Kevin Gates is back and he is on the road for his I’M HIM tour. His newest album I’m Him has reached number 4 on the Billboard 200, making this Kevin’s FOURTH Top 10 album. He graciously showed his (many) Philly fans some love by stopping by Franklin Music Hall to perform for us on Sunday night. Also touring with Gates right now is YK Osiris, Rod Wave and SDoT Fresh.
[ Photos by Jen Strogatz ]
[ Review by Jen Strogatz ]
First off, this must be said… This particular show completely exceeded my expectations. Kevin Gates’ openers, SDoT Fresh, YK Osiris and Rod Wave were all fantastic young artists. They each got the energy flowing so that by the time Kevin walked on stage, the crowd went wild.
So… Confession. I only knew 3 of Kevin Gates’ songs before this show. Someone very close to me used to love him and got me into the songs “Really Really,” “2 Phones,” and “Not the Only One” when his first studio album, “Islah,” was released in 2016. I loved those songs but I completely forgot about them since that time. However, I have gained a new level of respect for Kevin Gates after seeing him perform live… Not only respect for his music, but also for him as a human.
Kevin performed many of his older songs along with music from his newest studio album, “I’m Him,” in front of incredible lighting and visual effects (which included a short animated movie)! At one point, confetti fell onto the crowd and there were even some pyrotechnics involved (thanks to a truly sick production team – shout out Kyle!), which was totally unexpected. The audience sang along to each of Kevin’s songs and screamed with excitement every time he began rapping a new one.
Kevin spoke about mental health, specifically his personal battles with depression, which I thought was incredibly admirable, especially coming from a “gangster rapper,” in terms of the pursuit of the destigmatization of mental health issues within our country. He also mentioned that he would be staying in Philly for an extra day to speak at a juvenile detention center, and this is something that he is passionate about doing. At one point towards the end of his show, Kevin Gates asked that the audience allow him to pray with them, as he said a short prayer into his (gold) mic.
The show was a fantastic one. The performances were not just top-notch, but it was a true spectacle. Between Kevin’s stage presence, engaging performance, his humor and the little growls that he makes when rapping, after realizing what he believes in, leaving Franklin Music Hall that night I gained a newfound appreciation for the rapper and his music. So, Thank you, Kevin Gates.
Check out the full photo gallery below!