Steven Markowitz (born August 19, 1989), better known by his stage name Hoodie Allen, is an independent American hip-hop artist, singer, and rapper.
2009– 2012: From Bagels & Beats to Leap Year
Hoodie Allen originally was the duo of Steve Witz and Obey City on vocals and production, respectively. Their first two album releases were “Bagels & Beats” and “Making Waves” which garnered an MTVU Best Music on Campus Award in 2009. The single “UPENN Girls” also received notable campus attention. After Obey left in 2010, Steve continued with the name Hoodie Allen and began making music with RJ Ferguson (aka RJF). In June 2010, he released “You Are Not a Robot,” which sampled ‘I Am Not A Robot’ by Marina & the Diamonds and which hit # 1 on Hype Machine, an aggregator that collects the most-blogged about music in the world. After seeing the response, he spent the summer working, and finished his mixtape Pep Rally by September. The album was largely produced by RJF, and sampled songs from Death Cab for Cutie, Flight Facilities, Marina & the Diamonds and Two Door Cinema Club. He picked the name “Pep Rally” because he said that it “captured the energy of the record. Something new and exciting.”When asked about the writing process, Hoodie said: “Throughout Pep Rally, the ideas for samples were very collaborative. We would camp out in RJF’s basement for a weekend and not leave till we had 3 songs done– that was the mentality.”The mixtape was downloaded over 200,000 times. He self-financed a video for “You Are Not A Robot”.
In July 2011, Hoodie released his third mixtape, Leap Year. It reached 250,000 SoundCloud plays in its first week of release. On the title for his mixtape, Hoodie explains: “It basically just talks to the leap of faith I took this year leaving everything else behind to be an artist.”In support of the album, Hoodie headlined a 15 city tour across North America, including stops in San Francisco, New York City, and Montreal, with supporting act Fortune Family opening on a handful of stops. Previously, he had toured with The Cataracs, Das Racist, Chiddy Bang, Mike Posner, and RJD2.
Hoodie collaborated with the cartoon band Your Favorite Martian to write the song “8-Bit World”, which he raps in. He was also featured in CollegeHumor’s “Jake and Amir” sketch series on multiple occasions and in Zak Downtown’s “Rock The Show.”.
2012: All American.
Main article: All American (album).
On March 4, 2012, Hoodie announced via Twitter that his upcoming EP would be titled All American. He decided on this title because he credits his success to freedom in United States, because he felt the songs showcased his best music to date, and because of a hometown restaurant with the same title. Hoodie spent five months developing the album, building tracks from scratch with his producer, RJF, instead of using sampled beats. Regarding the writing process, Hoodie stated that “I would describe it as liberating … It was like, ‘Okay, I hear this idea in my head, I hear these original ideas, I’m putting them and piecing them together. On March 29, 2012, Hoodie released the first single from All American entitled “No Interruption,” as well as its music video.
The music video for his second single on All American, “No Faith In Brooklyn (feat. Jhameel),” was released on April 9. All American was released on April 10, 2012 and debuted as the # 1 album on iTunes. Over the months of April and May, Hoodie made a 22-stop tour across the US in support of All American, featuring Wax, Jared Evan, and others (varied from show to show). On March 23, 2012, Hoodie hinted at an upcoming announcement of a “UK tour for June,” and officially announced the four dates on April 19 via Facebook. The I Work Better In The UK Tour was his first time performing overseas.
The Excellent Adventure Tour, which featured G-Eazy, was announced on July 25, 2012. Hoodie performed in cities such as Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Lawrence (Kansas), New Orleans, Atlanta, Charlottesville, and Philadelphia.
Following the success of All American, Hoodie released the new singles “Hey Now” and “Feel the Love” on YouTube. Both were made available for free download.
More show dates were announced after the tour, including Santa Barbara, Santa Ana, Sacramento, two in New York City, Toronto, Chicago, Boston, and Silver Spring, which all sold out.
2013– present: Crew Cuts, Americoustic, and full-length album.
On February 11, 2013, XXL premiered the music video for “Cake Boy”. The single was later released on iTunes for purchase and quickly jumped to # 19 on the Hip Hop/Rap top charts.
On February 18, 2013, the music video for “Fame Is For Assholes (feat. Chiddy Bang)” (abbreviated FIFA) premiered on YouTube. It was also released for iTunes purchase and rose to # 2 on the top Hip-Hop/Rap songs. Hoodie commented, “I wanted to write a track that mixed a classic doo-wop vibe with the more upbeat hip-hop style that my fans have come to love.”.
Hoodie’s mixtape Crew Cuts was released online for free via his website on February 20, 2013. It is made up of 11 tracks produced by several people including Illmind, DJ Fresh Direct, and Jared Evan and has six collaborations with artists including Jared Evan, G-Eazy, Shwayze, Chiddy Bang, Skizzy Mars, OCD: Moosh & Twist, and Chance The Rapper. Hoodie announced that the mixtape had been downloaded over 80,000 times within the first day.
The Cruisin’ USA Tour with Aer and Jared Evan began on March 5, in support of Hoodie’s new music. G-Eazy, instead of Aer, accompanied Hoodie on his Boston, Philly, and NYC shows. The tour concluded with Hoodie’s biggest show on April 13, at NYC’s Roseland Ballroom which sold out a crowd of 3,500 people.
Hoodie performed “Make It Home” on Fuse alongside Kina Grannis on April 17. The performance was released nationally on Hoodie’s YouTube and on Fuse TV on April 30. The single was released via Hoodie’s YouTube as well as iTunes on May 15.
During Summer 2013, Hoodie toured several college campuses as well as other venues. He will perform in Vancouver, BC and Kelowna, BC shortly before he leaves for Europe on the Fake ID and a Passport Tour.
On July 28, 2013, Hoodie announced that his acoustic EP, Americoustic, would be coming August 13. The following day he posted the dates for his Party With Your Friends Tour, which will take place in the US and Canada. A special fan pre-sale was also announced, offering 100 tickets from each show starting July 31 at 10AM.
On July 30, 2013, Hoodie released the music video for “No Interruption (Acoustic)” and stated that Americoustic would be available for purchase and for free download.
Hoodie’s acosutic EP Americoustic debuted on August 13 as the # 4 album on iTunes, but was also released for free on his website.
Hoodie stated during a Hoodie Hang that he hopes to have finished three projects by the end of 2013, which would be the Crew Cuts mixtape, Americoustic, and then his first full-length album in the fall.
During The Cruisin’ USA Tour, Hoodie had his fans show their appreciation by having them chant that they wanted to see him on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Leading up to Roseland Ballroom, Hoodie started the hashtag “# GetHoodieAllenOnFallon” on Twitter to rally his fans along with a YouTube video directed at Fallon. After trending worldwide, Fallon replied the night of the concert asking to speak with Hoodie.