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Tag: Hoodie Allen

Here's your video hookup

Independent Clauses is pretty much your Hoodie Allen clearing house. Thankfully, this new Hoodie video is much less confusing than that other one that one time. This time he just looks supremely uncomfortable at a raging house party cause he can’t get to the prettiest girl in the room. I think we have all felt this pain before. But then… well, just watch the vid. It’s cool, and the song is smooth as well. His mixtape Leap Year drops tomorrow. And yes, there will be a review.

This is also pretty much your Josh Caress fanblog, so this gorgeous live session rendering of “Follow the Firelight” is a must.

The world gets bigger and smaller when you’re deep into a subject: Even though Football, etc.‘s tour video doesn’t have the band It’s a King Thing in it (as far as I can tell), the phrase appears twice on a wall (big!). Also, they go through Oklahoma City, which until recently was my stomping grounds (small!).

Hoodie Allen, G-Eazy and Amazon Cloud Player

So Amazon’s new Cloud Player is an awesome idea, but with one catch: their uploader is horrifyingly slow. I decided to upload 18 gigs of music, which isn’t a. all of my music or b. anywhere near 1000 gigs, which is the most amount of space offered. I did all the requisite steps, and when it started to input, it said it had 99+ hours to go. I’m thinking that it’s going to fluctuate downward, as almost all download estimates do, right? No.

It’s going to take five consecutive days.

Now, I know that I’m on a wireless connection, and they recommend a hardwire connection so that it doesn’t take over 100 hours, but seriously. Who has a hardwire these days? The whole point of this cloud is so that I can have my music on my wireless phone, or access it wirelessly from any computer in the world. This is a plain and simple case of needing the thing that the service is trying to kill.

Right.

In other news, since my Internet will be heinously slow till Friday, I’ll be doing a bunch of short stuff for the week. This is a bummer because I have a tonnnnnnn of stuff in my inbox that I want to share with you, but the glacial internet makes everything, well, slow. If I didn’t know I wasn’t going to love this Cloud Player, I’d hate it.

So, here’s the latest in indie-samplin’ rap.

Straight off Hoodie Allen’s press release: “NY is Killing Me” is a remix of the Jamie XX re-working of the Gil Scott-Heron song of the same name (SO META!).” The Gil Scott-Heron song is great, the remix is aimless, but the remix of the remix gives the first remix some reason for existing. It is rull meta up in hurr, but I like it.

Also, G-Eazy dropped his latest mixtape The Outsider recently, which features samples from Cults, Dam-Funk, Phenomenal Handclap Band and Vivian Girls, among others. The title track is free at the above link. It’s the one that samples VG. It’s a pretty great track.

Hoodiepeople.com drops a gorgeous skateboarding vid

So, as I’ve noted before, I love skateboarding videos. I also love hoodies, Allen and otherwise. So when HoodiePeople.com dropped this skateboarding video featuring really pretty, non-punktacular, ambient-ish music, I was pretty interested. It features some of the best cinematography I’ve ever seen in a skateboarding video, courtesy of DistinctiveSofa Productions. It’s all a bit disorienting for this long-time skateboarding video fan, but the only thing constant is change, I suppose. And if you consider it from an outsider perspective, it’s a pretty gorgeous vid.

Hoodie Allen drops polarizing music video for "You Are Not a Robot"

Hoodie Allen has by now pretty much surpassed Chiddy Bang in my book as standard-bearer for the indie-rock sampling rap subgenre. Yes, Drake and Chiddy have higher profiles, but Hoodie Allen just does it better.

He just dropped a video for “You Are Not a Robot” off his mixtape “Pep Rally,” and it’s a pretty polarizing little video. Check the comments to see the effects its had on his listeners, which range from “U ROCK LOLZ FO REEL” to “What the fuck was that?”

It is a bit strange. It doesn’t exactly make sense, as a bunch of kids dressed as robots chase Hoodie under the auspices of catching him and presumably making him a robot. I won’t ruin what happens, but Wes Anderson is smiling somewhere, I think.

Worst comes to worst, you’re reminded of Hoodie Allen, and that’s never a bad thing.

Single: Hoodie Allen’s “Dreams Up”

Hoodie Allen is back. After dropping the frenetic, energetic Pep Rally last year, he’s got a new mixtape coming out called Leap Year. The first cut is called “Dreams Up,” and you can download it here. It’s straight-up Hoodie Allen style: RJF chops up a hip indie rock song (“White Nights” by Oh Land) into a beat without getting too crazy, while Allen drops some even flow with a lot of pop culture name dropping. It’s fun. The downside: other than slowing down the speed of his rapping, “Dreams Up” doesn’t show any new sides of Hoodie Allen or RJF. But it is only a lead single; they have a whole mixtape for that.

