In honor of Black History Month, each day here at The Source we’ll be chronicling many of the best moments pertaining to Hip Hop that occurred during the meaningful month of February – celebrating the birthdays of now-legendary MCs; highlighting the most impactful album and single releases; even reminiscing on the most obscure, yet culturally-significant footnotes in the genre’s nearly four-decade-spanning history.

Today’s passage takes us back 30 years ago to February 5, 1986, when Kevin Gates was born Kevin Jerome Gilyard in New Orleans, Louisiana, prior to relocating to Baton Rouge. With a whopping 14 mixtapes and several nationwide tours to his name, Gates has since gone on to take the industry by storm after developing a passionate, dedicated following of fans who connect personally to the honesty and emotive expression found in his music.

With his latest two singles, “2 Phones” and “Really Really,” currently both residing on the Billboard Hot 100 chart – peaking last week at No. 62 and No. 76 respectively – Gates’ debut album, Islah, is projected to make an impressive top 10 debut with 75,000-80,000 copies sold (80,000-85,000 with streams included) in its first week. All the more cause for celebration!