Kevin Gates
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Every Kevin Gates Project Ranked by Real Heads

Kevin Gates ain’t for everybody. Dude’s raw, emotional, and often ain’t playing by anyone’s rules but his own. He gon’ tell you about his pain, his demons, his triumphs – the whole messy, contradictory truth that makes up the man. He’s built a career on being unflinchingly real, even when it makes you uncomfortable. Some folks call it trauma dumping, others call it brilliant storytelling delivered with a technical prowess few MCs possess.

And his catalog? Man, it’s a rollercoaster. You got straight-up bangers that’ll soundtrack any function, introspective joints that hit different under headphones on a late night, and straight-up X-rated anthems for the bedroom. Love him or hate him, Gates is a singular force in hip hop; one of the realest to ever touch the mic. His vulnerability and honesty have earned him a cult-like fanbase, but his music can be jarring if you ain’t ready for it.

So, buckle up, because ranking his projects is an emotional journey through one of the most complex and polarizing figures in the game. We’ll delve into the highs, the lows, and everything in between. Just know this: Gates ain’t about to apologize, and neither are his fans. Get ready for some hard truths and fierce opinions.

Luca Brasi Story


This is peak Gates, his magnum opus. It’s a raw, uncompromising look into his life – the pain, the joy, the triumphs, and the demons. He’s a master storyteller here, his lyrics hitting on both an emotional and visceral level. The production is grimy, perfectly mirroring the intensity of his words. Songs like “Out the Mud”, “Neon Lights”, and “Arm & Hammer” are timeless, their impact felt years later. It’s real, it’s brutal, it’s beautiful. This ain’t for the faint of heart– it’s a deep dive into the complex heart and mind of one of rap’s most polarizing figures. The Luca Brasi Story is Gates at his most legendary.

All In


This mixtape is the sound of a hungry rapper with something to prove. It’s raw, energetic, and full of that early Gates ambition. His relentless flow is matched with clever wordplay and punchlines that land hard. Whether he’s spitting about the streets, his grind, or his undeniable way with the ladies, he does it with a fiery intensity. Standout tracks like “Amnesia” and “The Law” perfectly encapsulate that classic Gates sound and are prime examples of why this mixtape resonated with fans so strongly. All In might not be the most polished, but it’s a potent reminder of his raw talent.

Luca Brasi 2: Gangsta Grillz


This mixtape is an absolute beast. Gates is going hard from start to finish with sharp wordplay, aggressive delivery, and undeniable charisma. The production’s dark, the beats hit you in the chest, and there’s a relentless intensity throughout. From the introspective opener to the anthemic closer, it’s like a shot of adrenaline straight to the veins. Tracks like “I Don’t Get Tired”, “John Gotti”, and “Plug Daughter” are classics in the Gates catalog. Luca Brasi 2 is essential listening for that classic mixtape-era Gates, demonstrating why he’s become a legend in the game.



This is Kevin Gates’ breakthrough album, and for good reason. Islah is a masterpiece. He’s refined his storytelling, his flow is flawless, and the production is lush and soulful. He’s delving into relationships, fatherhood, and finding his way with a newfound level of maturity. Songs like “2 Phones”, “Really Really”, and “Kno One” are certified classics. But it’s not just the bangers; deeper cuts like “Hard For” and “One Thing” showcase his versatility and willingness to bare his soul. This album cemented his legacy as one of the greats. Islah has it all: the hits, the depth, the raw emotion.

All or Nuthin


This mixtape is an absolute banger. Gates is dialed in, spitting pure fire over hard-hitting beats. He’s flexing, he’s talking his talk, and he’s dropping some of the most quotable lines in his catalog. Tracks like “Posed To Be In Love” and “Again” have an infectious energy that’ll get you hype. This one might lack the depth of his later work, but damn, it hits different when you just want some straight-up rap to turn up to. All or Nothing is a reminder that Gates can go head-to-head with the best of them when it comes to delivering that adrenaline-fueled sound.

