Tardy EP Review | Al-Doe & Spanish Ran – Doña Blanca

This extended play was released on July 4th this year. I first became familiar with Al-Doe in December of 2014 when I started this blog. The second review I ever wrote was for a mixtape called The Outsiders by a group named R.F.C., which was led by Smoke DZA. I didn’t really care for the project, but there was one member of R.F.C. who really stood out to me, and his name was Al-Doe. Well, he wasn’t the only member that stood out. NYM Lo was pretty cool too. Al-Doe stood out the most though. He was recently featured on Nems’ Gorilla Monsoon album, which influenced me to search for more of his music. I obviously haven’t been keeping up with his music, but it seems like he’s been pretty active. He released projects in 2017 & 2018. Since I’ve never actually listened to a project from him I figured I’d start slow with this little EP, which conveniently came out fairly recently. It’s just three songs produced by a musician named Spanish Ran, who I wasn’t familiar with before listening to this. They actually released a sequel to this project in September, which I’ll hopefully write about in the future. Anyway, I thankfully ended up thinking this EP was really great. First of all, I gotta shoutout Spanish Ran because these beats are fucking awesome. They’re so good. I love all three of ’em, which is good since there’s not a lot of room for error. The first song, Dyckman with Britney, has a really awesome sample driven beat. It almost kinda sounds like some 9th Wonder type shit, except grittier. I guess it’s more like a DirtyDiggs beat. There’s minimal percussion, but the actual sample sounds great. The way Al-Doe flows and pronounces his words actually reminds me a lot of Dave East. I guess it makes sense that they like working with each other. I don’t wanna come off like I’m saying he sounds too similar to Dave East. That’s not the case. They’re voices are really different. You can just tell they’re from the same place. Maybe not the same exact hood, but they’re both New York dudes. Al-Doe’s actual vocal tone and delivery is very different from that of Dave East though. I love how angry and aggressive he always sounds. Dave tends to sound more laid back. Lyrically, the first song is just straightforward coke rap. It’s not super original stuff. It’s really well done though. The actual bars aren’t super amazing, but he has some nice lines here and there.

Another hommy; my pen kills
They dead still, even summertime I send chills
Separating blow and the pies
How many times I gotta show ’em it could snow in July, my nigga?

The song itself is dope af to me. I also like this couplet a lot…

Niggas soundin’ soft; here to change that
Heard they robbed him; tell him call me, I’ll get his chain back

He’s the kinda dude that would sound great alongside other street NY dudes. I already mentioned Dave East who he works with a lot, but I think a Benny the Butcher collab would also be great. Maybe they’ve already worked together. I haven’t actually searched for it. I haven’t done extensive research on Al-Doe’s catalogue. They should definitely link up if they haven’t yet though. Anyway, the second song, W.W.J.D., is another dope track. I don’t love it as much as the preceding song, but I still enjoyed it quite a bit. Again, the production is fucking awesome. Spanish Ran is dope as hell. I love how gritty the beat sounds. The title and theme of this song are really cool to me too.

What would Jesus do with a brick in his face?

The actual rapping from Al-Doe didn’t really blow me away lyrically, but his delivery sounded awesome. Again, I love how aggressive he sounds. This couplet in the first verse stood out to me, but uh… I don’t really know if I like it or not.

Young bitch caught her period, said her friend’s home
I’m Peyton Manning in that red zone

Obviously the actual content of what he’s saying isn’t really something that I… I mean… It’s just kind of… Disturbing, I guess? I don’t know if that’s the right word to use. I think the actual way he put those lines together was clever though. Well… Maybe “clever” isn’t the right word to use either lol. I’ll just say it’s original. The song itself is dope to me. As I said before, the lyrics don’t really impress me that much, but Al-Doe’s delivery along with the production are what make the song stand out to me. I fuck with it. The third song is probably my favorite track on the EP though. Just like with the two preceding songs, the production is top notch. I love it. It’s actually my favorite beat on the project. Once again, Al-Doe’s aggressive delivery sounds fantastic over the gritty production. I also think the rapping is more impressive on this song than it was on the preceding track.

Never gave a fuck about an image, nigga
Don’t gotta post it, I’m rarely posted; I live it, nigga
I turned a snowflake to a avalanche
Dreams of that beamer and that caravan

His writing clearly isn’t very complexed, but it’s just really straightforward, grimy, hard ass coke talk. He actually gave himself the title of “The Pope of the Coke Talk,” which is dope as hell honestly. He just comes off hard as shit. He’s the kinda rapper that can make simple shit sound gritty as fuck. I love it. The song is fantastic. 😀

This EP is exceptional. As I kinda summed up towards the end of the main portion of this review, I don’t think Al-Doe is some sort of top-tier lyrical mastermind. He’s just a grimy street dude who can make the simplest shit sound hard as fuck. His aggressive delivery always sounds great, and he’s always convincing when talking about moving coke. I have no doubt in my mind that he has indeed sold crack in the past. He doesn’t seem like a fraud at all. He’s not 6ix9ine. The grittiness of his music definitely seems authentic. I’m a middle class backpacker though, so maybe I’m not the best at judging who is and isn’t “real.” Either way, I think he’s dope as hell, and I definitely have to keep paying attention to his work because I’d like to hear a full album from him in the future. I’m looking forward to checking out the sequel to this project, which dropped in September. I also can’t forget Spanish Ran, who made some legitimately phenomenal beats for this project. I love these instrumentals. It’s exactly the sound you want for this kind of lyrical content. It’s dusty, rugged, grimy, rough production. It sounds like white powder in the form of music. I think this’d be even better if there were more standout lines from Al-Doe, but overall this thing is great. Check it out.

Favorite Song: Summer Snow
Least Favorite Song: W.W.J.D.


Grade: A-

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