Kevin Gates Is On A Journey To His Higher Self: ‘I Wasn’t Made For Everybody To Like’
EXCLUSIVE – Kevin Gates has gone through a remarkable transformation that has allowed him to feel much more comfortable in his skin and who he is as a person.
The Baton Rouge, Louisiana product has come a long way since entering the game in the early 2010s. Gates, 36, had a tumultuous upbringing filled with trauma, and like most people who grow up in poverty, his pain was never properly addressed.
At some point, though, trauma and insecurities must be confronted if one ever hopes to overcome their demons and live a truly happy life. Gates’ journey to happiness didn’t start out easy, and he wants his fans to know it’s ok if they, too, find the road bumpy — as long as they stay the the course.
“It’s a very, very painful journey when you’re growing,” Gates tells HipHopDX. “But instead of looking at it like you’re in pain and suffering, look at it like they’re growing pains. You can’t avoid it. You gotta grow.”
Kevin Gates wasn’t in the best shape — physically or mentally — a few years ago, but it’s remarkable to see the strides he’s made in such a short space of time. Healing from his trauma began from within, and the rapper had to do a major overhaul to get to where he’s at today.
One important part of Gates’ transformation was learning how to operate from a place of peace, not pain. The age-old aphorism “hurt people hurt people” rings true for the Khaza rapper, and the way he’s managed to quell that pain was to look at it through a different lens.
“The hardest thing for me to get comfortable with as I was growing was being able to laugh at myself,” he reveals. “Being able to make a mistake and allowing people to see it and realize that it’s ok for people to see that mistake.”
Kevin Gates’ vulnerability significantly affects how he cares for himself these days. Accepting and taking accountability for his insecurities has allowed him to fortify himself, making it easy to brush off any negativity that’s hurled his way.
Even the critics that have something to say about his sexually-suggestive on-stage antics don’t bother him. As Gates explains, he isn’t letting other people’s opinions stop him from embracing his true self — something he realized on his journey of self-healing.
“Man, to be honest with you, I’m something to talk about,” Gates says while cracking a huge smile. “If they’re not talking, you not doing nothing. Now, as far as if it’s negative or positive reactions, that’s just the perspective of whoever was there. I don’t care about those things. I know who I am and I wasn’t made for everybody to like. As I said, you have people that will project their insecurities onto you.
“I used to be fat at one time, so I used to find reasons to make people that worked out not cool to make myself feel better. But then, when I looked at myself in the mirror and said, ‘You know what, Kevin, you’re fucking fat,’ I held myself accountable.”
He adds: “I started exhibiting self-accountability and became open to saying, ‘Is this constructive criticism or just criticism?’ So it’s just about keeping an inventory of the stuff you’re allowing yourself to consume psychologically. Nobody is perfect — just don’t ever let a muthafucka see you quit.”