Rising rapper Al-Doms makes music that is as raw and attention grabbing as the blood-splattered cover of his latest EP, New Dream. A vivid storyteller who builds worlds with each song and visual, Al-Doms doesn’t pull any punches as he does what it takes to break out from his city.

“Growing up in Virginia, and specifically Norfolk, gave me a sense of pride and a chip on my shoulder that drives me,” Al-Doms tells us. “A lot of folks like me ain’t have much growing up so we had to get outside and learn how to get to it. Especially if you don’t see yourself falling in the same trap most do, whether it’s a monotonous day job or getting caught in street shit. We don’t have resources at our disposal or none of those big name offices you might find in NYC, LA, or ATL so it forces you to get out and make shit shake. I feel like my city instilled a certain mentality in me how I go about creating. Even lookin at how much Virginia contributed to hip-hop and us not necessarily getting the flowers I KNOW we deserve.”

He’s making sure his music and his city stays impossible to ignore, but this is just one step on the journey and certainly not the final destination. “New Dream to me is the perfect stepping stone up a steep mountain. I love the project ‘cause I got to give the world a small but clear glimpse of what it’s like where I’m from through my perspective in an entertaining way. And express where I was mentally when I wrote it. What I would want my listeners to take from it is the same kind of inspiration and perspective that my favorite artists gave to me.”

New Dream is out now and the future is bright for Al-Doms.—Alex Gardner

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