Hoodie Allen performing at Roseland Ballroom in 2013
August 19, 1988|
Plainview, New York, U.S.
|Origin||Old Bethpage, New York, U.S.|
|Genres||Hip hop, alternative hip hop, indie hip hop|
|Associated acts||Jhameel, Tayyib Ali, G-Eazy, Jared Evan, Skizzy Mars, Chiddy Bang, DJ Fresh Direct, OCD: Moosh & Twist, Chance The Rapper, Shwayze, Kina Grannis|
- 1 Personal life
- 2 Career
- 3 Fanbase: The Hoodie Mob
- 4 Reception
- 5 Discography
- 6 Tours
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Steven Markowitz was born in New York City and raised in a Jewish household in Plainview, Long Island along with his brother, Daniel. He started writing lyrics as a child, and would perform raps for his friends at house parties. Allen first attended the Long Island School for the Gifted in Huntington Station, and later attended Plainview – Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School.
Growing up, his nickname was "Hoodie." He wanted a rapper name that "would stick in peoples' minds and be a little bit funny and representative of who I am," so he settled on "Hoodie Allen," a play off of famed Jewish filmmaker Woody Allen.
While attending the University of Pennsylvania, he pledged the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity. After graduating in 2010 with a degree in marketing and finance, he worked at Google as an AdWords associate in their Standardized AdWords Reseller Training (START) program. He would leave at 7AM for a bus ride to the Googleplex in Mountain View, work a full day at Google, return home at 6PM, write songs, answer fan emails, and schedule concerts until 2 or 3 AM. Reflecting on this, Allen said, "I was moving so fast, and even while I was at Google there was so much going on that I felt like I was doing two full-time jobs." His dream and passion was music, so when he got opportunities to do live shows, he decided to leave Google.
2009–2012: From Bagels & Beats to Leap Year
Hoodie Allen originally was the duo of Steve Witz and Obey City (Samuel Obey, a childhood friend) on vocals and production, respectively. Their first two releases were the "Bagels & Beats EP" and "Making Waves" mixtape. These earned Hoodie a nomination for MTVU's Best Music on Campus Award in 2009. The single "UPENN Girls" also received notable attention. However, in 2010 Obey City ceased to produce in Hoodie for unknown reasons, and Steve continued making music with RJ Ferguson (aka RJF), giving himself the name Hoodie Allen. In June 2010, he released "You Are Not a Robot," which sampled 'I Am Not A Robot' by Marina & the Diamonds and which hit #1 on Hype Machine, an aggregator that collects the most-blogged about music in the world. After seeing the response, he spent the summer working, and finished his mixtape Pep Rally by September. The album was largely produced by RJF, and sampled songs from Death Cab for Cutie, Flight Facilities, Marina & the Diamonds and Two Door Cinema Club. He picked the name “Pep Rally” because he said that it “captured the energy of the record. Something new and exciting.” When asked about the writing process, Hoodie said: “Throughout Pep Rally, the ideas for samples were very collaborative. We would camp out in RJF’s basement for a weekend and not leave till we had 3 songs done—that was the mentality.” The mixtape was downloaded over 200,000 times. He self-financed a video for “You Are Not A Robot”.
In July 2011, Hoodie released his third mixtape, Leap Year. It reached 250,000 SoundCloud plays in its first week of release. On the title for his mixtape, Hoodie explains: "It basically just talks to the leap of faith I took this year leaving everything else behind to be an artist." In support of the album, Hoodie headlined a 15 city tour across North America, including stops in San Francisco, New York City, and Montreal, with supporting act Fortune Family opening on a handful of stops. Previously, he had toured with The Cataracs, Das Racist, Chiddy Bang, Mike Posner, and RJD2.
Hoodie collaborated with the cartoon band Your Favorite Martian to write the song "8-Bit World", which he raps in. He was also featured in CollegeHumor's "Jake and Amir" sketch series on multiple occasions  and in Zak Downtown's "Rock The Show."
2012: All American
On March 4, 2012, Hoodie announced via Twitter that his upcoming EP would be titled All American. He decided on this title because he credits his success to freedom in United States, because he felt the songs showcased his best music to date, and because of a hometown restaurant with the same title. Hoodie spent five months developing the album, building tracks from scratch with his producer, RJF, instead of using sampled beats. Regarding the writing process, Hoodie stated that "I would describe it as liberating... It was like, 'Okay, I hear this idea in my head, I hear these original ideas, [and] I'm putting them and piecing them together.'" On March 29, 2012, Hoodie released the first single from All American entitled "No Interruption," as well as its music video.
