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hoodie allen

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Listen: Hoodie Allen – Crew Cuts

Before he embarks on a 28 city tour, the always-hard-working Hoodie Allen first made sure to drop his new 11-track album Crew Cuts. I say this every time Hoodie releases a new project, but it’s clear that he’s been working hard on polishing his sound, diversifying his style (even adding some doo-whop influences in), and improving on his craft. This time around, the former Googler lines up quite a few of his big-name friends (Chiddy Bang, Chance The Rapper, G-Eazy, Skizzy Mars) to rap all over his melodic, laid-back beats. Oh, and it’s free, so be sure to download the MP3s or stream on Soundcloud below.

DOWNLOAD: Hoodie Allen – Crew Cuts

Stream: Hoodie Allen – All American EP

Spring break came and went, and now I suppose I’m a little bit behind on a bunch of the new music that came out over the past week. A few days ago, former Googler-turned-rapper Hoodie Allen made his official debut with All American, an 8 song retail EP composed entirely of original production – a first for the young artist. With each release, Hoodie has been improving by leaps and bounds, and All American is clearly no exception. Give it a listen below, and if you like what you hear, support Hoodie with a purchase on iTunes.


Listen: Hoodie Allen – “No Interruption”

I haven’t heard from Hoodie Allen in a while, so it was to my surprise that I came across a new email from him today. And Hoodie was full of surprises: since the end of summer, he has been hard at work creating his first ever retail record, a brand new EP titled All American that will appear for sale on iTunes. All American will also be completely original with no samples appearing on the record, a huge change in style for a rapper that blew up the blogosphere with his catchy indie samples.

Hoodie writes, “So this is something completely new for me. I’ve built most of my following online based around 2 ideas –1. free mixtapes and 2. creative use of sampling. With this new project, I’ve worked really hard to expand upon the sound that my fans love while actually creating all the songs from scratch.”

For a quick preview of what’s to come, Hoodie released a video and a stream of his RJF-produced lead single “No Interruption”, which you can check out below. If it’s any indication of what’s to come, All American will continue with the traditional fun, laid-back sound, while allowing Hoodie a bit more artistic freedom and development. All American will be available on April 10th.

A Year Later… Our First Birthday Playlist

It’s hard to imagine that exactly one year ago, the very first post on this site was released to the world. In the past year, we’ve certainly come a long way, growing rapidly in terms of both listeners and contributors. With our posts over the past 365 days, we hope that we’ve exposed some good music to you, sharing our personal favorites either in the form of an MP3 or simply through our writing. It’s a great feeling to know that somewhere out there, people are reading what we have to say and appreciating music that they otherwise would not have found.

So in celebration of our first birthday, it only made sense to thank you, the reader. Thank you for checking out what we have to say and allowing us to share the music we love. Over the next year, we’ll be looking to grow even more and work with even more great artists. Big things are on the horizon, so please share us with your friends and keep visiting and commenting.

Frank Wu

A Year Later…

OCD: Moosh & Twist – “Beautiful Day”
Neako – “Hello”
Y Luv – “All Night”
Cults – “Go Outside”
Foster The People – “Helena Beat”
Theophilus London – “Last Name London”
Los Campesinos! – “You! Me! Dancing!”
The Dean’s List – “Dear Professor”
Eddy B & Tim Gunter – “Graduation (feat. That Kid C-G)”
Hoodie Allen – “The Chase Is On”
Xaphoon Jones – “The Jackson Pit”
Matt & Kim – “AM/FM Sound”

Video: ZAK! Downtown – “Poppin’ Pills”

Our friend ZAK! Downtown sent over this brand new video for “Poppin’ Pills!” earlier today, one of the standout tracks from his debut mixtape Stuck to the Sidewalk. Relying on a well-flipped sample by producer Astro Raw, “Poppin’ Pills!” is a feel-good track, even if the music is about, well, poppin’ some prescription pills. Stay away from the pills, y’all.

ZAK! is planning on releasing a 10 track mixtape of original songs in early September. In the meantime, he’s out promoting and playing shows with Chiddy Bang, Hoodie Allen, and potentially Big Sean. We’ll keep you updated.

