Kevin Gates – Islah (Atlantic / Bread Winners’ Association, 2016)
Simply put, Kevin Gates’ Islah is club rap. His beats are generic club bangers, dipped in pop melodies to create a range of sounds that vary from trippy to corny. Though Gates’ flow initially seems somewhat simple, he throws a handful of surprisingly solid verses at the listener later on. These verses come in sharp contrast to his horribly cheesy pop choruses. His lyrical content is basically non-existent; Gates touches on basic gangsta rap themes like doing drugs and being rich. On top of this, he takes a page from pop songs by rapping about banal love stories. If you’re looking for a hip-hop album that displays solid creative content, Islah is not it.
Trial track: “Kno One”