Hoodie Allen • People Keep Talking • Hoodie Allen, LLC • US Release Date: October 14, 2014
“Hair Just like Elvis, hands on her pelvis / but let me delve in.” Those lyrics are the first impression the listener is privy to on East Coast, pop-rapper Hoodie Allen’s full-length debut, People Keep Talking. Throughout the 14-track album, Allen spits about sex, swag, and pop culture. Even when his rhymes are simple-minded, they’re sharp and effective. Ultimately, people will be “talking” about this debut.
The pianistic opening of “100 Percent Of Something” – of which the aforementioned quote was borrowed – gives it something of a warm, reminiscent vibe. “Baby I want it all / Baby I want it all / and I can’t run away, don’t know what to say or do anymore.” It does a sound job of setting the album’s tone, which is characterized by Allen’s love of women.
“One shot, two shot, three shot, super drunk,” Allen spits on verse two of “People Keep Talking.” “Four shot, winning shot, jump shot, no f*cks…I’m just trying to be like Jordan, I’m tired of being Pippen / I’ve been coming off the bench and watching my haters get it” Allen’s flow proves agile and fiery. Additionally, his confidence is ‘through the roof’ (“You scummy ass rappers are not in demand”).
Standout “Movie” is led by its irresistible, pop hook: “Hey girl, well let’s make a movie / you can be my leading lady beauty / grab your camera, don’t be shy…we can make this world into our movie.” With a knack for playful lyrics, among the best is, “I got bad b*tches on my d*ck, clips homie I’m grinding.”
On “Won’t Mind” featuring MAX, Allen compares sex and skating: “Woke up in the same clothes I was spotted wearing last night / got these girls riding all on my body like a half pipe.” Sex remains ‘king’: “I don’t mind if you, if you f*ck with me.” Of course he doesn’t… On “All About It” an assisting Ed Sheeran busts a rhyme: “I’m not a rapper just a singer with a game plan / I play guitar no need to worry ‘bout my Drake hand.” Hoodie owns the hook and second verse: “I’m doing something that’s different / I’m tryin’ to Paula my patent.”
On “Dumb For You,” Allen is the latest to go “stupid.” Regardless of the oft-recycled concept, Allen does dumbness smartly, if that’s possible. As Allen tells it, “These b*tches going dumb trying to marry me.” B*tches likely plays on both girls and Allen’s growing fan base. If sex weren’t prevalent already, “Sirens” confirms: “Started at the bottom like I’m looking at her booty.”
Top-echelon single “Act My Age” has a stomping, souped-up beat with perceptible, rebellious spirit. Ultimately, Allen’s lyrics match this spirit: “My friends grew up, they never get drunk… I’ll never do that, I wanna stay young…I don’t think I’m ever gonna act my age.”
“Numbers” references the lottery: “These lucky numbers show what we’re made of / we’re scratching the paper / no it’s never paid off, but my number will come.” The lottery references finding the right girl, “good” (verse one) or “bad ” (verse two).
“Get It On The Low” is all about winning a girl’s affection: “I know you wanna / get it on the low/ don’t be afraid, I’ll never let him know / I can give it to you like you never had before…” The oft-played scenario of trying to win the unwinnable, one never grows tired of ‘the pursuance.’
“Show Me What You’re Made Of” is chocked-full of sharp rhymes, including “Well motherf*cker she ignored them (f*ck her, she ignored them)” and the pop-cultural assertiveness of the verse two, referencing Ray Allen, The Fresh Prince, and Magic Mike.
“The Real Thing” opens with a bang: “Super duper early morning Sunday breakfast / ain’t in a rush to go to church because I used protection.” Ultimately, it doesn’t supersede the best or most memorable songs from People Keep Talking, but it continues to find Allen flexing. Penultimate cut “Overtime” proceeds, notable for its pleasant, chill sound.
Closer “Against Me” once more pairs Allen with MAX. MAX shines more vocally this round, exhibiting some bite and incredible finesse. As for Allen, those punch lines keep coming: “I see them, syke, but no relation to Wanda.” “Against Me” gives Allen an extended verse, appropriate for the conclusion of the album.
Overall, People Keep Talking is an enjoyable, well-produced and well-conceived album. It plays to Allen’s strengths: slick pop hooks, agile, confident rhymes, and ample knowledge of pop culture. Sometimes Allen’s confidence and horniness are overdone, but for the most part, Allen rocks – or rather raps.
Favorites: “Movie,” “All About It,” “Dumb For You,” “Act My Age”