Mixtape: Hoodie Allen – Leap Year

joomplu:287It’s been quite a year for Long Island-based rapper Hoodie Allen. After releasing Pep Rally to widespread acclaim and accumulating tons of buzz in the blogosphere, Hoodie decided to leave his stable job at Google and pursue his music career full time. To wind up a whirlwind year of touring and recording, the MC released a brand new mixtape, entitled Leap Year, for free download on his website.

Hoodie says that the mixtape is “me growing up on record” and on first listen I’d have to agree with him — for the most part. While the mixtape still features a number of fun and poppy samples intended to draw in first-time listeners on the Hype Machine or just through blogs in general (Fitz and Tantrums on the first track, for instance), Hoodie’s lyricism and delivery has greatly improved since Pep Rally. But the greatest change between this mixtape and the latter is Hoodie’s attempt to open himself up to his audience through slower, more introspective songs. Most of the production is still handled by long-time collaborator RJF and the mixtape still sounds quite similar to his earlier work, but Hoodie attempts to tone himself down, a bold move towards revealing his serious side.

Sure, he hasn’t yet mastered this new style and he’s still finding his comfort zone, but that’s alright — considering his work ethic and dedication to his music career, I’m sure Hoodie will eventually find his place. Until then, here’s to leap year.

Download: Hoodie Allen – Leap Year (Mixtape)

Listen + Watch: Hoodie Allen – “The Chase Is On”

joomplu:287Hoodie Allen does not disappoint his fans. With a year’s worth of experience under his belt since releasing Pep Rally, Hoodie’s back and better than ever. He just released a brand new track (and the corresponding music video!) entitled “The Chase Is On”, which serves as the first single from Leap Year. “The Chase Is On” has the same sound and vibe we’ve grown to love, but Hoodie’s lyricism and deliver have certainly improved, with the rapper employing a sing-song flow over a synth-driven beat.

“Pulling a Lil B,” Hoodie gave us a free download of the song, but also posted it on iTunes. You can support him by purchasing the song here. Leap Year will be out on July 26.


Hoodie Allen Details ‘Leap Year’

New York-based rapper Hoodie Allen has announced that his forthcoming Leap Year mixtape will be released on July 26th. Like his previous mixtape, Pep Rally, Hoodie will be releasing it online for free download.

Hoodie tends to incorporate many indie samples into his work, including the works of The Black Keys, Beach House, and Gil-Scott Heron & Jamie xx in the past (just to name a few). His new work should be no different, as is shown by the brand new Leap Year trailer below. Excited? You should be.

Hit the break to see Hoodie’s upcoming tour dates.


Interview: ZAK!

We recently sat down with NYU student and up-and-coming rapper ZAK!, who recently released his new Stuck To The Sidewalk mixtape (download here). He talked about his tour with Hoodie Allen, his sound, his friendship with Joakim Noah of the Chicago Bulls, and more. Check out the interview below.

LitS: Who’s your favorite rapper? Who would you compare yourself to?

ZAK!: I don’t really have a “favorite” rapper. There’s some I listen to more than others. I also really don’t like making my own comparisons. People can make them themselves. Even though I definitly grab influences from other rappers I like to think at the end of the day I’m doing sometime unique to myself.

LitS: What producer do you really enjoy working with?

ZAK!: Right now I’ve been working with my DJ / Engineer / Producer DJ Fresh Direct. He basicially does it all. And on this next project were really going to sit down and create some serious stuff. Its good for me to able to help him create the music, and vice versa when it comes to the song lyrically.
Also my good friend Astro Raw has produced multiple of my tracks and really has a solid New York vibe.

LitS: How was your recent tour with Hoodie Allen? Any memorable stories?

ZAK!: Those were my first two real shows. And I got to say the crowd at U of Mich was pretty nuts. Honestly wasn’t expecting it. Otherwise the whole weekend was kind of a blur I unfortunately had thew flu. Pretty sure I vomited a few times. (more…)

Video: Hoodie Allen – “You Are Not A Robot”

Hoodie Allen has released an official music video for “You Are Not A Robot”. The track, which features a sample of Marina & The Diamonds, was one of my personal favorites from Hoodie’s debut mixtape Pep Rally and the visuals certainly are a great complement.

“The best thing about this video is that it was only made possible due to the undying support of my fans: from the entire crew to all the extras who came out from as far as Maryland at 7:00 AM to help, the whole production was done ourselves. 2011 is all about that DIY mentality for me. I’ve recently taken a break from my job at Google to pursue my music full time,” Hoodie told us via email. Check out the video below.