Kevin “Khao” Cates (Founder of Bridge DA Gap)
Kevin “Khao” Cates is an entrepreneur, philanthropist and music producer. Khao, a native of Montgomery, Alabama, is also the same multi-platinum, Grammy nominated producer, who lives by the motto, “Don’t just be successful, be significant!”
With over 30 million combined records sold, Khao has revolutionized the sound of Hip-Hop music by producing sounds and melodies that cross various genres of music. He has also positioned himself as a major player in the music industry, while maintaining full control of his production and publishing. This is almost unheard of in the music industry. Khao has brought the world mega hits such as T.I.’s “Why You Wanna” and R. Kelly’s “Double Up.” Additionally, Khao has produced for several major recording artists. Some of the artists include: T.I., Reuben Studdard, Lil’ Kim, Pharell Williams, Young Jeezy, Snoop Dogg, Clipse, Ludacris, Young Dro, Chingy, Yung Joc, Goapele, Paul Wall, and Trick Daddy. In 2009 Khao produced records on the Rick Ross album “Deeper Than Rap” and in 2010 he produced records on Ludacris’ “Battle of the Sexes” album. Both albums debuted at #1.
Khao is the executive producer and music producer of “Video Girl,” starring Meagan Good, Lisa Raye, and a host of others. He was the partner and music producer of “You, Me and the Circus” (an Omar Epps film starring Columbus Short and Marlon Wayons, directed by Ty Hodges). Khao has also produced music as part of a youth financial literacy curriculum, Money Matters, on behalf of the Charles Schwab Foundation. Along with production, entrepreneurship, and scoring films, Khao is an A&R (Artist & Repertoire) at Sony Records, responsible for scouting new talent and artist development.
Some of Khao’s music industry accomplishments and awards include: 2006-2007 and 2008-2009 nominations – Producer of the Year (Dead Serious Awards); Lead Producer – “King” Album for T.I. – known as the best selling album in 15 years for Atlantic Records-debuted at #1 with 522,000 copies, 2006 best selling album and 1st to go platinum that year; and 2006 BET Hip Hop Awards – CD of the Year; 2006 Billboard Awards – Rap Album of the Year; 2006 Ozone Awards – Best Rap Album; 2006 Blast Award – #1 Foreign Hip-Hop Album; 2006 Nomination Favorite Rap Album –American Music Awards; 2006 Nomination Best Rap Album – The Grammy’s; 2007 ASCAP Rhythm and Soul Music Awards – Best Rap Song and R&;B/Hip Hop Song for T.I.’s “Why You Wanna”; Certified Gold – Single Sales by RIAA; Charted on the Australian, Ireland, Tokyo, UK, Switzerland, South African (#1) and U.S. Billboard charts (#4); 2006 Blast Awards – #16 Foreign Hip Hop Single/ Song.
Khao’s accomplishments and endeavors span beyond the music industry. In 2008 Khao took time off from music to create Bridge DA Gap. Bridge DA Gap is a 501c3 non-profit organization that combines hip hop music, education and mentoring to reach students and teach life skills applicable in today’s socially challenged environment. Bridge DA Gap has been implemented in schools across the United States as well as in the Bahamas.
When approached by educators to use the music-driven concepts of Bridge DA Gap to increase test scores, Khao developed KOOLRICULUM. KOOLRICULUM is an innovative, technology-driven, curricular approach that teaches youth in grades K through 12 core academic competencies in English, math, science, and social studies. All songs are aligned with the standards. There is also a Pre-K component.
Khao was recently honored as an Atlanta Tribune’s Hall of Fame inductee, which recognizes the most distinguished careers and lifetime achievements of individuals in Georgia.
In 2010, Megan Good, a successful film and television actress,asked Khao to produce the music for her independent film project. While working on her project, Good was introduced to Bridge DA Gap and Khao’s vision to save our youth. After witnessing firsthand Khao’s passion and tenacity, Good became inspired to help Khao make a difference.
Good quickly became involved; first by becoming a spokesperson for Bridge DA Gap and then by teaching the DVD component of the curriculum with Khao. Today Good is a Bridge DA Gap board member.
Already in select schools and programs throughout the US, the Bridge DA Gap/Good partnership continues to expand as she spreads the word through nationally syndicated media. While most media tend to focus on the problems with our youth, Good resonates that “the solution is here.”