Kevin Gates - Islah
Critic Score
Based on 7 reviews
2016 Ratings: #157 / 760
User Score
Based on 128 ratings
2016 Ratings: #569
January 29, 2016 / Release Date
LP / Format
BWA, Atlantic / Label
Hip Hop, Pop Rap / Genres
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kvngates.com / Website
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CRITIC REVIEWS

85
Pitchfork

It's by far the best single release of his career: It's more melodic and more focused; fiercer and more playful; funnier and sadder.  It's also probably the best pure rap release of the first quarter, and the best-case scenario for how a locally famous rapper can make a great album for a wider audience without getting lost in a corporate ledger.

80
Spin

While it’s refreshing that a major label, in 2016, has enough faith in a regional star to let him do what brought him to the dance in the first place, Islah also happens to be the most-balanced Kevin Gates project to date, discovering an equilibrium between his pummelers and his caressers we didn’t previously know was possible.

80
Tiny Mix Tapes

For Islah, Kevin Gates largely swipes left on coke rap sermons for insouciant, luminescent swoops — evoking the rush of coming up on ecstasy — and in doing so, links himself inextricably with a new, succinct, energetic-but-slightly-warped vision for rap music.

80
AllMusic

If Kevin Gates' debut album seems wiser and more confident -- not cocky, but confident -- than the competition, consider that the 2 Pac-styled, serious rapper began dropping his mixtapes back in 2007.

75
Consequence of Sound

Like Boosie Badazz’s Touch Down 2 Cause Hell or Freddie Gibbs’ Shadow of a Doubt last year, it’s a showcase of versatility that plays to its creator’s strengths enough to feel like a definitive statement, no matter how many other projects he’s released before it.

70
HipHopDX
The songs cover predictable topics, but he succeeds with his varied skill set and distinctive drawl.
70
Rolling Stone
He's a rapper's rapper, a lyrical Evel Knievel without any desire for a cloying pop crossover; it should be mentioned that he works with no guest appearance safety nets, save one track on the deluxe edition – ultimately resulting in a cohesive, satisfying, fat-free full-length.
sonicyouth
38
This shit is so boring, how much were Pitchfork paid?
nnxsgny
29
the beats are so bad. really disappointing too, cause gates does have a lot of poignant stuff to say. but when every song sounds so artificially clean it's hard to take in the dirty, straightforward lyrics
BruhMan
64
FAV: Not The Only One, Really Really, 2 Phones, Pride, La Familia, Time For That, Thought I Heard (Bread Winner's Anthem), Hard For & Kno One

LEAST: One Thing
BasicMeth
5
This whole album is so generic and patience testing. Too many eye roll lyrics and super stale beats to keep me willing to finish each song.

Favorite track: None
Worst Track: Hard For
MarkCooper
NR
i wuv u Kevin
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Track List

  1. Not the Only One
  2. Really Really
  3. 2 Phones
  4. Pride
  5. La Familia
  6. Time For That
  7. Thought I Heard (Bread Winners’ Anthem)
  8. Hard For
  9. Ask For More
  10. One Thing
  11. The Truth
  12. Kno One
  13. Told Me
  14. Ain't Too Hard
  15. I Love It
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Added on: September 21, 2015