[SOUTH IN YOUR MOUTH] When first listening to a record by Louisiana rapper Kevin Gates, it’s pretty easy to pinpoint what makes him one of the most exciting young talents in hip-hop: the voice. His booming, Southern-accented baritone alternates between a growl and a bark, depending on his mood. On his most recent mixtape, By Any Means, Gates is mainly going for aggression. The record is packed with heavy trap anthems and chest-puffing bravado. On “Keep Fucking With Me,” he goes into extreme detail about what would happen if you got on his bad side, and it legitimately sounds like you don’t want to be there. But it’s in the moments when things slow down a bit that Gates really shows off his talents, such as on the introspective “Movie,” where he uses his gravelly drawl to harmonize with the beat and croak out some heart-piercing notes. It’s a reminder that, despite his menacing presence on the mic, this music thing is coming straight from his heart. I was reminded of that personally when I met him last year. After talking for a bit, Gates—a large, heavily tattooed figure—didn’t just shake my hand, he hugged me. That’s when I realized he’s more than just a voice.
SEE IT: Peter’s Room, 8 NW 6th Ave., 971-230-0033. 8 pm Saturday, Aug. 2. $16. All ages.