Hoodie Allen: “Leap year” album review

Photo credit: Tiffany Ronquillo (Flickr)
Photo credit: Tiffany Ronquillo (Flickr)
Photo credit: Tiffany Ronquillo (Flickr)

At only 23 years old, Steven Markowitz, better known as Hoodie Allen released his third mixtape in 2011 entitled “Leap Year”. After being an employee at Google, Hoodie Allen left the company, to focus on his hip hop/singer career. After a remarkable buzz on the internet, with his second mixtape “Pep Rally”, the New York M.C. is providing us something original with unusual and audacious covers. This mixtape draws pretty well the portrait of this talented artist: a hard working song writer devoted to music.

With his skinny jeans, his big glasses and his checked shirts, Hoodie Allen is clearly not the rapper you expect to see, but that’s what makes him unique and original. With his producer RJF who is also Hoodie Allen’s friend, they show us the art of sampling and mixing. Hoodie raps over instrumentals already used which brings an indie, pop and rap sound to his album. “Leap Year” is telling the story of a boy for whom music meant everything, and dropped everything to become a full time artist.

“Song For An Actress” is the perfect opener to introduce Hoodie’s work: He uses a sample of the song “Don’t gotta work it out” from the L.A band Fitz and the Tantrums, a perfect match between the music and his lyrics.

The music video of the song “The Chase Is On” was posted on You Tube two months ago and it has already more than one million views. The beat is lively and the sample is well chosen.  With an unusual name and an original music this artist surely knows how to get to his listeners with powerful lyrics and audacious covers.

All Hoodie’s fans will agree to say that he‘s an original and ambitious singer too : “In James Franco” he uses  a sample of one the most popular and the most influential hip hop band of all times,  The Black Eyed Peas ( “Clap your hands” song  ) and he’s able to release a song as good as the original one.

It can be disappointing for those who liked “Pep Rally” and who are looking for radical changes, because both mixtapes are quite similar: there are samples of pop songs with hoodie’s rap. But as the previous one it’s a very imaginative project, the lyrics are very catchy and the rhythm dynamic, and it’s also easy to listen to. The advantage of this mixtape is that you can download it on Hoodie Allen’s website, it’s free it’s legal and it is worth it.

Here’s the song “The Chase Is On” from his mixtape:



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