Hoodie Allen
Pep Rally


4.5
superb

Review

by Nathan Flynn CONTRIBUTOR (68 Reviews)
February 21st, 2011 | 11 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Putting the hip in hip-hop

Hoodie Allen isn’t your typical rapper and his image is far from gang life. From his vintage Adidas shoes to his thick rimmed glasses, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him hunched behind his Mac at a Starbucks, diligently working on a screenplay. This 21 year old is a member of the new “hipster-hop” wave. Along with Chiddy Bang, and arguably Kanye West, these people have invaded the scene with a new style of rap with evidence of influence from the New York scene, although with less aggressiveness in their delivery. Hoodie brings the heat on all 11 tracks of Pep Rally, a freshman mixtape that feels like he’s been a part of the scene for years.

Being someone so young, but with evidence of an upper-middle class upbringing, Hoodie doesn’t have anything to complain about and has no words of wisdom to offer in his songs. Instead, he focuses on having fun and creativity. He slyly sneaks in a pop culture reference in every other line that fits so well that it’s hard to catch unless one listens very closely. Lines like “a free app, but nothing is free really/There's a shark in the water, I'm ready to free Willy,” puts even the Beastie Boys to shame. This type of wordplay occurs so frequently on the mixtape that it’s impossible not to smile in awe at how Hoodie does it. He’s so clever that not even name dropping Colts kicker Matt Stover feels out of place. His flow is tailor made for delivering these punch lines and jokes, and it works without making Hoodie feel like a one trick pony.

One of the definitive qualities of Pep Rally is the guest appearances. More specifically, none of them are by other rappers. Hoodie is assisted by choruses from the likes of Marina Diamandis, a spark of light on the wonderful “You Are Not a Robot,” and Chris Wallace, who delivers the chorus of “January Jones,” an ode to the Mad Men actress. The guest stars complement Hoodie very well and never take the spotlight off of the verses. Furthering the impact of the verse is producer RJF’s fantastic beats and samples. The Death Cab for Cutie sampling “So Much Closer,” is a triumph and is also one of Hoodie’s best songs lyrically. The beats are smooth and fast enough to allow for the words to come out without feeling cluttered. While the guests shine brightly, they still don’t outshine the main attraction, which is the way it should be.

Overall, Hoodie Allen has put together a very fun, albeit sometimes juvenile, mixtape. He exhibits a very unique and polished flow and his wordplay is always an experience, sometimes taking five listens to understand his jokes. He weaves verbal tapestries and lets the pop vibe permeate in the choruses and in RJF’s samples. Pep Rally is the perfect summer album that still vibes well in the winter.

Recommended Tracks: Swimming With Sharks, January Jones, You Are Not a Robot, Words of Wisdom



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user ratings (29)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
FromDaHood
Contributing Reviewer
February 21st 2011


9034 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm not sure what I think of this review, but really wanted to punch it out.

DL link is here if anyone's interested: http://www.timeforthepeprally.com/

Romulus
February 21st 2011


8436 Comments


this guy gets a lot of hype at/around my school-- he's pretty popular locally. i've never listened to any of his albums or mixtapes in full but i've heard a few songs that are pretty sweet and a few others that he just butchers as far as flow is concerned. nice review too.

Inveigh
February 21st 2011


24968 Comments


nice review, can't tell if this is something I'd like or not. though it does sound pretty similar to Mac Lethal... one thing though

This 21 year old is a member of the new “hipster-hop” wave

there's really nothing new about it

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
February 21st 2011


28523 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

i have a twitter that just republishes my last.fm + after i played a hoodie track, he tweeted back to thank me for listening


not really crazy abou this music but he seems like a cool guy

Digging: Chris Brown - X

FromDaHood
Contributing Reviewer
February 21st 2011


9034 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@ veigh when did it start? I was just introduced to it last August, so I guess I generalized

Counterfeit
February 21st 2011


17819 Comments


years

FromDaHood
Contributing Reviewer
February 21st 2011


9034 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Fair enough, I guess I'm just misinformed

Inveigh
February 21st 2011


24968 Comments


I guess it depends on what you're calling "hipster hop." If it refers to what's commonly called indie rap (or indieveigh lol) around here, then I'd say it started back in 96/97 with Atmosphere and Company Flow.

If you're talking more about stuff like Doomtree and Mac Lethal, which takes the alt/indie influences to another level then probably around 03/04

FromDaHood
Contributing Reviewer
July 30th 2011


9034 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I can't believe I called this a great summer album but have basically neglected it this summer.

apokolypz
October 2nd 2013


298 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm digging this a good bit. My friends at school introduced me to this guy, and told me to listen to All American first, but I didn't like that as much, this is much better. Anybody know any other hip-hop artists like this guy? I like the instrumentals a lot and that every song isn't about 'fucking bitches, getting money.'

FromDaHood
Contributing Reviewer
October 2nd 2013


9034 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Production-wise good luck but lyrically try like Chiddy Bang or Beastie Boys



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