You might have once seem him perform at your friend’s frat party, but rapper Hoodie Allen has moved on to bigger and better venues like Madison Square Garden. Incorporating a comedic element into his music, the “Cake Boy” straddles the lines of pop and rap. Though he’s often compared to Macklemore, Allen’s unique style is unmatched. He’s spent over five years pursing music, and now the former Google account executive has quite a tale to tell. Following a recent appearance on VH1’s Big Morning Buzz Live, Hoodie sat down with us to share his story and his music.
WHO is Hoodie Allen?
Steven Markowitz was born on August 19, 1988 in Plain View, New York. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School with a degree in marketing and finance, Markowitz started a career as an account executive at Google in 2010. After just four months, he realized that though he had landed a dream job, it wasn’t his dream job. So he quit.
“I was always pursuing music and I had hit that point where there was enough going on online and in general where I could take that leap to try to do it full-time and see what happens,” he says in our interview. Markowitz put out a mixtape shortly after quitting his job at Google, and released his All American EP a year later in 2012. He spent a year and a half playing frat parties and “slowly grinding,” as he calls it, before securing a loyal fanbase, which helped launch his career as a rapper.
WHAT is his album?
Hoodie Allen’s first full-length album, People Keep Talking, came out earlier this year in October. YOK Artist Ed Sheeran and Chicago rapper Alex Wiley both appear on the album, which peaked at number two on Billboard’s Top Rap Albums chart. In 2012, Allen released his All American EP, which debuted on Billboard’s Top Albums chart at number 10.
“All About It” feat. Ed Sheeran
Allen first met Sheeran backstage at one of the British singer’s concerts at Irving Plaza in New York City about two years ago. “I thought there was going to be a lot of people there, but it was just sort of me and my girlfriend and Ed,” he explains. “It was very chill and very cool. We just hit it off from there.”
WHERE have you seen him before?
The homie @NickLachey A photo posted by Hoodie Allen (@hoodieallen) on Dec 12, 2014 at 7:19am PST
Unless you’ve seen him playing local house parties, chances are that you haven’t seen Hoodie Allen but heard him. The rapper recently came to our studios to chat with Big Morning Buzz Live host Nick Lachey about his unusual entrance into the music scene. Watch the interview below.
WHEN can you see him live?
NYC CROWD PHOTO #WOW A photo posted by Hoodie Allen (@hoodieallen) on Nov 11, 2014 at 8:15pm PST
Hoodie Allen is wrapping up his — with openers Chiddy Bang and Max Schneider — but he’s playing one more show at Boston’s House of Blues on December 30. In late November, Allen headlined Madison Square Garden, a major milestone for the native New Yorker. “It was a very surreal moment,” he says, “because New York is where I’ve played my grungiest and smallest shows back all the way in 2009. To play MSG is just such a weird transformation. I really appreciated it.”
WHY should you care?
Hoodie Allen is a go-getter who won’t settle for anything less than his dreams. He is an example of how “slowly grinding” can pay off in the long run, especially when it’s aimed at actualizing your full potential. He’s first and foremost a rapper, but Allen is also a comedian, often infusing his songs with humor. To fully understand his work is to not take it too seriously, although if there’s anything about the rapper you should take seriously, it’s this piece of advice he has to offer: “If there’s something you’re really passionate about, expend all of your time to doing it in order to give it the best chance of actually coming to fruition.” Find out why People Keep Talking about Hoodie Allen by listening to his music.
[Photo: Getty Images]