Hoodie Allen – All American

Despite being a predominantly indie blog we feel a real attachment to Hoodie Allen. As you’ve no doubt heard us natter about,  our interview with him back last year shot to the top of Hype Machine. Two of his tracks maintained #1 and #2 spots for 3 days, which garnered a shed load of hits for a new music blog. On a personal level, back when we were beginning, Hoodie was such a major aspect of our corner of the blogging world. He created an excitement in blogging that caused us to keep striving to improve and share new, awesome music. It also helped that he’s a lovely, modest artist. His love for indie music sampling segued me into hip hop, something I can honestly say would likely not have happened at all without Hoodie.

We then, are very very happy with the sucess of Hoodie’s latest release, All American.  He has successfully reached #1 not on the Hype Machine, but on iTunes. For an unsigned artist that is a massive achievement, and one with with exciting similarities with  ‘flavour of the month’ (and that flavour would be strawberry… hehe) Ed Sheeran whose  ‘No.5 Collaborations Project’ was the first independant release to make it to#1 on the iTunes charts in the UK. Then guess what happened? He got signed to a major, and is now famous worldwide. Lets hope then that the comparisons may long continue. What make’s Hoodie reaching #1 even more impressive is that, unlike Ed Sheeran who featured an artist on every track, Hoodie has only one feature, from another HMCMB favourite but relative unknown Jhameel.

The EP itself has it’s ups and downs, starting with the name. Perhaps this is superficial, but actually I think it shows a divergence in Hoodie evident throughout the rest of the EP, one that as good as the music was, never left my head. This is different to the worldly, cosmopolitan and honest Hoodie we know. For an artist whose breakthrough can be owed massively to a certain Irish act, and especially one Welsh singer, this declaration of national pride just seemed a bit off kilter. As a British blog, this may rile us more than our American counterparts but nevertheless shouldn’t be ignored. My inner cynicist suggests that the title is a clever marketing ploy. I won’t comment on America’s patriotism, but I can only see it helping record sales. It certainly seems to have worked on this ocassion. Although with Hoodie’s fan base being as loyal as it is the title could be gimicky overkill…

Thankfully, Hoodie’s sound remains as sharp as ever, but definite strides have also been made towards Hoodie completely owning his sound. With not a sample to be heard, Hoodie has entered the world he was aiming for in Leap Year. His transition is complete, and it sounds great. Hoodie’s ingenuity and lyricism was never under questions, nor was his friendly flow which was always crucial to the joyful, relaxed music he created. The biggest strides made by Hoodie on this project is in his singing. It’s bold for a rapper to take on the singing himself, so not only is Hoodie’s attempt commendable, it’s downright impressive he does as well as he does. From the hook of ‘No Interruption’, it’s easy to see how far he’s come from Leap Year’s ‘Push You Away’.

As an EP, from the all out rave of ‘Small Town’ to the considered ‘No Faith In Brooklyn’ there’s a ton of variety and scope for music to come. The only track really that seems off the boil is ‘Eighteen Cool’, I’m afraid that guitar riff screams kiddy pop, whilst the chorus was too cliched for this Brit.

This is a really enjoyable EP, and it’s great news that Hoodie has honed the weakest part of his game. Even more promising is that between him and RJF there’s still plenty of originality and breadth in the genres and sounds they’re tapping into. I just hope that, as Hoodie wrote in his letter to the #HoodieMob, that he doesn’t let this extraordinary success change him. Because there’s parts of this EP that makes me think that’s possible, and who wants to see that happen to their favourite artists? That said, please head out and support Hoodie by purchasing this EP on iTunes. We’d give you the link to it, but all you really have to do is head to the charts in this iTunes store, and it makes us very happy we can say that.

Oh go on then, here’s the LINK. Now there’s no excuse!