Islah is the debut studio album by American rapper Kevin Gates. It was released on January 29, 2016, by Bread Winners' Association and Atlantic Records.[2][3]

Islah
KevinGatesIslah.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJanuary 29, 2016
Recorded2015
Genre
Length53:25
Label
Producer
Kevin Gates chronology
Murder For Hire
(2015)
Islah
(2016)
Murder For Hire 2
(2016)
Singles from Islah
  1. "Kno One"
    Released: July 9, 2015
  2. "Really Really"
    Released: October 5, 2015
  3. "2 Phones"
    Released: November 5, 2015
  4. "Jam"
    Released: January 29, 2016
  5. "Time for That"
    Released: September 9, 2016[1]

The album was supported by four official singles: "Kno One", "Really Really", "2 Phones" and "Time for That".

BackgroundEdit

In an interview with iHeartRadio, Kevin Gates said:

"I named the album after my daughter because of the anticipation. It was so high. I remember before the birth of my daughter, the anticipation was so high. I was scared, I was excited. I was going through mixed emotions at the time. When people set a high bar because I put out so much good quality music, that bar was so high. I just didn't want to. I was afraid of being a letdown. I was afraid of not being good enough. I was scared to death upon making the album, upon releasing the album. The reason I named my album Islah was because it was my first album. My first real studio album, I guess, so to say. Everything else that I put out was mix tapes. The name Islah means to critique. To make better. A spiritual awakening. When my daughter came, she gave me all of those things.[4]"

SinglesEdit

"Kno One" was released via digital download as the album's first single on July 9, 2015. The song was produced by IKENNA FuNkEn and The Featherstones.

"Really Really" was released as the album's lead single (second overall) on October 5, 2015. The song was produced by Alex Goose, Cook Classics and Jake Troth. It peaked at number 46 on the US Billboard Hot 100. To date, the song has been certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).[5]

"2 Phones" was released as the album's third single on November 5, 2015. The song was produced by Mad Max. It became Gates' first top 40 hit single upon the charts, and peaked at number 17 on the Billboard Hot 100. To date, the song has also became certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).[5]

"Time for That" was released as the album's fourth and final single on September 9, 2016.[6] It was produced by Swiff D, alongside additional production from Nick Seeley. The song peaked at number 19 on the US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart.

Other songsEdit

"La Familia" and "The Truth" were released as instant grats for the album's pre-order simultaneously on September 3, 2015.

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic81/100[7]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic     [8]
The Austin Chronicle     [9]
Consequence of SoundB[10]
HipHopDX3.5/5[11]
Pitchfork8.5/10[12]
Rolling Stone     [13]
Spin8/10[14]
Tiny Mix Tapes4/5[15]
ViceA−[16]

Islah received widespread acclaim from critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 81, based on 10 reviews.[7] In Vice, Robert Christgau said the songs have a variety of moods, catchy melodies, and a strong level of detail from Gates: "Do I like everything he says, much less puts on Instagram? Not close. But his saga is an encouraging, fascinating, educational up. This is a guy who always brings his daughter on tour and thinks affluence is a big day at Bloomingdale's. He's emotional, tender, violent, sensual, fickle, determined, fatalistic, unpredictable, unreliable, hedonistic, and from Louisiana. In a land of 10,000 wannabes, he's an original."[16]

Commercial performanceEdit

Islah debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200, collecting 112,000 album equivalent units, with the first-week sales of 93,000 copies in the United States.[17] In its second week, the album dropped to number ten, with a total of 40,000 album equivalent units, collecting its sales of 24,000 copies.[18] In its third week, the album dropped to number eleven, collecting a total of 36,000 album-equivalent units, with 20,000 copies sold,.[19] As of July 2016, the album had sold approximately 307,000 copies in pure album sales.[20] On August 30, 2016, the album was certified platinum by Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for combined sales and album-equivalent units of over a million units in the United States.[21] On January 30, 2019, the album was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for combined sales and album-equivalent units of over two million units.

