Next Up: Al-Doe

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Al-Doe is the epitome of New York but not the “New York rapper.” The 29-year-old Bronx native’s early roots in the entertainment biz came far from the hallways of Big Apple project houses and high school lunch tables. Instead, his story began through a visual medium.

You see Al is Puerto Rican. It’s something that has been both a help and a hinder for him. He got a lot of his initial exposure as an actor during his childhood. Being featured in both soap operas and primetime TV programming, Al-Doe got a taste of the big time before he was even a teenager. It wouldn’t be until much later that he would even pick up a mic and rap.

“I feel like being Hispanic or Puerto Rican in the music industry, I think I have a lot of advantages. I grew up as an actor. From the time I was like 5-12 years old I was in soap operas. I did As The World Turns, I was on Law and Order.”

Hip-hop wouldn’t come along until Al hit 18. By then his acting career was well over (for now) and it was then he decided to pick up a mic. It was also at this point when he believed his ethnicity hurt him to some extent.

“I had a conversation one time with Fat Joe. I was in Miami one day and he called me. I never met him ever before–this was like a year and a half ago–and he told me that, ‘It’s harder for you [as a Latino]…’ I don’t feel like I get enough credit sometimes because I am Hispanic and rap is a dominantly black sport.” He acknowledges that being Hispanic makes him standout regardless and that no matter your nationality, especially in New York City, everyone’s the same deep inside.

“I’m from the same block as you. I went to the same school as you. Your sister’s my homegirl. My mother had to borrow milk from the neighbors just like your mother had to borrow sugar from her neighbors. We’re all the same.”

The RFC member is currently working on his forthcoming solo studio album, which he says is slated for an April release. It’s his next best opportunity to show the hip-hop world what he’s made of and let people know he’s a rapper from New York with plans for something much bigger.

“I never grew up wanting to be a rapper so I always looked at myself as something way bigger than movies and music. [I want to be] a household name… I’ve got a long way to go but I feel like I’m in a perfect space right now.”

– Paul Meara (@PaulMeara)

Preeminent Visual:

Latest Release:

Banner photo via Al-Doe’s Instagram

Related: Video: Smoke DZA, Al-Doe & NYMLo – R.I.D.G.A.F. | Al-Doe & Smoke DZA – Truffle Butter

Previously: Next Up: AstroNext Up: Dave East | Next Up: Cozz | Next Up: DeJ Loaf | Interview: John Buccigross is ESPN’s Biggest Hip-Hop Nerd | Next Up: Rome Fortune

View all Next Up features HERE.

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