On January 22, Hoodie Allen dropped a free album titled “Happy Camper”. Some of you might ask:
Who is Hoodie Allen?
and I am here to tell you now: Jump on the Hoodie Allen hype train.
Hoodie, or Steven Markowitz, is a Long Island native who had a dream. After graduating from UPenn and working at Google, he realized that hip-hop was his real passion. Using his marketing skills and social media, Hoodie built himself a fanbase that has grown since 2011,
it keeps growing,
and it will continue to expand with this release, which fans can either buy on iTunes (for only $5) or download for free, allong with a promo tour with collab artists Blackbear and Kyle.
This album drop quickly ascended the charts, competing with Justin Bieber and only falling below Adele in the iTunes Top 10.
Just me and my friend Adele pic.twitter.com/AyMt4knyJm
— Hoodie Allen (@HoodieAllen) January 22, 2016
bieber: sorry i am #2 now me: what do you mean bieber: on itunes where are u now me: i am #3 who is #1 adele: hello pic.twitter.com/HjcATRImD6
— Hoodie Allen (@HoodieAllen) January 23, 2016
So how has a businessman turned rapper found so much success? Listen to his album, and you’ll figure it out easily. “Happy Camper” is a relatable, intimate mixtape that illustrates the story of Hoodie’s struggles with finding success and dealing with heartbreak. Fans who have known him since his beginnings can recognize the same style and creativity that he has had from the beginning, but realize that he has evolved and refined his craft. As an avid listener, rather than discussing the whole album (I’ll let you explore it on your own), I’ll introduce you to my favorite Hoodie tracks that are available on Spotify:
from All American (2012)
It’s hard to mention Hoodie Allen without the song “No Interruption”, Hoodie’s most streamed song on Spotify with over 32 million listens and 25 million views on Youtube. An incredibly catchy hook with playful rhymes create the track that a lot of Hoodie’s fans first discovered him from.
A slower track, titled “No Faith in Brooklyn” featuring Jhameel, deals with Hoodie’s struggle to leave New York in order to pursue his career.
from Crew Cuts (2013)
Hoodie’s song “Cake Boy” features a heavier bassline than his other tracks. He deals with his haters and alludes to the women that he can pull as a result of his success.
“Casanova” unites Skizzy Mars, G-Eazy and Hoodie Allen on one track, using a sample of “Heaven” by Emeli Sandé. The three reflect upon the fact that people still love each other after they’ve hurt by or been hurt by the other.
*If you liked these two albums, check out the acoustic EP Americoustic.
from People Keep Talking (2014)
People Keep Talking features collaborations from Max Schneider, Ed Sheeran and Alex Wiley.
The Ed Sheeran collab track, “All About It” is a cleverly worded, playful track with electro beats and piano on the hook. Hoodie proudly declares, “I got soul and I won’t quit” and, with songs like this, fans hope he doesn’t.
Alex Wiley contributes his talents on “Sirens“. Both rappers come together to create another catchy track with sick flows (a track that is fire and would definitely make the sirens go off.. ha).
from Happy Camper (2016)
Happy Camper, as said previously, is definitely Hoodie’s best work.
I’m not going to pick my favorite tracks (partially because I’m still struggling to do so) but, instead, let you figure that out for yourself. Looking for a place to start? I’d listen to the album straight through, but you don’t have to. Listen closely to the lyrics and hear Hoodie name drop his ex in “King to Me”, bump “Surprise Party” or vibe to “Champagne and Pools”.