Hoodie Allen fans are used to surprises, but this one is a doozy.
The Long Island rapper will release his new album, “Happy Camper” (Hoodie Allen), at midnight Friday, as a free download on his website and streaming at all major services. Allen has done this before, but, in many ways, “Happy Camper” is Allen’s best album yet, even stronger than his “People Keep Talking” album that hit No. 8 on the charts in 2014.
As usual, Allen’s rhymes and flow zigzag all over the hip-hop spectrum, from the ready-for-radio “Are You Having Any Fun” featuring Meghan Tonjes (where he suggests he’ll “change my name to Cavity, ’cause everybody fillin’ me”) to the more adult “Surprise Party” featuring Blackbear.
He may be at his best on “Champagne and Pools,” showing Allen knows exactly where he stands in the ever-changing hip-hop world. “I’m semi-famous . . . kinda sorta almost like made it,” he rhymes, though he does manage to drop in that he’s hit No. 3 on the pop charts. “I guess if you don’t sell CDs, your BFFs are NBDs.”
The “Happy Camper” album is the surprise precursor to Allen’s national “Happy Camper” tour, which launches on Feb. 4 in Portland, Oregon, and ends March 22 at Webster Hall in Manhattan. However, songs this good will last long after the tour ends.