Music, movies and more: “Crew Cuts”

Jake Tapley

Hoodie Allen

“Crew Cuts”

Rating: 4/5 stars

The newest release by Hoodie Allen, unveiled late February, is possibly his most accessible and versatile to date. In fact, the mix tape entitled “Crew Cuts” feels much more like a fully-fleshed album than a mixtape, which is something the independent hip-hop artist mentions in the song “Reunion.”

At the young age of 24, Steven Markowitz, better known as Hoodie Allen, has already grounded himself in a very distinguishable style that combines elements of rap, hip-hop, and R&B to create a smooth sound that isn’t afraid to get a little rough around the edges.

One thing that makes “Crew Cuts” feel like an album rather than mixtape is its aspect of balance. It balances consistency with diversity so that each song feels like a distinctive part of a collective whole and humor with seriousness so that it has an “rollercoaster” feel, covering a broad spectrum of human emotion.

The opening track, “Let Me Be Me,” is a great introduction to the mixtape, acting as its preface and foreshadowing its purpose – encouraging artistic expression and exploration.

The song “Fame Is For Assholes,” featuring rapper Chiddy Bang, is ridiculously catchy and will likely be stuck in your head for several days after your first listen. In my opinion, this single should be receiving mainstream radio attention.

The middle of “Crew Cuts” drags a little bit with songs like “Long Night” and “Two Lips,” but the momentum isn’t lost.

This fresh take on multifaceted hip-hop music is something I’m sure we will see more of from Hoodie Allen in the future. And hopefully it’s contagious.