Stranger Than Fiction


This is Gates at his most vulnerable, pouring his heart and soul into every bar. It’s a deeply personal album, filled with reflections on his past mistakes, struggles with addiction, and his search for redemption. The production is stripped down, letting his words take center stage. While it might not be the most upbeat listen, tracks like “4:30AM” and “Thinking With My Dick” are brutally honest and resonate with fans on a whole other level. Stranger Than Fiction isn’t for everyone, but it’s a powerful testament to Gates’ artistry and a must-listen for understanding the man behind the music.

Make Em Believe


This early mixtape is a classic example of that raw, hungry Gates energy. It’s rough around the edges, but the passion and ambition are undeniable. His flow is sharp, and his lyrics paint vivid pictures of his struggles and dreams. While some of the production feels slightly dated, standout tracks like “Hold Ya Head” and “Tiger” remain timeless for fans. Even in his early days, you can hear the potential brewing, and Make Em Believe is a testament to that raw talent Gates was cultivating.

By Any Means


This is where Gates really starts to hit his stride. It’s a gritty and introspective album, packed with his signature storytelling and street wisdom. The production is harder too, complementing his aggressive delivery. There’s a real hunger and intensity to the project, with tracks like “2 Phones” and “Arm and Hammer” becoming staples in the Gates catalog. While some might prefer the later, more polished output, By Any Means has a raw energy that can’t be replicated. It’s Gates unfiltered, at his most vulnerable and ferocious.

Luca Brasi 3


This one is a fan favorite, and for good reason. Gates gets back to basics, serving up hard-hitting street anthems, introspective moments, and his trademark X-rated bars. The energy is raw, the beats knock, and there’s a sense of confidence and swagger throughout the project. Songs like “Great Man” and “Adding Up” are prime examples of Gates in his element. Sure, it doesn’t have the emotional depth of later albums, but that’s not what Luca Brasi 3 is about. This is pure, uncut Gates; a reminder of why he’s a force to be reckoned with in the rap game.

Promo Disc


This one is a hodgepodge of mixtape cuts, remixes, and loosies for the real diehard fans. While there’s a certain mixtape charm to its messy tracklist, it’s definitely not a cohesive body of work. For those interested in a deep dive into Gates’ lesser-known output, it might hold some fascination. But for newcomers or casual listeners, this ain’t the place to start. Think of it as more of a vault clearance than something that showcases the artist at his peak.

Behind Enemy Lines


A mixtape often forgotten, but it has some fire hidden within. Gates is in his zone, flowing effortlessly over a mix of hard trap and more soulful beats. There’s a clear focus on storytelling – he’s painting vivid pictures of his life, struggles, and triumphs. Sure, it’s got that mixtape rawness, and there are a few tracks that feel like filler, but don’t sleep on highlights like “The Arm & Hammer” and “Bet I’m On It”. This one shows Gates experimenting and evolving as an artist – definitely worth revisiting for fans who missed its initial release.

I’m Him


This album is a slow burn. It’s darker, more introspective, and sees Gates pushing himself lyrically. The production is smoother, with a surprising amount of soulful sampling. Tracks like “Truth Be Told” and “The Prayer” showcase Gates exploring deeper emotional territory with surprising vulnerability. This isn’t the Gates of bangers and braggadocio, but it’s a compelling and mature side to the artist. It might not have those immediate head-nodders, but stick with this one, and you’ll see Gates flexing entirely different muscles with his pen game.

Pick Of Da Litter


This mixtape put Gates on the map for a reason. He’s still hungry, spitting about the pain, the grind, and the ambition he carries within him. His flow is relentless, the beats are gritty, and there’s a raw authenticity to every track. Cuts like “Get In The Way” and “Wonderful” are the kind of hard-hitting anthems that still get played in the clubs today. This is classic Gates; the mixtape that cemented his reputation as a force to be reckoned with. It’s not perfect, but it’s an important milestone in his career, and those who slept on him back then definitely took notice.

Don’t Know What To Call It


This early project is a snapshot of Gates in his raw, hungry, pre-major label days. It’s gritty, unpolished, and full of that youthful energy. While the production is a bit dated, there’s no denying Gates’ talent as a wordsmith and his ability to deliver those gut-punching tales of street life. It can feel a little scattered with some obvious filler tracks, but hidden gems like “Don’t Know What To Call It (Intro)” and “Amnesia” hint at the potential that would blossom in later projects. This one’s nostalgic for early fans, but newcomers might find it a bit rough around the edges.

