedes-Benz symbols stamped in the cocaine, I had got one with Elvis face stamped in it. After that I started listening to his music. "Jail House Rock" and all that. I ain't know he was a gangster like that. Bitch was a black belt in karate and everything. So I started watching different movies he was in, "Blue Hawaii", he was Chadwick Gates, and I'm Kevin Gates. Hold up, we got more in common than meets the eye." He added for good measure, "I don't fuck around no more, just for the record."
Finally, Gates explained the relationship the father-son relationship between Weezy F and Baby, revealing he has one of his own as well. "Like with Wayne and Birdman...I have a street dad. I have a person that I call daddy that's not my biological father. Man, I got his face tattooed on me. And he taught me a lot of things, and we bump heads a lot, but at the end of the day, I love him...It no way possible that he could have physically been my daddy. But I call him daddy."
Watch the full interview below. Read our review of By Any Means here.