EP Review | Dope KNife – Am I Alive?

This EP was released on April 2nd this year. Dope KNife released one of my favorite extended plays of 2020 with Breakbeats n’ Vandalism, so I was pretty excited when I saw that he was putting this one out. I wasn’t super familiar with the artist who produced this entire EP, Paul Abdul, but I did notice that he was credited as a producer on the aforementioned Breakbeats n’ Vandalism EP, so that was a good sign. With that said, I pretty much went into this project with no expectations.

The project begins with a highlight entitled Usayd. I really love how chill and breezy this sample-based production is. It reminds me of something that Joey Bada$$ would’ve rhymed over back in the early to mid 2010s. The song is really short, so there’s only time for Dope KNife to spit one verse, but he killed it.

Bitch please, I’m a real African American mixed breed
Motherfuckers gotta be aware of my technique
I rhyme on accident when I just speak
So in the booth I don’t have to spit, I can just breathe

I don’t mind the brevity at all since what’s here is so well done. This shit is dope as hell. The following track is entitled Astoria. The beat on this one is a lot more laidback and jazzy than that of the preceding track. I like how kind of somber it sounds. Dope KNife’s melodic hook sounds surprisingly great; I think it went over really well. I appreciate the more personal content about his family and mental state. I also like how this song is a completely different tempo from the opening track. This is a really dope song. I fuck with it. The penultimate track was a single that I’ve already written about entitled Inereyes.

This is either the second or third single that Dope KNife has released this year. Everything he’s been dropping lately has been really dope, so it has me wondering if he’s getting ready to release another project. This latest track has a really nice, traditional sounding boom bap instrumental from Paul Abdul, and Dope KNife of course rocked it as always.

They givin' us flack for all the shit we doin' in these city streets though
I'm bare ass, it's confusing all these pretty people
A square path's an illusion I consider lethal
I would rather die than end up snoozing in your shitty steeple
And that's the shit that's gonna warn my motive
So while y'all look like food, we'd be a swarm of locusts

The vocal sample that Paul Abdul flipped here is actually really pretty. I liked that line that Dope KNife had about attacking a nazi with a brick. That was hard. The song’s really dope. It’s got a pretty straightforward structure, so if you’re just in the mood to hear some tight rhymes over a soulful instrumental, this is for you. Check it out.

The final song on the project is called Doyathng. This song has another pretty nice, laidback instrumental. It’s a cool beat, but definitely not really a highlight for me. This is technically the longest track on the album, but it’s still just under 2 and a half minutes in length. The song’s got a really straightforward structure; Dope KNife is just rapping the whole time with no hook. The verse itself is really nice. I love how his delivery got a bit more energetic after about 55 seconds.

I’m the lord’s grace, even let my boy spray the drum
Right in your face, I’m jokin’ dog; I don’t play with guns
It’s the KNife, so I would rather stab you in your neck and chest
Then console your widow while she’s still all in her wedding dress

The verse is really dope. Nothing else about the song really stands out enough to push this track to the next level, but I still enjoy it for what it is. I think it’s a good track.

This EP is great. I don’t think it’s Dope KNife’s best work, but I’m definitely satisfied with it. There’s not much to chew on here since the whole project is under 10 minutes in length, but what is here is very well done. I don’t even really have any consistent gripes with the project as a whole. I’m just ready for another album at this point. This is nowhere near as ambitious as Dope KNife’s 2019 album; it’s just a collection of four good songs that happen to be produced by Paul Abdul. Speaking of Paul, I was pretty satisfied with the production. All of the beats here were nice. So yeah. This shit is dope. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Favorite Song: Usayd
Least Favorite Song: Doyathng


Grade: B+

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