Kevin first began in 2005, when he began making music with fellow Louisiana natives Webbie and Lil Boosie. Gates first received attention with his 2008 single "Get in the Way" featuring Lil Boosie. Soon after, he and Boosie would be incarcerated in separate cases.
Gates would then be released in 2011 and immediately returned to recording music. He would soon earn the attention of Lil Wayne and would start being managed by Young Money Entertainment's management wing.
In early 2013, Gates released a mixtape, The Luca Brasi Story which was called "easily the best rap-related thing" in February 2013 by Spin Magazine, who also said he has "been a rapper to watch for a few years now".
The Luca Brasi Story has been downloaded from popular mixtape sharing site, DatPiff, over 274,000 times. On February 15, 2013, it was announced that Kevin Gates is in a partnership with Atlantic Records.Gates was also featured on Pusha T's 2013 mixtape Wrath of Caine on the song "Trust You" and was featured on frequent collaborator Gudda Gudda's mixtape Guddaville 3 on the song "Hustle All Day" also featuring Flow.