Kevin Gates

Stranger Than Fiction

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Having already signed with the major label Atlantic before this album's release, Stranger Than Fiction completes rapper Kevin Gates' deal with the indie imprint Bread Winners' Association, but there's nothing hurried, throwaway, or otherwise "contractual obligation" about it. This dark, smart, lewd, and thoroughly entertaining effort finds the gravelly voiced, repugnant but regretful and reflective rapper taking the introspective style of Drake and putting in believable gangster settings, all while dropping some quirky party tracks along the way. Check the great "4:30 AM," "4 Legs and a Biscuit," or "Satellites" for proof, or jump right to the hedonistic "Thinking with My D**k," where the worlds of Pimp C and cloud rap collide, creating quite the druggy, strip-club spectacle. Guest spots from Wiz Khalifa, Juicy J, and Starlito, but Gates holds them all in check, coming off as worthy ringleader in the Game or Birdman style.

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