In The Meantime


This little EP packs a serious punch. Concise, hard-hitting, and showcasing the kind of laser-focused flow Gates is known for. The trap beats are grimy, his delivery is on point, and the lyrics are a mix of introspective and straight-up flexing. It might be short, but there’s no filler here. Singles like “D U Down” and “Change Lanes” showcase his versatility, while tracks like “Same Thing” provide that classic, gritty Gates energy. In The Meantime is a great reminder of what Gates can do when he’s hungry and aiming straight for the jugular.



Khaza is a statement piece. Gates is back with a vengeance, dropping deeply personal rhymes tinged with both pain and celebration. The production is lush, diverse, and perfectly complements his storytelling. He delves into his family history, his struggles with mental health, and his triumphs over adversity. Songs like “Big Gangsta” or “Hard To Sleep” are vintage Gates– raw, vulnerable, and hitting your soul in a way few artists can. While a few tracks feel a little phoned in, overall, Khaza proves Gates still has the chops to create something meaningful and memorable.

By Any Means 2


Alright, now we’re talkin’. BAM2 is a significant step up from its predecessors. You can feel Gates getting his hunger back, sharpening his pen game, and experimenting a bit more musically. He’s still talking his street tales, still in his bag on the sex rhymes, but there are moments of real introspection and vulnerability here. Beats are harder, the production has some unexpected twists, and Gates is spitting with renewed focus. This is not prime Gates, but it’s a sign that he’s on the right track to finding his spark again.



Look, the intro is fire. It got me hyped, ready for some raw, confessional Gates. But then…oof. Ceremony is messy and unfocused. The concept is there—love, heartbreak, the rollercoaster that is his life. But the execution left much to be desired. It’s like he had a bunch of leftover tracks and decided to slap ’em together for an album. Half the beats are generic trap knockoffs, and while there are glimpses of brilliance, his usual wordplay and depth seem to be missing. Gates can do better and HAS done better.

Murder for Hire


This shorter mixtape serves as a minor entry in Gates’ vast discography. Released in 2019, it primarily features collaborations with other Baton Rouge rappers and offers a brief glimpse into the local scene that influenced Gates’ early sound. However, compared to the depth and focus of other projects on this list, “Murder for Hire” lacks a cohesive theme and primarily functions as a collection of loose tracks. While it might hold value for die-hard fans, its limited scope places it at the lower end of this subjective ranking.

Only The Generals Part II


This one stings because Gates is capable of so much more. Dude rushed this project out, and it shows. Forgettable production, a few half-hearted hooks, and an overall sense of creative fatigue…it just ain’t inspired. It’s more of the same: trap beats, flexing, and sex jams, but lacking the raw intensity and lyrical hunger we know and love. It’s like he’s going through the motions, and frankly, so are we. There are a couple decent tracks in there for hardcore fans, but overall, this is background noise at best.

Murder for Hire 2


Unfortunately, this sequel to the celebrated mixtape pales in comparison to the original. The production feels uninspired, and some tracks are forgettable. While there are a few decent bangers for hardcore fans, overall it doesn’t capture the same intensity or lyrical fire present in Gates’ best work.

The Leak


This collection of unfinished tracks and freestyles feels more like a mixtape for diehard fans than a cohesive album experience. While it showcases Gates’ versatility, it lacks the punch and polish that elevates his best projects.

Chained To The City


This one is a bit of an oddball, with more experimental beats and a focus on melodic, almost sing-songy delivery. It’s a departure from the traditional Gates sound. While interesting, it’s definitely an acquired taste, and might not resonate with fans expecting that signature Gates grit and aggression.



A brief mixtape that feels more like a promotional release than a fully-realized project. It has a few bangers, but it’s a blink-and-you-miss-it listening experience that doesn’t showcase the full spectrum of Gates’ skills.

Only The Generals


This mixtape, while solid at times, suffers from a lack of focus and too much filler. Although there are some hard-hitting tracks, the overall project feels scattered and doesn’t leave a lasting impression.

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