Luca Brasi 3
Baton Rouge rapper Kevin Gates has been comparing himself to Luca Brasi, the devoted and doomed henchman of The Godfather since at least 2013’s The Luca Brasi Story. But Luca Brasi 3, released by Gates after an extended stint in prison, is much more an extension of the persona (and catalog) he has built as a rapper than a parallel to a fictional gangster. “I've been gone a year and a half, so it's a lot of things that I didn't really speak on that I get to speak on,” Gates told Beats 1’s Zane Lowe. “And there's a lot of things on ‘Luca Brasi 1’ [The Luca Brasi Story] and Luca Brasi 2 I couldn't speak about because I was dealing with it at the time.” Topically, at least, the third installment doesn’t veer far from the previous two, with Gates using his unique, warbly croon to sing about his success (“Money Long”), the invincibility he feels as a man of faith (“In God I Trust”), and also to deliver a message to the women who've missed their chance with him (“Shoulda”). “Luca Brasi Freestyle” is a lyrical showcase, while “Me Too” (very much no relation to #MeToo) is Gates as smooth-talking lothario, a well-established and adored role within the MC’s repertoire. The rapper also offers a little more insight into his immediate worldview with the project’s closer, timely entitled “M.A.T.A.,” or “Make America Trap Again.” “This is my first time truly being free,” Gates said. “I always had something over my head, I always was fighting the court case, I always had a warrant or something pending. This is my first time truly enjoying life."