The music video for his second single on All American, "No Faith In Brooklyn (feat. Jhameel)," was released on April 9. All American was released on April 10, 2012 and debuted as the #1 album on iTunes. Over the months of April and May, Hoodie made a 22-stop tour across the US in support of All American, featuring Wax, Jared Evan, and others (varied from show to show). On March 23, 2012, Hoodie hinted at an upcoming announcement of a "UK tour for June," and officially announced the four dates on April 19 via Facebook. The I Work Better In The UK Tour was his first time performing overseas.
The Excellent Adventure Tour, which featured G-Eazy, was announced on July 25, 2012. Hoodie performed in cities such as Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Lawrence (Kansas), New Orleans, Atlanta, Charlottesville, and Philadelphia.
More show dates were announced after the tour, including Santa Barbara, Santa Ana, Sacramento, two in New York City, Toronto, Chicago, Boston, and Silver Spring, which all sold out.
2013–present: Crew Cuts, Americoustic, and full-length album
On February 18, 2013, the music video for "Fame Is For Assholes (feat. Chiddy Bang)" (abbreviated FIFA) premiered on YouTube. It was also released for iTunes purchase and rose to #2 on the top Hip-Hop/Rap songs. Hoodie commented, "I wanted to write a track that mixed a classic doo-wop vibe with the more upbeat hip-hop style that my fans have come to love."
Hoodie's mixtape Crew Cuts was released online for free via his website on February 20, 2013. It is made up of 11 tracks produced by several people including Illmind, DJ Fresh Direct, and Jared Evan and has six collaborations with artists including Jared Evan, G-Eazy, Shwayze, Chiddy Bang, Skizzy Mars, OCD: Moosh & Twist, and Chance The Rapper. Hoodie said that the mixtape had been downloaded over 80,000 times within the first day.
The Cruisin' USA Tour with Aer and Jared Evan began on March 5, in support of Hoodie's new music. G-Eazy, instead of Aer, accompanied Hoodie on his Boston, Philly, and NYC shows. The tour concluded with Hoodie's biggest show at the time on April 13, at NYC's Roseland Ballroom which sold out a crowd of 3,500 people. On September 27, Hoodie opened for Passion Pit in front of a sold out crowd of 10,000 people at the University of Minnesota, becoming his biggest show by a wide margin.
Hoodie performed "Make It Home" on Fuse alongside Kina Grannis on April 17. The performance was released nationally on Hoodie's YouTube and on Fuse TV on April 30. The single was released via Hoodie's YouTube as well as iTunes on May 15.
During Summer 2013, Hoodie toured several college campuses as well as other venues. He performed in Vancouver, BC and Kelowna, BC shortly before he left for Europe on the Fake ID and a Passport Tour.
On July 28, 2013, Hoodie announced that his acoustic EP, Americoustic, would be coming August 13. The following day he posted the dates for his Party With Your Friends Tour, which will take place in the US and Canada. A special fan pre-sale was also announced, offering 100 tickets from each show starting July 31 at 10AM.
On July 30, 2013, Hoodie released the music video for "No Interruption (Acoustic)" and stated that Americoustic would be available for purchase and for free download.
Hoodie's acoustic EP Americoustic debuted on August 13 as the #4 album on iTunes, but was also released for free on his website.
During The Cruisin' USA Tour, Hoodie had his fans show their appreciation by having them chant that they wanted to see him on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Leading up to Roseland Ballroom, Hoodie started the hashtag "#GetHoodieAllenOnFallon" on Twitter to rally his fans along with a YouTube video directed at Fallon. After trending worldwide, Fallon replied the night of the concert asking to speak with Hoodie.
On March 31, 2014, Hoodie released nineteen tour dates for his Hanging With Hoodie Tour this spring. He stated that this tour would be particularly different because only 500 tickets would be sold per show, the tickets would cost between $25-30, and that every ticket comes with a free meet & greet. Hoodie said this will give everyone a good seat and be with the most dedicated fans. The tour sold out within 30 minutes of tickets being put on sale. Hoodie also allowed opportunities for fans who were not able to buy tickets to earn tickets, including the first two people at every show getting free tickets, and two tickets for people who brought dinner to feed Hoodie and his crew.
