After the initial review, I have listened enough to do a close reading, if you will, of Hoodie Allen’s newest album Crew Cuts.
Okay, I see you Hoodie Allen. To start, this album has seven amazing features, which is something that we haven’t seen from any other Hoodie Allen compilation. Second, this is a free mixtape. He “dropped [it] and it sounded like an album” so obviously by the fact that he only released two singles that you can by on iTunes, both of which did really well, he is doing something right. Watch out Drake. Especially after how well All American did last spring, which topped the iTunes hip-hop chart, as an independent album no less. Clearly he isn’t doing this for the fame and money, because after all, Fame is for Assholes.
Here are my thoughts on the album:
1. Let Me Be Me
Oooh! Hoodie Allen has a singing voice, and a piano, and he sounds good, man! We’ve heard it a bit before. “So pardon the following interruption from this rap shit” says it all. This album is a bit different from any collection that we’ve heard before. But not to worry. Right off the bat we hear the usual sports references that I don’t completely understand, but still bump along to anyways.
Regardless though, this song sets the mood for the rest of the album – he is trying something different, so let the man be.
2. Fame Is For Assholes (feat. Chiddy Bang)
This was the second single released from the mixtape and was highly anticipated from anyone who follows his Instagram or Twitter due to all the studio photos with Chiddy. It’s kind of self explanatory, the song is fun and upbeat. And just because you’re famous to me, Hoodie, I don’t think you’re an asshole.
Is this song for the girl you depressing-tweet about all the time, Hoodie? Or is it for me. (Shh, I know the answer. It’s okay.)
More singing, more rapping. This mixtape shows a lot of growth from the Leap Year and Pep Rally days where the hooks and choruses were heavy on the samples (props to RJF). It’s nice to hear him singing more throughout the mixtape, but we still get to hear his witty lines and One Direction name drops.
4. Good Intentions
I am in love with the way this song starts. Probably the entire first minute even. Composed by the amazing Jared Evan, this song captures the Hoodie Allen vocal sound that we hear on All American. Also, feelings. Ohhh, Hoodie has feelings! “If you didn’t know, now you know” is what Biggie would say about this album.
5. Cake Boy
The highly controversial “is Hoodie selling out???111!!” single. This was the first single released from the mixtape. I wouldn’t say it sounds commercial, but the subject matter is a lot more shallow than the rest of the album. But actually, the beat is pretty sick if you ask me. Plus, if you love the fast-rap-Hoodie sound and a lot of “shwoops” and “whoops” you will enjoy bumping this on the highway with the windows down (if you live somewhere warm like Cali, where the video was filmed). This one is pretty much just a fun single, and if you try to take it any other way you will probably find yourself overanalyzing a bunch of nothing.
6. Long Night (feat. Chance the Rapper)
When I saw Hoodie in Chicago this past December, he met up with Chance the Rapper after and obviously it was a long night talking of collaborations while crew cuts danced on their heads (HAH! Clever as Shi’ite, no Judaism, if ya know what I mean).
Sorry guys, take me for who I am, not my politically incorrect puns. Anyhow, the opening to this song is hilarious. It is ‘punny’, and witty, and has some great Chance Bennett influences. Chance’s verse is also incredible. Fun, upbeat, and laid back all at the same time. Schwooop!
7. Two Lips (feat. OCD: Moosh and Twist)
Okay, we’re taking a break and getting a little deep here. Lot’s of emotions. Lot’s of Spice Girls reference? Jokes aside though “tell me what you want, what you really, really want” is far from a pop song. It’s real, a true confessional of his emotions.
8. Casanova (feat. Skizzy Mars and G-Eazy)
I love this trio. The three of them on one track is bound to be good. This one was another highly anticipated song especially after he gave us a preview on Ustream, which got a lot of attention from fans. Three smooth artists with biddies. You can’t hate.
