Al-Doms is a Brooklyn-based rapper originally from Norfolk, Virginia. For all the natural talent that Al-Doms possesses, what’s even more impressive is his uncompromising desire to maximize every bit of potential that lives within him. Already revered as a “hometown hero” to many from his childhood neighborhood, he’s often considered to be the best rapper out of Virginia since Pusha T. As if the billboards of Al-Doms around Norfolk aren’t a testament to his trajectory, Pusha T himself took notice and hopped on one of Al-Doms’ records.
To date, Al-Doms has released three official projects, a handful of singles and freestyles, and a bunch of stunning visuals. He has amassed millions of streams and counting. Still early in his career, Al-Doms doesn’t take his success for granted – but he won’t be satisfied until his impact on Hip Hop is spanning generations. “They just want the fame, I want the legacy that comes with it,” raps Al-Doms on his 2016 single ‘Legal Trappin.’”
Epicenter sat down with the confident and thoughtful MC to discuss the power of Hip Hop, his favorite rappers, and more.
This interview has been slightly edited for clarity and conciseness.
What was your introduction to Hip Hop?
I was pretty much born in it. My big sisters were and still are huge Jay-Z, Pac and No Limit fans. Those are my earliest memories, so I kinda was just automatically influenced by and in love with rap.
Can you speak to the moment you fell in love with Hip Hop?
Like I just shared a moment ago, I can’t necessarily tell you when. I feel like I was born in love with rap music — music period. When I think back, there’s never been a moment in my life where I didn’t love it.
When you hear the term “Hip Hop,” what does that mean to you?
Culture of the people, by the people. Freedom to “be.” Whoever you wanna be and whoever you envision yourself to be.
As Hip Hop approaches 50, what do you think about how far it’s come, and where would you like to see it go?
It shows the power of Hip Hop – to only be 50 and have the impact that it has while going through so much controversy. Triumphed from being chalked up as nothing more than a fad in its early years, it’s kind of wild when you think about it now. Hip Hop is the umbrella for rap, dance, art and so much more – just look at how it changed the world! I love it, man. I really hope that it continues on the same path, being a trailblazer and provider for so many people in this world.
What are your top five favorite Hip Hop albums of all time?
These answers always change so don’t hold me to this fully. It’s like there are too many albums at this point for just five — or even 10. So imma just break the rules: In no order… “The Blueprint” by Jay-Z, “Aquemini” by Outkast, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” by Lauryn Hill, “It’s Dark and Hell is Hot” by DMX, “Lord Willin’” by Clipse, “good kid, m.A.A.d city” by Kendrick Lamar, “Born Sinner” by J.Cole, “Life After Death” by Biggie, “Tha Carter III” by Lil Wayne, “Tha Carter II” by Lil Wayne, “Daytona” by Pusha T. These are just some of the albums that come to mind.
Who are your top five favorite Hip Hop artists of all time?
Imma say — HOV, Lil Wayne, Kendrick Lamar, DMX… and the 5th changes all the time, but I’ll say Outkast.
Al-Doms recently released a single, “Take No Loss,” the first offering from his upcoming project that he says is expected to come out sometime in the fall. In the meantime, he’s still pushing his 2022 project, “Prescribed Overdose.”