Kevin Jerome Gilyard, better known by his stage name, Kevin Gates, is an American rapper, singer, and entrepreneur. His debut album with his daughter’s name, Islah, was released in 2016 and peaked at no 2 on the US Billboard 200. He has also released several Mixtapes and is the co-owner of the Bread Winner’s Association record label along with his wife. Gates has a lot of tattoos on his body that tell his story. There are a few tattoos on his throat and the sides of his neck that cannot be seen properly and remain a mystery. Let us look at the ones he has and the meanings behind them.
1. ‘Cross and Tears’ Tattoo
Contents (Click to Jump)
Tattoo: The rapper’s forehead, right in the middle of his eyebrows, contains a tattoo of a cross. There are also two teardrops tattooed next to his left eye.
Meaning: People might think the tattoo represents his religious views, but the tattoo is a soldier’s symbol as revealed by Kevin in an interview. The teardrops are a symbol of being forever in sorrow and have a deep meaning for Kevin too.
2. ‘Star’ Tattoo
Tattoo: The right side of his face, next to his eye, contains a tattoo of a minor star along with a crescent moon on it.
Meaning: The crescent moon along with the star is the symbol of Allah. According to the singer, this tattoo represents a human body that is spread out with the head, arm, and legs.
3. ‘Eagle’ Tattoo
Tattoo: The backside of his neck contains a tattoo of the American Bald eagle on it.
Meaning: Gates got this tattoo as a tribute to his American culture and homeland.
4. ‘Welcome’ Tattoo
Tattoo: The word, “WELCOME” is tattooed on the upper back of the rapper.
Meaning: The tattoo goes with the symbol tattooed below it, as you will soon find out.
5. ‘Symbol’ Tattoo
Tattoo: A symbol is tattooed right in the middle of Kevin’s back.
Meaning: The symbol is not a symbol but is regarded as such and is the Arabic for word, “Allah” which means God. The tattoo represents the religious views of the rapper. The welcome tattoo also goes with this one as it is an invitation to invite God into your life.
6. ‘Name’ Tattoo
Tattoo: There is a name tattooed on his upper back, just below the tattoo of the eagle on his neck. The name is, “Islah Koren Gates”
Meaning: Kevin got the name of his daughter tattooed on his body to show his love for her.
Chest, shoulder, and Stomach Tattoos
7. ‘Number and Clef’ Tattoo
Tattoo: The number, “1992” is tattooed across the upper part of the rapper’s chest. There is also the symbol of the treble clef tattooed right in the middle of his chest, in between the number.
Meaning: The treble clef is a musical note that represents Gates’ love for music and his career.
8. ‘Elvis’ Tattoo
Tattoo: The left side of his Kevin’s chest contains a tattoo of the face of Elvis Presley.
Meaning: Kevin started listening to Elvis and liked him very much. This led to him getting a tattoo of his face right on his chest.
9. ‘Eye’ Tattoo
Tattoo: Kevin has got a tattoo of an eye on each of his shoulders.
10. ‘Street Fighter’ Tattoos
Tattoo: There are five characters from the popular game, Street Fighter, tattooed right across Kevin’s chest. The one in the middle of his chest is “Dhalsim”, with the skull necklace. To his right is “Ryu” and to his left is “Sagat”.
Meaning: Kevin was a huge fan of the game in his childhood which lead him to get the tattoos of his favorite characters on his body.
11. ‘BWA’ Tattoo
Tattoo: Below his chest are the letters, “BWA” tattooed on his body.
Meaning: The letters, “BWA” represents the name of his and his wife’s record label, Bread Winner’s Association.
12. ‘House’ Tattoo
Tattoo: The front of Kevin’s stomach is covered in a large tattoo of a house. The house is surrounded by trees and a lamppost to its right.
Meaning: This is the house that Kevin grew up in. The house holds a special meaning for him in his life, which is why he wanted to get it tattooed on his body. The house can still be found in South Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
13. ‘Inshallah’ Tattoo
Tattoo: The word, “Inshallah” is tattooed on his waistline, just below the tattoo of the house on his stomach.
Meaning: This tattoo also represents his religious views.
14. ‘Faces’ Tattoo
Tattoo: The left side of his stomach and body contains a tattoo of three faces on it. The faces are of the same person.
Meaning: The tattoos are of the fictional character of Luca Brasi from “The Godfather” movie. Kevin got the tattoo on his body as Luca Brasi is his nickname. He has also released a mixtape with Luca Brasi’s name as the title.
15. ‘Face’ Tattoo
Tattoo: The right side of the rapper’s body contains a tattoo of a portrait of someone’s face on it.
Meaning: The tattoo of the portrait on his side is a tribute tattoo of his face, for his good friend, OG Boobie Black.
16. ‘Portrait’ Tattoo
Tattoo: The side of his body contains a portrait of a boy tattooed on it.
17. ‘Youngboy’ Tattoo
Tattoo: The side of his body, besides the portrait tattoo, contains a portrait of NBA Youngboy on it, holding guns in his hands.
