Kevin Gates rose to fame with the release of his chart-topping debut studio album Islah in 2016. The record peaked at the number two spot on the Billboard 200, launching Gates' professional career and earning him a place among the best-selling hip-hop artists of 2016, second only to Drake. Islah was certified platinum by the RIAA and became the only album to receive platinum certification within one year. Prior to the release of Islah, Gates gained popularity and a loyal fanbase dropping several singles and mixtapes over the years, including Stranger Than Fiction, By Any Means, and Luca Brasi 2. His most successful mixtape, Murder for Hire 2, sold 20,000 copies within its first week. In 2017, he surprised fans around the world with the release of By Any Means 2 while still imprisoned in Illinois. The mixtape debuted at the number four spot on the Billboard 200.