9. Heart 2 Heart (feat. Jared Evan)
Yay! Jared Evan on the track! After opening the Hoodie Allen tour, of course everyone was excited to hear another song with Jared. I love the beat on this one, composed by RJF, so of course, classic. This track is pretty relatable and introspective if you ask me.
10. Wave Goodbye (feat. Shwayze)
When I saw a photo that Hoodie posted on his Instagram with Shwayze I had a mini aneurism with a lot of twitching and partial blood loss to half my body. Then I kind of forgot, and had another little episode when the album dropped and I got to listen to the collaboration.
This song to me is about moving on and pretty much the essence of this album. It’s a new chapter for our Hoodie Allen. We aren’t going to see the same style as Bagels and Beats or Making Waves so it’s time to take that for what it’s worth and appreciate those albums on our own time. This artist has moved on from those sounds and is obviously maturing and changing with each new track. From the fan perspective it’s refreshing to know that he is staying true to who he is.
11. Where Do We Go Now
This song is the perfect way to end the album. As an indie rap/hip-hop artist with an evolving style, Hoodie shouts out some of his East Coast comrades in the music game and recalls some of the moments before the whole Hoodie Allen movement started. He sends the message that it’s okay to revel in the moment, but you’ve got to keep moving forward. Lyrically, this is my favorite track on the mixtape. It’s something that makes me smile when I listen, especially with that CT reference.
It’s been a ride following an artist like Hoodie through this musical journey. He is the type to build a relationship with his fans, and I know there are plenty of others out there who agree. He is one of the few artists in a growing group who really gets it and understands that the fan base is the reason why you keep trucking through this career. So with that, I thank Hoodie Allen for anther wonderful, raw, and emotional mixtape! Enjoy, and grab the download if you haven’t already.
If you’re feeling cynical this Valentine’s Day, you only have until midnight before it’s over. But you also only have that long to get this free download of Marina and the Diamonds clever new song “E.V.O.L”. So get to it you lonely people. Download the track here!
Direct download links to all the Macklemore & Ryan Lewis songs that I have been able to find free downloads for. Not to say you shouldn’t look him up on iTunes and buy his songs, because he is an independent rapper meaning he gets no money from a record label, meaning he is fucking awesome.
Language Of My World (2005):
The Unplanned Mixtape (2009):
The vs. REDUX (2010):
Make The Money (Also re-released on The Heist)
Wings (Also re-released on The Heist)
Victory Lap (Released after winning XXL Freshman of the Year)
The full discography (not including The Heist) can be listened to here on this Bandcamp page, or on iTunes where you can find tons of other songs that aren’t Thrift Shop. As always, if the links are broken let me know.
I made a playlist on Spotify full of not-really-recent-but-still-awesome songs for chilling around your house. It’s a multi-genre playlist, or “La Liste des Chansons Alternative” if you will, with a lot of alternative female singers because I had a feminist moment and loaded up on some Marina and other like artists. But then on the other hand I was getting into Donald Glover’s Camp album and added two of his songs to it. It’s best listened to on shuffle.
On another semi-related note, I found this cool artist somehow on tumblr, I think. If you like electro and dubstep and Norwegians, then you will most likely enjoy Shufflethroat. This is his newest EP, but there is a lot more if you go to the rest of his Soundcloud.
I really liked all the photography on his Facebook page, so I asked if he took the photos himself. Turns out his girlfriend is a photographer and does his photography. Pretty, ja?? Well I thought it was impressive so I “Liked” it… like, on Facebook, and the photo links it back to her page as well.
Lastly, I want to share a new music video that Jared Evan put out on January 3rd. If you can connect to the song at all, the music video might make you cry or at least tear up a bit like it did to me. I sincerely apologize if this post causes your web browser to move at an exceedingly slow pace, but I felt the need to share this multimedia smörgåsbord all in one post, mostly because I wanted to use the word smörgåsbord. Enjoy!
