Kevin Gates Kept It Dialed In

Submitted by notoriousclassics on Fri, 11/05/2021 - 22:22
Kevin Gates in concert

In the old days, two phones would represent your home number and your office number. Cell phones made that kind of obsolete, and so did working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic - so why would one need two phones?

Back in 2015, Kevin Gates had an answer for that. "2 Phones," a single off his debut album Islah, became his biggest hit and a calling card for the Baton Rouge-raised lyricist. "One for the plug and one for the load," he boasted, describing each half of the drug trade - a rite of passage for anyone trying to make it on the streets.

Gates turned heads for his fascinating contradictions at the time. In an interview with DJ Booth, he had no remorse for his rough and rowdy ways - but said he was "scared to death" about how fans would receive his new album even after making XXL's Freshman Class of 2014 and putting two mixtapes in the Top 40 of the Billboard 200. He needn't have worried, though: "2 Phones" reached No. 17 on the Billboard Hot 100, and Islah debuted at No. 2.

Gates played his numbers right, and when all was said and done, it wasn't just his phones ringing: it was the bell he hit toward the top of the charts.