It’s testament to the overwhelming likeability of Baton Rouge’s Kevin Gates that his new mixtape ‘By Any Means’ is sitting at #5 on the iTunes album chart when its also officially simultaneously available for free download.

As anyone who’s met him or seen him perform live knows, Gates is a heart-on-sleeve bearing man of the people who taps into something we all crave but don’t often get in a rapper. Street depictions are offered with a third, human dimension and in such detail that you just know he was there. Love stories unfold with a rare two-way perspective. And the man is just overall so completely unimpeachable in what he says and how he says it that he demands the word ‘real’ be repurposed as a non-cliche in hip-hop.

We really are not worthy. And yet we’re blessed to be living in the Gates era.

Stream/download ‘By Any Means’ below and then buy it on iTunes.