Either way, if you liked Pep Rally, Hoodie Allen’s still your boy, makin’ it safe for even the most reluctant of rap listeners to get in on the game.

Quick Hits: G-Eazy

I’ve been enjoying the new school of rappers throwing down lyrics on top of indie-rock tunes. From Chiddy Bang to Drake to Hoodie Allen (and, ok, the WTF Childish Gambino), they’re popping up everywhere. I love it.

G-Eazy is a rapper in that style. He has two singles kickin’ about the interwebz: The Tennis-sampling “Waspy” and  “Good for Great Remix” of Matt and Kim’s track off Sidewalks, which I raved over a couple weeks ago.

“Waspy” is more of a production job than “Good for Great,” as G-Eazy (who produces his own beats) chops up “Marathon” by Tennis and puts a heavy beat behind it. It’s still recognizable as “Marathon,” which is cool, but the production leaves enough space for the rapping without the song seeming cluttered. The lyrics present a romance between a “punk kid” and a rich “WASPy girl.” The breezy Tennis track evokes an air of Ivy League privilege, making it a perfect fit for the lyrics.

G-Eazy’s rhymes are solid, and his flow is just ragged enough to be interesting. It’s not too erratic, but it keeps attention.

“Good for Great Remix” scrubs most of the vocals from the track and drops G-Eazy’s lyrics in. There is some extra rhythmic production, but it mostly beefs up what was already there. I love Matt and Kim, so I like the remix, even though the lyrics aren’t my favorite. It’s your standard “fuck school, go live life” set, which isn’t my favorite rhetoric (woo grad school!).

G-Eazy has some solid production skills, but I could stand to see his lyrics move above the standard rap motifs. Right now his production talent far surpasses his lyric choices (but not his rapping ability; the boy can rap).

Cause you're a cutie and I need you in my Death Cab

Since Drake, Chiddy Bang and even Jason DeRulo (okay, not really a rapper, but hear me out) have been rhyming over indie music backing tracks, I’ve been a lot more interested in rap. While I don’t seek it out (yet), I do enjoy it when it falls in my lap. And that’s exactly what Pep Rally by Hoodie Allen did.

Awesome name aside (I love hoodies), this white boy can rap. He spits fast, and he can hold complicated rhythms and rhyme schemes together for several lines. His lyrics are quirky, fun and winning the “who can drop the most pop culture references in one album?” contest. His voice is smooth enough that you can tell what he’s saying, but not so flaccid that there’s no bite. His flow by itself is pretty impressive.

But that’s not all you get with Pep Rally. Allen’s producer, RJ Ferguson, knows indie music really well, and elevates Allen’s game substantially. When a dude’s rapping over Marina and the Diamonds, Cold War Kids, Black Keys, Death Cab for Cutie and Two Door Cinema Club (among others!), it’s pretty hard to completely dislike any track, even if the rap isn’t your favorite.

Ferguson’s beats actually work with the chosen tracks/samples to make new pieces of art (as opposed to Childish Gambino’s “turn down the track and turn up my vox” approach), and it’s incredibly impressive. My favorite instances of this are “You Are Not a Robot” and “So Much Closer,” which use “I Am Not a Robot” by Marina and the Diamonds and “Transatlanticism” by Death Cab for Cutie, respectively. “You Are Not a Robot” screws with Marina’s voice and turns her into Hoodie’s personal hook singer. You will have that stuck in your head, trust me.

But “So Much Closer” is the best track here, as Ferguson and Allen transform the glacially-paced anthem into a pep rally-worthy anthem without making it feel like sacrilege. The song also namechecks Death Cab (see title) and Hype Machine, which made me smile. That’s totally where I heard the album first. Things just got meta.

If you’re into the whole indie-rock + rap = yesyesyes fad that’s been going on, Hoodie Allen’s Pep Rally is for you. I like the whole album more than Chiddy Bang’s The Swelly Express (my previous standard for this genre), although Allen has not yet produced any song as solid gold as Chiddy’s “The Opposite of Adults.” This is more of RJ Ferguson’s coming out party than Hoodie Allen’s, as I’m far more impressed with his half of the work than Allen’s. But I suppose that’s because I’m still getting in to this whole rap thing.

In mixtape fashion, you can get the whole eleven-song album for free right here. Go! Go get it. Go, Go, Go get it.