On his first mixtape, “Pep Rally,” which was downloaded hundreds of thousands of times, Hoodie Allen introduced himself.
On his new mixtape, “Leap Year,” which he unveiled today on his website, the rapper wants to explain himself.
“I just wanted to write songs that were really personal about real things that were going on in my life and how my life has changed since I released 'Pep Rally' a year ago,” Allen says, calling from his Long Island “Batcave," where he records his music and handles his career. “It's still poppy and fun, but it's more adventurous.”
While part of the appeal of “Pep Rally” was the way Allen transformed recognizable samples from The Black Keys or Death Cab for Cutie, on “Leap Year,” the music feels like more his own, allowing his lyrics to shine.
On “Flipping Out,” after shouting-out Long Island, he declares he is “more like De La Soul, less like other white folk.”
“That's one of my favorite lines on the album,” Allen says. “It was part of me looking at the landscape of up-and-coming artists and thinking, despite where I'm gonna be grouped in, I don't necessarily associate with that style. I always loved A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul — they're like Long Island heroes to me.”
Allen is anxious to see people's reaction to “Leap Year” and ready to hit the road again to support it. “I'm just really proud of it,” he says. “It's quite a bit of fun.”