Back in January, the Baton Rouge rap star Kevin Gates was released from prison. Shortly after a previous prison release, he’d been sentenced to 30 months in prison on an outstanding weapons warrant, but he’d gotten out after nine months. But because of the restrictions of his probation, Gates can’t leave Illinois, where he served out his prison sentence. As a result, he couldn’t make it to this past weekend’s Rolling Loud festival in Miami, where he’d been booked. But he can release music, and now he’s doing that.
Last night, after teasing a few new songs on Instagram, Gates released a new surprise EP called Chained To The City. The EP’s three songs — “Change Lanes,” “Vouch,” and “Let It Sing” — represent the first music that Gates has released since his release from prison.
If you’re a fan of Gates, the new EP is deeply satisfying. It’s got his mix of pathos and ferocity, his deeply felt croak bursting out even as he puts it into bluesy sing-rap melodies. As ever, Gates sounds absolutely incensed about everything that’s happening in the world, and his current situation certainly gives him plenty of the frustration that seems to fuel him. Check out all three songs below.
The self-released Chained To The City EP is out now. And given that Gates has always been furiously prolific, and that he can’t really go anywhere now, it seems likely that he’ll have even more new music before long.