In the midst of mounting legal woes, Kevin Gates unleashes “What If,” a new single for his fans. The incarcerated rapper’s wife Dreka announced the release with a statement on behalf of her husband.
“You all KNOW that Kevin and I have always preferred to avoid statements to the media,” she wrote on Instagram. “We speak directly to you guys and prefer to let the music speak for itself. Although Kevin is not a free man yet, he will be soon! In the meantime, I am SO excited to share this song from HIM to you all! He done been to hell and back, He done been to jail and back.”
“What If” is a rumination on Gates’ troubled past and controversial headlines, but it’s also a nod to Joan Osborne’s 1995 smash hit, “One of Us.”
“What if God was one of us?” sings Kevin on the hook. “Just a thug, like one of us / In the club, like one of us / Trying to make it out the slums like one of us.”
Later, Gates appears to blame the media for his negative press.
“Stand tall, no matter what / Real ni**a never budge,” he raps. “Thinking thou shall not judge / While I stood in front the judge / Media, they telling lies about me, that don’t matter much.”
The latter mirrors another recent statement from Kevin’s wife.
“Do NOT dwell on the things that have been put out by the media,” she wrote. “Their only goal in anything is to grab attention, not necessarily to release information that is FACTUAL. Thoughts become things. Let’s all be positive.”
The song arrives during a trying time for KG. After serving five months for battery, Gates was set to be released from Florida’s Polk County Jail a month early on Friday (March 24). He was serving time for kicking a female fan in the face. However, officials found an outstanding weapons warrant for his arrest during the release process and he was kept in jail.
Despite his legal troubles, Gates’ success continues. Last year, his debut album Islah went platinum. This month, he’s dropping a new song “911” as part of The Fate of the Furious soundtrack on April 14.