“Believe” starts with a smooth piano riff that transitions to the grove that is consistent throughout the entire song. After that, Hoodie Allen provides a back-and-forth between quicker verses and regular melodic ideas. This song provides a general “chill” vibe, for the back-beat of the song is minimal, which correlates to his fans “vibing” with him to this selection.
“Know It All” is a slight shift from the previous track, for the general feel of the song consistently pushes forward. However, instead of a shift of styles through vocal melodies, this song remains more on the melodic style vocally speaking. This type of song gives the audience a selection to sing along to, which is a nice addition to the overall color of the album without departing from Hoodie Allen’s normal sound.
“All for Me” features the artist Scott Hoying, and throughout the entirety of the song, both artists show how seamless their vocals work together. This track goes back to the relaxed vibe that “Believe” was conveying. Even though his verses are rapped, rather than sang: like his choruses with Hoying, they still have a gracefulness to them, which furthers the likability of this song.
“Fakin” is an example of a stereotypical alternative rap song, if there were to be one on this album; also, it features the artist Wale. When one listens to this song for the first time, it sounds like a song that would be blaring at a club. Now, that doesn’t necessarily make this a bad song. The inclusion of this song does broaden Hoodie Allen’s perspective of music provided on his album; however, I prefer the music that he creates that’s farther away from the general rap genre line.
“Play the Field” was a smart choice to place after “Fakin” for it is a good mixture of his normal enhanced sound with his stereotypical sound that he presented in the previous song. This song also starts with a small piano interlude that returns throughout each chorus. This song provides good contrast on several different fronts. The first is between the grove of the verses versus the grove of the chorus, this gives the audience a more “rounded” selection. The second derives from his ornate nature of rhythms; meaning, Hoodie Allen has simple and complex rhythms within his vocal lines that keeps his listeners interested.
“Sushi” is the first track on the album that is truly upbeat. Though, I would’ve presented another lively track earlier in the album; however, this song doesn’t let the audience down. This was one of the tracks that Hoodie Allen released before the album dropped, and this isn’t surprising, for it emulates the general sound of a Hoodie Allen song because it’s upbeat, its textually coherent, and it has a fresh sound to it.
“Ain’t Ready” starts with an acoustic guitar which is a completely new tone color added to the album. As the song progresses, it is easily seen that this is another selection where listeners will catch on to it quickly, and many will be singing along with it soon after. This is a clear fan-favorite, and I can completely validate why. This song, when one first listens to it, feels like it belongs on the radio, so that it can be enjoyed by the masses.
“All My Friends” features the pop-punk band State Champs. When thinking about mixing their two styles together it was a toss-up on how their song would turn out. After listening to the album, this song, by the two of them, is hands down the best track on the album. This is because it has a perfect mixture of faster verses that are traditional to Hoodie Allen as well as vocal sections that are traditional for State Champs. Also, the instrumental portion of this song has a prominent beat to it that the members of State Champs bring to Hoodie Allen’s disposal. With this, the two together are able to mix Hoodie Allen’s style with theirs, which created a phenomenal collaboration.
“Mad” takes the album back to the relaxed vibe that is presented earlier on in the album. This song is a cookie-cutter Hoodie Allen song: it has a steady instrumental portion, its lyrics are memorable and intellectual, and it alternates from rapped verses to smoother ones. This isn’t a bad song by any means, but following “All My Friends” makes it more difficult to stand out.
“Something Dangerous” is another track that I could see on the radio in no time. Even though the general instrumental portion is similar to other tracks on the album, the general sound of this song sounds fresh and new. In this song, Hoodie Allen gives his listeners a very catchy and relatable chorus with verses that characteristically similar, which is a trait of Hoodie Allen that is always present in his work.
“Heartbreak” features artist Goody Grace, and it starts with a cute little riff that adds another dimension of music to his album. There isn’t a strong way to describe the general influence of the beginning of this song because it is a mixture of an acoustic ballad and a typical pop song. This song will resonate easily with the audience because it’s about a very common topic, but his lyrics don’t come across overdone; rather, Hoodie Allen provides a fresh point of view to the topic of a “heartbreak”.
“Runnin’ Ciricles” is an interesting choice for a final song for his album. Most the songs on this album have a laid-back style just as this one does. Now, it might’ve packed a bigger punch if he would’ve ended with an upbeat selection; however, the lyrics of this song couldn’t be more Hoodie Allen, which is why I can validate this as a strong ending selection for the artist. The lyrics embody Hoodie Allen, for they show his sincerity as a person and an artist, and those characteristics are what makes fans adore his music even more.
Final Thoughts: Before “The Hype”, I hadn’t listened to much of Hoodie Allen’s music; however, after listening to this album it made me want to learn it all. Looking at the album, I would give it 4 out of 5 stars because it provides the listeners with many different facets of what an alternative rap artist has to offer. Throughout this album, Hoodie Allen didn’t stick to one genre, he (for the most part) kept a relaxed sense that connected the works together, but each song had its own identity that was far enough away to be different, but close enough to be enjoyed by the same listener. Overall, if you’re in the mood for an album that makes you want to bob your head, sing at max volume, and connect with everyday feelings, this is the album for you. Well done Hoodie Allen!
* “The Hype” was released on September 29, 2017 through Hoodie Allen (He is an independent artist with no label).