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.
Basically in the past week plus a few days I have been busy as hell. In the best of ways though, because everything after Friday Dec. 6th has been in celebration of finals being over. I don’t really care to go into great detail because there has been SOO MUCH STUFF, but this is what has happened since the end of finals:
12/7 – Shopped on Bardstown road, recieved early Christmas gift of Holga Lomography camera, ate homemade hummus, and learned that possibly half the Jewish population might have had syphilis over 200 years ago. I am refraining from citing the source of this information in order to save embarrassment from a certain individual.
12/8 – erged 10 by 500m pieces, drove to Chicago, saw Hoodie Allen concert(!!), ate pizza, partied with the band. Ya know, typical Saturday night. The concert was amazing by the way, as always.
12/9 – awoke in Chicago, ate continental breakfast, bade farewell to our friends, embarked on our 5 hour journey back to Louisville.
12/10 – lazed around all day trying to come down from concert high with little success.
12/11 – received amazing/devastating news that I won a contest to see an exclusive Macklemore show in the Youtube office in the Google building in New York City! The devastating part came when I realized that I am in Louisville. But then after a lot of hemming and hawing and finally realizing that you only live once, and with the help of my wonderful mother (and her gift of frequent flier miles) I…
12/12 – …booked a flight to New York City for the following day.
12/13 – arrived at the airport at 6am for my impromptu NYC trip. When I got to NYC, I got on a bus and the driver let me on for free (so nice!), then transfered to a subway, and finally arrived in the Chelsea Market area. I walked around, saw the sights, sat in Starbucks… ENTER RYAN LEWIS. He just walked into Starbucks and was chilling! So I met him. Then the show happened. It was phenominal. Then, I rushed back to the airport to head back to Louisville. Sad face.
12/14 – woke up still concert high again, went out and got my first roll of film developed from my Holga camera, then I prepared for our departure to Miami. Got on the bus in Louisville…
12/15 – …woke up in Florida.
Between then and now we have been training in this warm, sunny place sweating our butts off and suffering from baby hand blisters. However, hooray for dolphin sightings, warm blue waters, and palm tree sunsets!
Also, hooray for having been in four different cities all in one week. I think the thing I learned from this week is to go for the gold, seize the moment, and live for now. With all the things that have happened in the last week, I would consider myself pretty damn lucky! If the world really does end on the 12/21 at least I will have had made it back to the original homeland in Connecticut to see my family and I can die a happy girl. Of course, if it doesn’t, (and it won’t) I am going to continue living this life that makes other people jealous (or so I am told), and naturally I wouldn’t trade it for a thing!
I think this song is perfectly appropriate for this moment you are probably having while reading this, plus it fits my mood right now, which is basically why I am posting it. So enjoy the ginger dreadlocks of Newton Faulkner.
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.
If you’ve never seen a pair of lobster eyeballs in a plastic baggie, then you obviously weren’t in my second grade class. That’s it.
Just kidding! That’s not it! Show and tell was the best part about elementary school, I think. Actually, it was a close call, but after a 10 second trip down memory lane, I determined that snack was the best part of grade school, and the selection of clothes in the nurses office for the kids who spilled said snack on themselves was the worst. Although food is high on my list of priorities, that topic is for a different blog post.
Today, I am going to show you five random items in my room, and then tell you about these five random items in my room. (And yes, in second grade I was more than proud to bring in a pair of eyeballs from the previous nights dinner to show and tell my classmates about. Lobsters are cool!) So here it goes:
1. My Gatorade Water Bottle
…will always have a special place in my heart. It comes everywhere with me, therefore it knows me. It’s probably with me more than my iPhone. In fact, it is with me more than my iPhone, mostly because it works out with me and I work out a lot. A perk of this water bottle is it doesn’t break when it gets wet. So I can bring it in a boat. (HAHA. It can get wet. Because it’s a water bottle.)
2. This Orange
…has been in my room since I traveled to Virginia, which was about a month ago. This orange got to sit in the bottom on my backpack for two 9+ hour drives. It got to stay with me in my hotel. It get’s to see me do my hair every day, it gets to see me pluck my eyebrows, it gets to watch me sleep. Not many objects get to have experienced all these things with me, with the exception of my water bottle, possibly.
3. Zach Braff
…and all of his glory sits on my wall in the form of a Garden State movie poster. In my opinion, he is the best actor/comedian/producer/screenwriter/director to grace the earth. That pretty much sums it up. Also, Dr. John Dorian is equally as awesome.
