UPenn Alumni. Former Google employee. Self-dubbed “king of fans.” A rapper without a record label. Meet Hoodie Allen.
Steven Markowitz has been rapping since 2010. After leaving his job at Google to pursue a career in music, he created the stage name Hoodie Allen. And seven years, four mixtapes, two EPs and three albums later, he has become an extremely successful rapper. And he is, arguably, the coolest artist ever.
Hoodie doesn’t call himself the “king of fans” for nothing. He truly is committed to his fanbase and always puts them first. And the beautiful thing is, as much as Hoodie supports us, we support him right back. Without a record label, Hoodie relies on fans to promote his albums, and we tend to get the job done. In 2016, Hoodie’s album Happy Camper landed a number one spot on the Billboard Top Rap Albums chart for two weeks in a row. His latest album, The Hype, which was released on Sept. 29 of this year, ranked #67 on top album sales. For an independent artist without a label, these are huge accomplishments.
Hoodie also puts forth his best effort to interact with his fans. He is constantly tweeting fans and replying to their Snapchats. He even has a separate phone, on which he’s able to call and text his fans. He truly does try his absolute best to reach out to everyone. If you tweet him, you can usually expect a reply or at least a like within the hour. Sometimes, he even replies through direct messages to make the conversation more personal.
But interacting with fans through social media isn’t the only way he shows his appreciation. Hoodie goes out of his way to meet fans at every concert. Whether it’s saying hi to fans in line or coming out after the show to take pictures, he tries his best to meet everyone. Some artists will charge hundreds of dollars for a quick picture, but not Hoodie. In the past two years alone, I have already met Hoodie twice. If this doesn’t show his pure dedication to his fans, I’m not sure what does.
Hoodie even stands at the merch table for an hour before each show to greet each fan personally. This isn’t just a great marketing technique; he truly cares about his fans and wants to meet them. When you talk to him, it’s like talking to a friend. It’s personal, real and intimate.
the funniest thing about hoodie allen is the fact that his song lyrics are so cool and badass but when you meet him and talk to him he’s a cute funny little nugget. but i think he’d beat me up if he ever saw this tweet ajdhdhajaha
— sarah. (@louyorkbaby) November 27, 2017
Hoodie takes the time to make his shows the best for his fans. His concerts truly are an interactive experience for everyone. At his concerts, you have the chance to be brought on stage, to rap parts of his songs and to be hit with a cake. Yes, cake. Several fans make cakes for his shows, so he can throw them into the crowd during his song Cake Boy. At his Philadelphia show of The Hype World Tour, I was one of the lucky ones who was hit with a cake. I had frosting on my jean jacket, sweater and in my hair.
But I wouldn’t trade it for the world. How many times can you say you’ve been hit with a cake at a gig? It makes Hoodie’s shows unique and memorable.
And, of course, he makes great music. Some of his songs are catchy and fun to sing along to; others have you out of breath afterward from rapping too hard. His songs are full of clever, funny puns. They always have been, and they probably always will be. It’s one thing about Hoodie’s music that will probably never change.
So it’s simple: if you’re not a fan of Hoodie Allen already, you should be. You won’t find an artist more caring, humble or down-to-earth. He puts so much effort and passion into his music, and I believe he deserves so much more recognition for it. I expect nothing but great things from him in the future. You should do the same.