Hoodie Allen, aka Steven Markowitz, from Long Island has come a long way. Starting as a child, he wrote lyrics and had a talent and passion for music. Taking the classic “American Dream” route, he graduated from college and worked at Google. He lived two lives as he continued his passion in music and working a full time job for the company. In the end, music won, and fans are glad it did.
On Saturday, November 24, I trekked out to Irving Plaza to see artist Hoodie Allen. I learned about Hoodie Allen early in 2012 through a good friend, and his music was on constant repeat throughout the year. As an American hip hop artist and rapper, Hoodie is one of the extremely talented new generation of Hip Hop Artists with a large underground cult following. After “All American” was released, the CD was on repeat during my NYC Marathon training. The beats were infectious, and I instantly became I loyal fan. His songs are humorous, filled with pop culture references, and take light on even serious issues. I was disappointed to learn that the tickets were sold out for not one but both nights. Thanks to Twitter, I unexpectedly received a Twitter notification that a mutual fan had two extra tickets, and if I got to the venue within 90 minutes, they were mine. Did we even think about it? Hell no.
From mixing the 90s classic Blink 182’s “All the Small Things” to mashing Miley Cyrus’s “Party in the USA” with Hoodie’s “White Girl Problems”, the concert was a constant dance party. After performing songs off of Leap Year and All American, a dance competition occurred. Fans screamed for an encore, which ended with balloons and a performance of “No Interruption”. It was honestly one of the best concerts I’ve seen this year, not just because of the content, but because of Hoodie’s stage presence. You can see his joy in performing, and his appreciation for his fans. Although his second night in NYC, he was just as excited to be there and gave it his all. Girls swooned, guys were chanting the lyrics, and I kept dancing.
One of the biggest reasons why Hoodie Allen is going to be a lasting success, is his lyrics resonate with our generation. His lyrics range in topics from talking about a past relationship in “No Faith in Brooklyn” to showing his catchy verses in “James Franco” (yes named after the actor). His growing popularity is undeniable. His talk is smooth, he spits truth and sarcasm, and as I said before, his beats are infectious. His songs make you smile, and his depth of certain lyrics balance with light heartedness of pop culture references. From Kourtney Kardashian and How I Met Your Mother references, to reminiscing about high school in “Eighteen Cool”, his songs are relatable to our generation. Although All American is more serious than Leap Year, on April 10, 2012, his EP “All American” went to #1 on the iTunes charts within hours of its release. All American also debuted at #10 on Billboard‘s Top Albums.
Like Lady Gaga’s “Little Monsters”, Hoodie Allen’s fan base has its own nickname: Hoodie Mob. His connection to his fan base is unique, as he is constantly using social media to get involved and stay grounded. Always on social media, Hoodie can be seen posting daily messages, tweeting/responding to fan’s tweets, and playing an active role on other platforms. Taking photos at each performance, offering “Hoodie Hangs” on Google+ network hangouts, and constantly staying in touch with fans and potential new fans are what separates Hoodie Allen from other artists. He uses social media to stay personal, stay grounded, and get involved.
So kids, get on the Hoodie Allen train. He’s here to stay.
Best Songs from All American: No Faith In Brooklyn, No Interruption, Eighteen Cool