“Been through a lot of pain in my life and I pray the lord take it all away…” – Kevin Gates, in his song Change Lanes

Rapping with this genuine gritty raw uncut emotion, Kevin Gates’ songs always have this amazing ability to speak directly to me.

A symphony for the broken.

His words reach deep down into my soul, hit every nerve on the way there, and leave me with an overwhelming need for introspection.

A mirror of sorts.

My life…

different words…

all the same.

Funny – to some – that a 40-something white guy who has never been in the streets, and can’t rap for shit, would feel that way.

Or maybe not.

I can’t rap, but I love it. I know nothing about the street life, but feel this strong connection to it.

What I do know is that pain, in all of its fucked up forms, has this infallible power to cripple, hinder, motivate, traumatize, or even inspire anyone it touches – anyone!

Unlike the human race, pain doesn’t discriminate. It cares nothing about age, race, gender, socioeconomic status, beliefs, or any other man-made bias this world can come up with. Like a psychotic sociopath, it gives no fucks and will fuck you around.

Because of this, I feel that Kevin and I have more in common than anyone could probably imagine.

He may disagree.

He may not.

Regardless, while I may not have gone through more, or even as much, pain as he has – or any random person, for that matter – I’ve had my fair share.

More than some.

Less than others.

That said, I wonder if Kevin would ever read this. If so, I want him to know that he has a fan in me. Not because you’re a superstar either Kevin – because of your realness and hate for anything fake. As well as the unapologetic openness and passion for what it is that you believe in and the message of ”fuck vulnerability or what anybody thinks – I’m me” that flows out of your songs.

Fearlessly exposing oneself to the world – every deep dark messy secret after secret – inviting everyone who has an opinion into your perfect imperfection is not for the faint of heart.

I respect anyone who has the courage to do it.

I’m drawn to it.

Exactly why I know we not only have a ton in common, but I feel we’d be the best of friends as well.

We may never meet.

Maybe we will.

Either way, we’ve both been there…hell.

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