BY ANY MEANS 1 vs. 2 (Kevin Gates)

Rapper Kevin Gates’s two By Any Means albums oscillate between being reminiscent of old school T-Pain and DMX.

The original skews more towards the former, while the recently-released sequel veers in the direction of the latter; which you find superior will depend almost entirely on your subjective taste in music. Since I grew up freak dancing in middle school to T-Pain, the first entry in this now-burgeoning series warmed my cockles a bit more, but the second still contains enough of T-Pain’s style of iconic hooks to make the listening experience thoroughly enjoyable.

Even though I’m not a fan of Gates’ brand of auto-tuned crooning, even the DMX-esque tracks pack a sufficiently energetic punch to appease this naysayer.

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