Kevin Jerome Gilyard (born February 5, 1986), better known by his stage name Kevin Gates, is an American rapper, singer, and entrepreneur. He is currently signed to Bread Winners' Association with a partnership with Atlantic Records. His debut studio album, Islah, released in January 2016 and peaked at number two on the US Billboard 200 chart. Prior to Islah, Gates also released numerous mixtapes including Stranger Than Fiction, By Any Means, and Luca Brasi 2, all of which peaked in the top 40 on the Billboard 200 chart.
Kevin Gates was born Kevin Jerome Gilyard on February 5, 1986. He and his family relocated to Baton Rouge soon after his birth. Gates had an often tumultuous upbringing and was arrested for the first time in 1999 at the age of 13 for "joyriding" as a passenger. When he was 17, he briefly attended Baton Rouge Community College. Gates is of African-American and Puerto Rican descent.