Published: Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 00:03
Hoodie Allen famously gave up a job at Google in order to pursue his rap career. His latest effort, Crew Cuts, proves it might just pay off.
Crew Cuts opens softly with a gentle piano crescendo before a recycled beat drops and Allen swings in with his incredibly individual high-pitched rap.
As with most of his previous work, especially his last EP All American, Allen immediately dives into lyrics that are distinctly American. “I didn’t grow up in a family that hugged and kiss, but ain’t sayin they didn’t love they kids, we ain’t some republicans,” he raps. “And all I wanted was a pool in my backyard.”
The piano-driven simplicity continues into “Fame Is For Assholes,” where Allen shows off his ability to actually sing. Unlike the mainstream rap that crowds pop culture, Allen avoids violence, threats, and anger in his lyrics. Instead he focuses, mostly, on two things that also pervade mainstream rap: women and his own awesomeness.
For the most part Hoodie sets himself apart from most rap music with his lyrical focus, his decisive wordplay, and his lighthearted production. However, much of his wit falls flat, swinging for the prestige of the likes of Childish Gambino; for every Jack Donaghy reference there is a Nicolas Sparks namedrop to ruin it.
Though much of Crew Cuts feels like a knock off record, Allen shows the legs to eventually produce something worth a damn.