Word of Mouth: “People Keep Talking” Album Review

The newest crop of songs from rapper Hoodie Allen is definitely something worth talking about.


Photo Courtesy of Matty Vogel via Hoodie Allen on Facebook

“People Keep Talking” flew off the shelves with 30,246 copies sold in the premiere week. The album transpired at number eight on the Billboard Top 200.

Alexa Geidel, Editor-In-Chief

The self-proclaimed Prince of Manhattan has done it again. He’s topped the charts, planned a national tour that kicks off on Oct. 29, and catered to hurricanes of screaming fans, and all while staying true to the essence of his music. This musical magician goes by the name Hoodie Allen. His beginnings are humble, born and raised in New York City, he attended the University of Pennsylvania and after graduation, got a job at Google. Now at 26, Hoodie Allen has just dropped his seventh full-length mixtape and it’s living up to all the hype.

Since the beginning of his career, Hoodie has been fastidious in emphasizing his philosophy of getting his music out there – no matter how. To ensure his fans can savor his stories, he makes all his music available for free download on his website – and talk about savory. His beats are so abounding that they could feed a poetry-purged nation, and I personally, am insatiable. He encourages the Mob (what his fans are called) to purchase the album officially if they can afford to, but he never tarries over how his album gets attention. The Prince just wants his court enthralled.

To quote Hoodie himself, “And what I learned is when you do something different it gets people talking; and if you do enough crazy things you can change the entire conversation.” And what a conversation it has become.

“Movie” This track was the first to get a music video (apart from “Show Me What You’re Made Of” which was released months before the album was even announced). It was also the first single released from the album, beating the others out of the gate by nearly three weeks. This single is the epitome of Hoodie’s sound, even though it has some saxobeat in the introduction, it rings true to his resourceful resonance, which is witty, intriguing, and involves the names of countless celebrities. Basically, if you haven’t been mentioned on a Hoodie track, you haven’t made it big time. Power moment: At 1:40, the phrase “now the way we blowing up is like a Michael Bay movie,” is a leading example of his ability to make almost anything into a play on words.

“Won’t Mind” (feat. MAX) Fellow New York kid, MAX (aka Max Schneider that you probably know from Nickelodeon), joins his good friend Hoodie for a later track on the album, but this one takes the cake. It has a more dangerous timbre and speaks for itself from the get go. This is the type of song that is just begging for a remix – not because it needs to be reworked, but because it has the potential to be the soundtrack behind the best night of someone’s life. Power moment: At 3:40 when MAX tears up one of the final mind’s. Pretty much tore up my mind.

“All About It” (feat. Ed Sheeran) The song begins with a sleepy feel, like your phone is going off in your bed but the sound is muffled by the sheets. Hoodie has always been the king of collaborations, but this one, with it-Brit, singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, was a match made in Top 40 heaven. Both men have the capacity to slap down raps and croon melodies and juxtapose the two in some anomalous brilliance. Sheeran brings a folk-y musicality that Hoodie hasn’t really experimented with yet – and the result is out of this world. Together, theses two marry epical cleverness with hot symphony for something that can only be described as pretty rap. There’s nothing flowery about the sound, it’s all gritty romance and I can’t get enough. Power moment: Obviously the whole thing but especially at 0:30 when Ed comes in with his signature “mmhm” that nearly melts the CD right in the player.

“Numbers” One of the softer tracks on the album, this song has a lullaby feel but as soon as the bass undertones hit after the intro, you can’t mistake it for anything but a Hoodie hit. Hoodie also gets a chance to show off some of his vocal competence, which he doesn’t always do. If he does another acoustic album, this better be the first song on it. This one is less grime and dirt and more affection and optimism, another rarity in many chart-toppers these days from rappers. This would be the perfect prom-proposal serenade if you’re into that sort of thing. Power moment: 3:00 to the end when Hoodie drops some riffs and harmonizes with himself and it’s basically like a nest full of fairy eggs just hatched before your eyes.

“The Real Thing” With a chill, beach-rock vibe, this song still manages to dominate the album. It is also a stellar example of Hoodie’s unorthodox tendency to be considerably polite to women on his tracks. Of course, he has his moments of rapper-misogyny, but compared to other big-game players, he’s not so bad. He speaks about making people happy, his reaction to fame, and even though he interweaves sarcastic bits of cockiness, he isn’t fake or ill-consumed by the fame. He’s relatively new on the rap scene and he’s got ample time to grow into the fame, but for the sake of the originality of his work, I sure hope he doesn’t. Power moment: At 0:18 “…hello…? *phone clicks* disconnected.” That’s the part in the song that if Hoodie were in a boy band, all the girls would start screaming.