Meaning: NBA Youngboy is one of Kevin Gates’ friends. But he got this tattoo of him because he felt close to the boy. Kevin revealed that he sees a younger version of himself in the kid and wants to look out for him so he does not make the mistakes he did.
18. ‘Moon and Portrait’ Tattoo
Tattoo: The backside of his left shoulder contains a tattoo of a crescent moon along with the star. The left side of his back contains a tattoo of a portrait of a man’s face on it.
Meaning: The tattoo of the crescent moon along with the star is the symbol of Islam and represents the religious views of the rapper. The portrait on Kevin’s back is of Hoolio Gates.
Right Arm Tattoos
19. ‘Tree and Pot Plants’ Tattoo
Tattoo: There is a tattoo of a tree on Kevin’s right shoulder and spaces left in between in the shape of pot plants.
Meaning: The tattoo goes with the tattoo on his right bicep, as you will soon find out.
20. ‘Elephant’ Tattoo
Tattoo: There is a tattoo of the face of an elephant on his right upper arm.
21. ‘Bob Marley’ Tattoo
Tattoo: The right bicep of the rapper contains a tattoo of the portrait of Bob Marley.
Meaning: Marley has been one of Kevin’s idols since childhood which is why he got the tattoo on his body along with the pot plants that cover his right shoulder.
22. Face Tattoo
Tattoo: The backside of his right upper arm contains a tattoo of a man’s face on it.
Meaning: Kevin got this tattoo of a portrait of Malcolm X on his body as a tribute to one of his favorite actors.
23. ‘Writing’ Tattoo
Tattoo: The inner side of the rapper’s right forearm contains a tattoo of a scroll on it that has some words written inside it. A long line of flames separates the tattoo of the scroll from the tattoo on the outer side of his forearm.
24. ‘Gates’ Tattoo
Tattoo: The outer side of Kevin’s right forearm contains a tattoo of the name, “GATES” tattooed on it vertically in large red letters on a brick wall to give the effect of graffiti.
Meaning: Gates got his stage name tattooed on his arm to showcase it as it is his family name now. Kevin’s real name is Kevin Jerome Gilyard.
Left Arm Tattoos
25. ‘Man and lamb’ Tattoo
Tattoo: The left shoulder of the rapper contains a tattoo of a man, holding a stick and carrying a lamb in his left arm. The background of the tattoo comprises stars that cover the rest of Kevin’s left shoulder and upper arm.
Meaning: Kevin got this tattoo of Jesus Christ holding a lamb in his arm that represents innocence and love.
26. ‘Portrait’ Tattoo
Tattoo: Kevin’s left bicep contains another tattoo of a portrait of the face of a man on it.
27. ‘Lady and the Tramp’ Tattoo
Tattoo: The upper left arm of the rapper, just above his elbow, contains a tattoo of the two dogs from the famous movie, “The Lady and the Tramp” on it.
Meaning: The tattoo is from one of his favorite childhood Disney movies but has a deeper meaning as it represents himself and his wife, Dreka, whom he adores very much.
28. ‘Spiderweb’ Tattoo
Tattoo: Kevin’s left elbow contains a tattoo of a large spiderweb on it.
Meaning: The spiderweb tattoo on his elbow represents the time that he spent in prison and shows the idea of how he was trapped in the system.
29. ‘Laden’ Tattoo
Tattoo: The backside of his left upper arm contains a tattoo of the face of Osama Bin Laden on it.
30. ‘Sumo’ Tattoo
Tattoo: The left arm of the rapper also contains a tattoo of a cartoon sumo wrestler on it.
31. ‘Flowers and Portrait’ Tattoo
Tattoo: Kevin’s upper left forearm contains a tattoo of flowers on it. There is also a tattoo of a portrait of a young boy’s face on the inner side of his left forearm.
32. ‘Alphabets’ Tattoo
Tattoo: The side of his left forearm contains a tattoo of the alphabet, “CTC” tattooed on it. The letters are in red and done on a brick wall pattern just like the name, “GATES” on his other forearm.
Meaning: The letters, “CTC” stands for, “Cut the Check”.
33. ‘Name’ Tattoo
Tattoo: The upper side of his left wrist contains a name tattooed on it. The name is, “SHADREKA”. There is also a musical note tattooed on the side of his wrist.
Meaning: The tattoo on his arms says SHADREKA, which is his wife’s real name, and Dreka is just a nickname.
34. Guns and Letters Tattoo
Tattoo: The upper side of both his hands contains a tattoo of a gun on it. The sides of both his thumbs contain the letters, “IDGT” tattooed on them.
Meaning: The letter, “IDGT” represents the name of one of his songs titled, “I Don’t Get Tired”
35. ‘Nuk’ Tattoo
Tattoo: The left ear of the rapper contains a tattoo with the name, “NUK” tattooed inside it.
Meaning: The name “NUK” is the name of his cousin. Kevin got the tattoo to show his love for his cousin was always with him. They both are not on good terms right now and Nuk is always accusing Kevin and the videos can be found on the web.