On April 26 of this year, Kevin Gilyard, best known as rapper Kevin Gates was sentenced to an additional 30 months in jail, while serving time for an assault charge at one of his concerts prior. With possibly another two years distancing himself from freedom, it serves as yet another tragic note in the controversial life and times of Kevin Gates. He is a man who has the tendency to say the most recklessly unguarded content on social media or in interviews, often to the detriment of a career built off immaculately-crafted street rap. A man who constantly proved time and time again that he had one of the best pens, and could come up with anthemic hooks like it was nothing, one could imagine if the game ever truly accepted Kevin Gates, he could be a top tier star; and given the overwhelming success of his platinum certified debut album Islah from last year, it seemed just within reach.

What lures potential fans over to Gates might be pop smashes like “Satellites,” “I Don’t Get Tired” or “2 Phones.” But what keeps them staying are the smorgasbord of tracks that range from themes of romance to homicide, all managing to sound professionally crafted and evocative. Here at HotNewHipHop, we’ve assembled 10 tracks that hardcore Kevin Gates fans know and appreciate, while casual listeners might not have gotten a chance to hear give or take their point of arrival. Now with Kevin Gates freedom seeming more and more distant, it feels more and more necessary to treasure all of the brilliant music he made in order to appreciate him when he finally comes back.