Kevin Gates spent years bubbling in the underground with acclaimed mixtapes pushing his unique brand of brutally honest and gritty street raps mixed with harmonic melodies. He cultivated a huge fan base in his hometown of New Orleans and gradually branched out until he finally broke through this year with two platinum singles “Really Really” and “2 Phones.” It’s a true rags-to-riches story and now Gates has collected another platinum plaque after it was announced that his debut album Islah hit the million records sold threshold.
Granted, much of those million records are made up of streams, and Gates has benefited from the new systems that count streams as equivalent album sales but that’s why the changes were made. While there are those who disagree with the new album sales metrics, they have paved the way for success stories like this.
If anything, the way music is consumed is now finally, after more than a decade, accurately depicted on Billboard and Neilson charts. Gates achieving platinum status mostly through streams is no knock on his résumé. It shows that his music is constantly being consumed in the most common way available, and that might be more accurate than album sales anyway since it shows that people are actually listening to the album rather than resting their drinks on top of them.
With the new significance placed on streams, Kevin Gates now has proof of just how popular he is, and an achievement he can tout after all of his hard work. For years, album sales were skewered by the fact that they could be, and typically were, downloaded for free. Now, that’s kind of being taken into account, and while some may denounce that, others are collecting plaques that they deserve and maybe wouldn’t have received otherwise. Perhaps to celebrate the occasion, or maybe just by pure coincidence, Kevin also released the “Time for That” video from Islah on Thursday morning as he starts his push towards another plaque. Watch that above.