Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Kevin Gates – 4:30 AM

It’s been a banner year for staying up far too late.


Alfred Soto: So unaccustomed to hearing bald declarations of love for other men in hip-hop or a voice almost immobile from suffering, I was ready to reward Gates on principle alone, but his gravely, mournful timbre suits this tale of blood spilled needlessly, of lives interrupted. It’s less than three minutes long.

Anthony Easton: I love Kevin Gates’ voice: thick but precise, breaking apart with emotion, avoiding syrup or sentiment.?

Iain Mew: “4 AM” > “4:30 AM” > 5 AM: Gates’ croak is superbly evocative of too many hours awake and too much having happened, but there’s no stand-out narrative or musical moment to capitalise on that feeling.

Brad Shoup: “He the track coach/And a asshole” is my favorite detail here. You get the sense Gates has turned these people around his mind a few times. The track’s like starting in a cold sweat, proud and pensive in equal measure, and I’d love to hear Kendrick Lamar swim in these blackwater synths. Don’t want to take anything away from Gates, though, and the way he uses his stereophonic croak.

Katherine St Asaph: 4:30 a.m., as in “is this late-night or morning? Build or release? Who cares at this hour?”

Will Adams: The beat, an older cousin of “Swimming Pools,” sits nicely underneath Gates’ garbled flow. The inconsistency of his monologue — introspective on the verse, accusatory in the chorus — lets it down a bit. But when it’s heavy, it’s heavy, and like many early morning reflections, it’s gone in a flash.

Jonathan Bradley: The beat is liquid and abyssal, a cousin of T-Minus’s “Swimming Pools (Drank),” and impermeable as thought, as if “4:30 AM” were an immersion in the rapper’s consciousness. Nonetheless, the narrative spends much of its time outside of Gates’s head: inner turmoil told by outer chaos. “My life a movie,” he raps at one point, but unlike many rappers who claim the same, his words have the detail of an extreme close-up. “Where were you when I was slumped over,” he demands of a friend. “Gums hurting from a old bullet; in front of the toilet hunched over/Puking all of my insides.” The acrid description dissolves to an emotive showdown between Gates and compadre, which he relates in tense and anguished tones: “We wrestled for the gun, but the gun went off/He upped the pistol. Looked him dead in his eyes:/’I’ve been ready to die, so nigga do it.'” And then that tired, pre-dawn chorus, delivered in PSA form: “It’s five in the morning and your children are somewhere on the corner.”

Reader average: [7] (5 votes)

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4 Responses to “Kevin Gates – 4:30 AM”

  1. You missed 3AM by Kate Nash Iain!

    “4AM”>”3AM”>”4:30AM”>”5AM” surely.

  2. This sounds really good by the reviews. Can’t wait to listen to it later.

  3. James: 3:16am by Jhené Aiko too! That would have ruined the pattern as well, though.

  4. The ‘3AM’ that comes to my mind is Kleerup’s, which is lovely, though thinking again there’s the KLF too.

    3AM>3AM>3AM, I suppose.