Track listingEdit

No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Not the Only One"
  • Go Grizzly
  • Dreamlife Beats
4:41
2."Really Really"
3:52
3."2 Phones"
  • Mad Max & Dj Swift
4:00
4."Pride"
  • Gilyard
  • Patrick Carmelo
  • Matthew Paisley-Mallia
  • Carmelo
4:05
5."La Familia"
  • Millz
3:50
6."Time for That"
3:28
7."Thought I Heard (Bread Winners' Anthem)"
  • Gilyard
  • Norman Payne
  • DJ Chose
3:24
8."Hard For"
4:06
9."Ask for More"
  • Gilyard
  • Norris Buchanan
  • Richard Norris
  • Buchanan
3:27
10."One Thing"
3:19
11."The Truth"3:30
12."Kno One"
3:34
13."Told Me"
  • Gilyard
  • Alleyne
  • Millz
3:04
14."Ain't Too Hard"
  • Gilyard
  • Hood
  • Goudy III
  • Earl & E
3:25
15."I Love It"
  • Gilyard
  • Donny Flores
  • Adrian Santalla
  • Drop
  • Phe
3:31

ChartsEdit

CertificationsEdit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[31] 2× Platinum 2,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ http://www.xxlmag.com/video/2016/09/kevin-gates-time-for-that-video-reveals-islah-platinum/
  2. ^ Baker, Soren (November 6, 2015). "Kevin Gates "Islah" Updated Release Date & Cover Art". HipHopDX. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  3. ^ "'Islah' - Kevin Gates". iTunes. Archived from the original on November 23, 2015. Retrieved November 21, 2015. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  4. ^ http://www.iheart.com/news/interview-kevin-gates-on-islah-everything-14322865/
  5. ^ a b "Gold & Platinum - RIAA". RIAA. Retrieved 2016-05-10.
  6. ^ http://www.xxlmag.com/video/2016/09/kevin-gates-time-for-that-video-reveals-islah-platinum
  7. ^ a b "Islah by Kevin Gates". Metacritic. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  8. ^ Jeffries, David. "Islah – Kevin Gates". AllMusic. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  9. ^ Spearman, Kahron (March 18, 2016). "Kevin Gates: Islah (Atlantic)". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  10. ^ Madden, Michael (January 26, 2016). "Kevin Gates – Islah". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  11. ^ Ketchum, William III (February 3, 2016). "Kevin Gates – Islah". HipHopDX. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  12. ^ Greene, Jayson (February 4, 2016). "Kevin Gates: Islah". Pitchfork. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  13. ^ Weingarten, Christopher R. (February 5, 2016). "Islah". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  14. ^ Pagnani, Renato (January 25, 2016). "Review: Kevin Gates Needs No Assists to Fuse His Yin and Yang on 'Islah'". Spin. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  15. ^ Russell, Brooklyn. "Kevin Gates – Islah". Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  16. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (May 20, 2016). "Baton Rouge, Big Beats, and Beyoncé Expert Witness with Robert Christgau". Vice. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
  17. ^ Caulfield, Keith (February 7, 2016). "Rihanna's 'Anti' Rules at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Albums Chart". Billboard. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  18. ^ "Charts Don't Lie: February 17". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved 2016-05-10.
  19. ^ "Charts Don't Lie: February 24". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved 2016-05-10.
  20. ^ http://www.nielsen.com/content/dam/corporate/us/en/reports-downloads/2016-reports/us-mid-year-report-july-2016.pdf
  21. ^ "American album certifications – Kevin Gates – Islah". Recording Industry Association of America". Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  22. ^ "iTunes - Music - Jam - Single by Kevin Gates". Itunes.apple.com. 2015-01-29. Retrieved 2016-02-09.
  23. ^ "iTunes - Music - Excuse Me - Single by Kevin Gates". Itunes.apple.com. 2015-01-29. Retrieved 2016-02-09.
  24. ^ "Kevin Gates Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved February 9, 2016.
  25. ^ "Kevin Gates Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved February 9, 2016.
  26. ^ "Kevin Gates Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  27. ^ "Kevin Gates Chart History (Top Tastemaker Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
  28. ^ "Top Billboard 200 Albums - Year-End 2016". Billboard. Retrieved December 9, 2016.
  29. ^ "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums - Year-End 2016". Billboard. Retrieved December 9, 2016.
  30. ^ "Top Billboard 200 Albums – Year-End 2017". Billboard. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  31. ^ "American album certifications – Kevin Gates – Islah". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.