2019 American Music Awards

Kevin Gates Says He'd Be 'Dead or in Jail' If He Weren't a Rapper

Kevin Gates dropped by Billboard Live on Wednesday (Oct. 9), where he took part in a Q&A about his personal new album, I'm Him, his upcoming tour and more.

A particularly moving part of the chat came from a simple question asking the Baton Rouge rapper what he'd be doing if he weren't in music. "You want me to be honest with you?" he asked. "Have you ever seen a rapper of my stature even come up here dressed the way I dress?" referring to his effortless jeans, hoodie and flat-brimmed hat look. "I’m simple, I’m ‘less is more,’ I’m Plain Jane. I say that to say this. When I do things, it’s not for self gratification. I don’t do sh-- for the glory, I do sh-- for the glory of love.

"If I wasn’t making music, I’d either be dead or in jail right now," he continued. "I’d be doing a life sentence or I’d be dead. And I accept those things, because I just want my family and the people that I love to be OK. I accept it. My life is a sacrifice, I don’t even care. It’s for the people that I love, it’s not for me."

He concluded by adding, "I can honestly say that music, almighty God and what I’m doing with the music and the people He put in my life has saved my life and allows me to touch other people."

After getting the thought off his chest, Gates repeated his disbelief over disclosing that type of intimate, poignant thought in such a public setting. The reflection on his life comes about a year after the rapper finished up a 30-month prison sentence stemming from a 2013 gun charge. The jail time led to two EPs, Chained to the City and Only Generals the Gon Understand.

Watch Gates' emotional interview in full above.


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