Gates made history with this debut album ISLAH, which was released in January 2016 and cemented Kevin as one of the best-selling hip-hop artists of 2016, second only to Drake. The critically acclaimed debut album was certified platinum by the RIAA for sales in excess of 1 million – 2016’s only debut album to receive platinum certification within one year. One of the rare major hip-hop releases to contain no featured artists, ISLAH made an incredible chart debut, entering Billboard’s “Top Rap Albums” chart at #1 while also coming in at #2 on the Billboard 200. “ISLAH” received critical acclaim cementing its place as a milestone hip-hop release, named among 2016’s top 50 releases by both Billboard and Complex. “‘ISLAH’ is a sustained and triumphant outpouring,” declared Pitchfork in a “Best New Music” 8.5-out-of-10 rave review, “and Gates gives every good, bad, and ugly thing he has. It’s by far the best single release of his career.” The album earned Gates a nomination for Best Rap Album at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards.
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