Concert preview: Kevin Gates

Andy Downing, Columbus Alive
Kevin Gates

Erratic Baton Rouge rapper Kevin Gates had a forgettable 2015. The year started with Gates taking to Instagram to share news the woman he had been sleeping with for three months was, in fact, his cousin, and that he had no plans to stop. A month later he posted another series of videos to the social networking site alleging he had kicked another woman out of his house for refusing to give his dog fellatio, which, I mean, are there really any words? Then in late August the MC was charged with simple battery after kicking a female concertgoer during a show in Florida.

Gates addressed the latter incident directly on "The Truth," alleging the fan had groped him and ignored multiple warnings to cease and desist. Later in the same song, he compares his plight to that of Louis Farrakhan, griping that he's beset on all sides by faceless enemies and vultures eager to pick at his carcass, completing his transformation from assailant to victim, in his mind at least.

With the year winding down, the MC finally returned his focus to music, releasing a pair of singles from his next full-length, Islah, which is expected out early in 2016. On the first, "Really Really," an unapologetic Gates appears to wrestle with the fallout from his bizarre behavior ("They ask me if I'm real"; "They ask me if I'm high"; "They ask me if I'm lying"), while the second "2 Phones," avoided any mention of past controversy and instead featured the rapper balancing his two favored trades: dames and drugs.

Xclusive Elite Entertainment Center

9 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 31

1921 Channingway Center Dr., East Side