Hoodie is expected to release his first full-length album in late Summer 2014. He has said to have finished 24 songs and is in the process of choosing which songs to put on the album. Some of the song titles have been posted on social media sites by Hoodie. Following the album release, he plans to go on a worldwide tour including the US, Europe, Canada, and Australia which would take place in the fall of 2014.
Fanbase: The Hoodie Mob
Leading up to the release of All American, Hoodie held a series of live streamed video chats via Ustream called "Hoodie Allen Mondays" or HAM. In it he would preview new music and hold trivia. The fan who tweeted the answer first would get to be called on-air. It was later changed to "Hoodie Hang" occurring Wednesdays streaming live on YouTube via Google+ hangout.
The night before the EP was released, Hoodie announced that he would personally call every fan to thank them for buying All American. Over 30,000 signed up to receive a phone call. Hoodie has called half, and is still working on narrowing the list.
Each tour fans are encouraged to volunteer and become a member of the Hoodie Mob for the concert they will be attending. These individuals are assigned certain tasks to promote the show locally in ways such as handing out flyers, hanging posters, and inviting friends to the event on Facebook. Depending on which tasks the person completes, they may gain early entrance into the concert venue for a pre-show meet & greet and possibly receive free Hoodie Allen merchandise.
In July 2011, Hoodie cracked the Top 10 of Billboard’s Uncharted Territory. For the week of August 5, 2011, He was #2 on Billboard’s Uncharted Territory, with Billboard noting that his "growing popularity is undeniable."
On April 10, 2012, Hoodie's All American EP went to #1 on the iTunes charts within hours of its release. All American also debuted at #10 on Billboard's Top Albums and was featured on its hip-hop and R&B column, The Juice.
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions|
- Bagels and Beats (2009)
- Making Waves (2009)
- Pep Rally (2010)
- Leap Year (2011)
- Crew Cuts (2013)
Singles & as featured artists
|2010||"Lift Off" (Fortune Family featuring Hoodie Allen)|
|2011||"NY is Killing Me" (produced by Jamie XX)|
|2011||"8-Bit World" (Your Favorite Martian featuring Hoodie Allen)|
|2011||"Rock The Show" (Zak Downtown featuring Hoodie Allen)|
|2012||"Feel The Love" (Produced by RJF)|
|2012||"Lady Killers" (G-Eazy featuring Hoodie Allen)|
|2013||"Fame Is For Assholes" (featuring Chiddy Bang)|
|2013||"Toast" (Jared Evan featuring Hoodie Allen)|
|2013||"Make It Home" (featuring Kina Grannis)|
|2013||"All That I Know" (OCD: Moosh and Twist featuring Hoodie Allen)|
|2013||"Pieces [Hidden Track]" (Jared Evan featuring Hoodie Allen)|
|2014||"Show Me What You're Made Of"(Produced by RJF and Parrish Warrington)|
|2014||"Nolan Ryan"(Produced by Illmind)|
|"You Are Not A Robot"||2011||Zach Goldberg|
|"The Chase Is On"||Jordan Bahat|
|"James Franco"||Gordy Sang|
|"No Interruption"||2012||Charles Whitcher|
|"No Faith In Brooklyn"|
|"Cake Boy"||2013||Jakob Owens and David 'D-WHY' Morris|
|"Fame Is For Assholes"|
|"Show Me What You're Made Of"||2014||Ariel Danzinger|
- The All American Tour - 22 shows (2012)
- I Work Better in the UK Tour - 4 shows (2012)
- Excellent Adventure Tour - 18 shows (2012)
- Cruisin' USA Tour - 27 shows (2013)
- Fake ID and a Passport Tour - 9 shows in England, Germany, Ireland, France and The Netherlands (2013)
- Party With Your Friends Tour - 33 shows (2013)
- Hanging With Hoodie Tour - 24 shows (2014)
- "Hoodie Allen Goes Pro With Debut EP, 'All American'".
- Staff (August 23, 2011). "Meet Jewish Rapper Hoodie Allen". Jspace. Retrieved April 14, 2012.