4. This Hoodie Allen guitar pick
…is from literally the best show I have ever been to. May 18, 2012 marks one of the best days of my life, as well as my best friends 21st birthday. WOW. What a day. I was finally able to meet my favorite Jewish rapper of all, and got a guitar pick from Kyle, and Hoodie signed it.
“Life couldn’t get better, this gon’ be the best day ever” – Mac Miller quote because Jewish rappers know best.
5. An Overdue Library Book
…that I still haven’t read has been sitting on my nightstand for over two months. Actually, it was due back two months ago. I had every intention of reading it because it was supposed to be really good, but life didn’t want to me become more educated and forced me to attend classes that I probably slept through anyways. Thank goodness I registered for classes before they put a hold on my account or whatever they do to overdue book offenders, because God forbid I return this book to the most conveniently located building on campus.
Now you have been on the official tour of my room and know basically all there is to know about me. After some close reading (slash, this is the TL;DR) you might discover that I stay hydrated, I neglect citrus fruit, Zach Braff, I love Jewish rappers, and I’m a bad student. Enjoy your Monday ya’ll.
edit: I forgot to add the Song of the Post! Eek! This one is called “One Good Thing” by Jared Evan. I saw him last Saturday at the Hoodie Allen concert (yes, another one) and he was incredible! If you like this, I suggest you look up his newest EP, The 4th Chapter.
So hit me with music, ya hear?!
My uncle is not Jewish. Contrary to my belief as a small child at the spry age of maybe 15 (I don’t remember), I learned that Joe the Jew was just a jocoserious joke. What?! Why would you call Uncle Joe a Jew if he was actually in fact not a Jew? The point is, my fam had me fooled! For whatever reason, I thought that despite the fact the the other 7 siblings in my moms family celebrated Christmas, Uncle Joe was the only one in the family of Jewish faith, even though I had never heard of him celebrating Hanukkah. In my weak defense, I am very gullible. I have no clue what sparked my interest in Judaism, but maybe my curly haired uncle had something to do with it.
When I was home for Thanksgiving break, I accidentally left my rain coat in Connecticut. With the unpredictable Louisville weather, I texted my mom and she said she would have it in the mail right away. What a nice lady to get it to me so quickly, I thought. When it arrived in a massive, decently-heavy box, I could only imagine what else she had packed in there. After pulling out the jacket, I laughed as I saw this card sitting on top.
Oh mom and her jokes. After reading, I noticed that there were little gifts that she labeled “open first”, “open second” and “open third” wrapped in Star of David paper. So I proceeded through the little packages, wondering what she could have possibly put in here that would be so important that it had to be sent to me before I returned home for Christmas break. This is what I found:
I opened in the instructed order, a menorah, a box of Hanukkah candles, and an informative book titled, The Everything Judaism Book. This sparked an uncontrollable bought of laughter. My mom just knows me so well. Maybe this will be my first step in the conversion process, which apparently takes quite some time. In all reality though, ain’t nobody got time for that! Needless to say, I am beyond excited for my roommates and I to have our own mini Hanukkah celebration, which is quickly approaching. It’s only one week away!
I have not read the entirety of my new book yet, but here are five fun facts this Gentile has learned while skimming through it this morning:
- Hebrew is one of the oldest languages. It dates back as far as 4,000 B.C.E.; WOW. It is read left to right, and oftentimes written without vowel signs. This is probably one of the Jewish things I will not be learning.
- Traditionally, it is forbidden for a Jewish person to marry a non-Jew. Darn. In America today, the intermarriage rate is approximately 50%. Only a quarter of children born into these families are raised Jewish, which is leading to a decline in Judaism in America. Double darn.
- An example of a classic Jewish food item is a bagel! This is awesome because I love bagels.
- Hasidism is the spiritual approach to the Jewish faith. An important aspect of this area of Judaism is kavana, meaning “pure intention”. How nice.
- I didn’t learn this in the book, but rather through my own experiences. Mac Miller, Hoodie Allen, Drake, George Watsky, and Cal Shapiro of Timeflies are all Jewish rappers. Asher Roth has a Jewish grandfather, but does not consider himself Jewish.
On that note, the song of the post today is a little gem from my favorite Jewish rapper: Hoodie Allen. Ironically, I am seeing him on the first day of Hanukkah, December 8th. In the mean time, Kol Tuv!