You’ve heard of the white kid going to college and doing well for himself in the hip-hop and R&B game before. But, have you heard of the Ivy League graduate who worked at Google before quitting, dropping mixtapes, and independently rapping his way to the number one album on iTunes?
Didn’t think so. Meet Hoodie Allen, born Steven Markowitz in Long Island, NY.
That EP, All American, vaulted to the top of the iTunes charts mere hours after Allen released it. The University of Pennsylvania alumnus told me via telephone that his fans’ support never ceases to surprise him.
“It’s been really cool to control the creative process, and put out what I like, and be my own A&R,” Allen said. “It’s just nice to see the follow-through, and everyone really loves the album. That’s been the most rewarding part of it.”
Allen already declined multiple major record label deals, and showcasing his capacity to move units with no “commercial machine” backing him only has the industry salivating over him even more. But for the emcee, his focus is solely on a sold-out tour that has him traveling the country. Not on label execs, not on his bank account… no, not even on the growing number of Facebook requests he’s receiving. He notices though.
“You know, I’ve started getting a lot of friend requests from girls I went to Penn with, who were too cool for me then, but now they want to be my friend,” Allen joked. “I guess I’m doing something right.”
All Allen had to do was look at album charts and ticket sales to know that he has figured out how to launch a successful music career. Although, I’m sure he doesn’t mind the Facebook inbox reminders either.