- HJs @ SXSW 2011 – The Jewish Rappers of SXSW. Hipster Jew. March 14, 2011.
- Meet the Artist: Hoodie Allen. The Kollection. March 14, 2011.
- Siegel, Joel (April 2012). When Steven Met Hoodie. The Pennsylvania Gazette.
- O’Dell, Jolie. Former Googler, Current Rapper: Meet Hoodie Allen. Mashable. June 8, 2011.
- Scott, Nathan. From Google to Tour Bus, Bay Area Rapper Carves New Career Path. The Bay Citizen. March 14, 2011.
- An Interview with Hoodie Allen: The Rapper You Should Be Talking About. W2FY. September 9, 2010.
- Hoodie Allen nominated for MTVU’s Best Music on Campus. Tipping Franklins.
- TGLR Interview with Hoodie Allen. The Good Life. October 13, 2010.
- Djordje, Gasic. Mixtape: Hoodie Allen “rio life”. Complex Magazine. July 26, 2011.
- Joseph, Matt. Interview With Hoodie Allen. February 27, 2011.
- Gamboa, Glenn. Video: Hoodie Allen’s ‘Not a Robot’. Newsday. February 16, 2011.
- Blistein, Jon. Uncharted Territory: Hoodie Allen Breaks Into The Top 5, Dionne Bromfield Holds Strong. Billboard. August 5, 2011.
- Interview: hoodie Allen. Karmaloop. July 5, 2011.
- [FRESH!] Hoodie Allen -- The Chase Is On + Tour Dates. The Music Ninja. July 21, 2011.
- Billboard Bits: Pusha T Ends Lil Wayne Beef, Chiddy Bang Rock Out At SXSW. Billboard. March 16, 2011.
- Offitzer, Adam. Music for the Masses. Diamondback Online. April 14, 2011.
- Hoodie Allen. Twitter. March 5, 2012.
- Cubarrubia, R.J. Hoodie Allen Goes Pro With Debut EP, 'All American'. Billboard. April 10, 2012.
- Hoodie Allen – “No Interruption” Video. The Smoking Section. March 29, 2012.
- Allen, Hoodie (March 29, 2012). "Hoodie Allen - "No Interruption" (Official Video)". wearehoodie. YouTube. Retrieved February 15, 2013.
- Allen, Hoodie (April 9, 2012). "Hoodie Allen - "No Faith In Brooklyn (ft. Jhameel)" (Official Video)". wearehoodie. YouTube. Retrieved February 15, 2013.
- Gamboa, Glenn. Hoodie Allen has iTunes No. 1 album. Newsday.
- "Hoodie Allen - "Hey Now" (NEW SONG)". YouTube. Retrieved July 30, 2012
- "HOODIE ALLEN - Music". Facebook. Retrieved July 30, 2012
- Retrieved August 29, 2012
- Hoodie Allen letter
- Bylin, Kyle. Uncharted Territory: Diggy Simmons Returns, The Knocks Feel “Sunshine”. Billboard. July 7, 2011.
- Caulfield, Keith. Lionel Richie's 'Tuskegee' Album Hits No. 1 On Billboard 200. The Hollywood Reporter. April 19, 2012.
- "Hoodie Allen- You Are Not A Robot (Official Music Video)". YouTube. Retrieved August 8, 2012
- "Hoodie Allen - "The Chase Is On" (Official Video)". YouTube. Retrieved August 8, 2012
- "Hoodie Allen - "James Franco" (Official Video)". YouTube. Retrieved August 8, 2012
- "Hoodie Allen - "No Interruption" (Official Video)". YouTube. Retrieved August 8, 2012
- "Hoodie Allen - "No Faith In Brooklyn (ft. Jhameel)" (Official Video)". YouTube. Retrieved August 8, 2012
- Allen, Hoodie (February 11, 2013). "Hoodie Allen - "Cake Boy" (Official Video)". YouTube. Retrieved February 12, 2013.
- Allen, Hoodie (February 18, 2013). "Hoodie Allen - "Fame Is For A*****es" feat. Chiddy (Official Video)". YouTube. Retrieved February 18, 2013.
- "Hoodie Allen - "Show Me What You're Made Of" (Official Video)". YouTube. Retrieved May 9, 2014