Transferring the reflective style of rappers like Drake to the genre of gangsta rap, Louisiana-based MC Kevin Gates spent five-plus years on the mixtape circuit before climbing into the Top 40 of the Billboard 200 album chart with his 2013 release, Stranger Than Fiction. Born and raised in Baton Rouge, Gates made his mixtape debut in 2007 with Pick of da Litter. Mixtapes with titles like All In and I Don't Know What to Call It, Vol. 1 appeared over the next few years, but in 2013 he dropped the popular The Luca Brasi Story mixtape and things changed quickly. After appearing on high-profile mixtapes from Pusha T and Gudda Gudda, Gates signed a contract with major-label Atlantic. He completed his contract with the indie imprint Breadwinners Association by releasing Stranger Than Fiction that same year. The album featured guest spots from Wiz Khalifa, Juicy J, and Starlito, and debuted at number 37 on the Billboard 200 chart. Plies, 2 Chainz, and Doe B helped deliver his 2014, Atlantic-released mixtape By Any Means, and the next year saw the single "Kno One" preview his 2016 LP, Islah.