Editors’ Notes Despite being one of the most prolific rappers of his era, Baton Rouge MC Kevin Gates is largely renowned for a string of eccentric statements about his lifestyle (along with serving jail time for assaulting an audience member at one of his shows). Though he’s kept plenty busy since his certified double-platinum debut Islah, its follow-up I’m Him presents the MC with the opportunity to remind even his most dedicated fans exactly why they know who he is.
In service of this mission, Gates delivers no less than 17 tracks of his signature soul-baring street rap and pain-inspired melodies. Across I’m Him are the many sides of Gates, including (but not limited to) the realist (“Facts”); the lover (“Say It Twice,” “Face Down”); the inspirational speaker (“RBS Intro,” “Have You Ever”); the eternally dedicated hustler (“By My Lonely”); the party monster (“What I Like”); the plug (“Push It”); the regretful father (“Betta for You”); and then, simply, the man reflecting on his checkered past (“Walls Talking,” “Funny How”). Above all, though, Gates is still very much the uniquely alluring live wire he broke out as, advising listeners on “Icebox,” “I’m not the one to cross now, I’m not retired from thuggin’.”