Because producers need love. Also, Dylan’s is the only soundcloud that I avidly follow, among that are his other forms of social media to include twitter, Facebook, and tumblr. The following is a playlist of my favorites. Dylan, if you’re reading this, please make more chillstep remixes! This set varies in genre so press play with an open mind and an open mood and enjoy the next 32 minutes!
If you find yourself saying “let’s have a siesta”, I have compiled a playlist of hip-hop and rap songs that I can fall asleep to because there is nothing better than falling asleep to music. At just over an hour, it gives you enough time to fall asleep to Jared Evans and some Skizzy Mars featuring G-Eazy, dream about thier concert that you now want to go to, and wake up with a stretch and some B.o.B and Upper Echelon. Fewer BPM to ramp up your REM. If you weren’t aware, there is a SoundCloud app for iPhone, in case you want to nap to rap on the go!
Disclaimer: the first time you listen to this playlist you may not be able to sleep due to the beautiful voices that are about to grace your eardrums. Therefore, I made a list of other things that you might try first while listening to this playlist. Some of these songs are also available for free download directly from SoundCloud. If they aren’t and you would like to find out where to get them, leave a comment!
- laying on the beach
- driving the car (to Dunkin’ Donuts)
- watching the television on mute
- laying on the carpet pretending it’s a beach
- making cereal
- decorating the Christmas tree
- drinking egg nog and rum
On the off chance that you’ve never caught yourself thinking “let’s have a siesta”, enjoy this song.
If you like any of the music from Does Your iTunes Suck? then you will like this band who I just got too excited about not to share. Combine Kids These Days with a little Loggy from Radical Something and you might get an idea about what The Universe Project is like. To sum it up for you in my words, if you like some weird experimental music with good instrumentals and chill rapping, you will enjoy the free EP, Nocturnal Truth.
From their Facebook it looks like they just enjoy making music and having a good time. They are playing at a hurricane Sandy benefit concert with Zak Downtown, Pyramids, Rasp5, and Julian Cavin on December, 26 in NYC if you happen to be in the area.
Is it full of old songs that you’ve played too much? Are you too lazy to look up new music? Is your recently added playlist empty? Is it full of Ke$ha? Do you even like music?
If you answered yes to more than one of these questions, then the following is definitely for you. I’ve created a compilation of links to some music I’m currently into and organized them in a relatively neat fashion, so go make your headphones and ears happy again. Some is new, some is old, but it’s all good. A lot of these are FREE. Like, LEGALLY FREE. So no reason not to at least check it out!
* are direct downloads, meaning when you click the link, it will automatically download to your computer.
Indie-Rap and Hip Hop
The Heist (album deluxe edition) by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ($12)
One Night (EP) by Timeflies ($4)
Must Be Nice (mixtape) by G-Eazy *
The Endless Summer (mixtape) by G-Eazy
Traphouse Rock (album) by Kids These Days *
Nights Like These (album) by Outasight ($8)
Leap Year (mixtape) by Hoodie Allen *
Hey Now (single) by Hoodie Allen *
All American (EP) by Hoodie Allen ($5)
Trapgold (mixtape) by Iggy Azalea *
Keep Your Friends Close (EP) by Dylan Owen *
Alternative, Pop and Rock
Summer of Rad (collection) by Radical Something *
Halcyon (album deluxe edition) by Ellie Goulding ($15)
Death of a Decade (album) by Ha Ha Tonka ($10)
So there are a few for now. With $54 dollars and a little bit of time, you can download the entire list if you want! Not many people have either of that lying around, but check some of them out and come back for more if you like what you heard. You see what I like, so if you have any recommendations for me, please let me know via commenting below! I love discovering music, any and all genres.
p.s. I double checked them all, but please let me know if any of the links are broken.
The Song of the Post is one by Kids These Days. This song is not on the album linked above, but I saw the video this morning and thought it was pretty artistic. The female vocals and instrumentals are my favorite.