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Hoodie Allen has No. 1 iTunes album

Local rapper Hoodie Allen plans to release a

Local rapper Hoodie Allen plans to release a new mixtape “Crew Cuts” in February, before embarking on his “Cruisin' USA Tour” in March. (2011) Photo Credit: Diana Levine

Hoodie Allen has the No. 1 album on iTunes right now.

Yes, that's right. The No. 1 album in America comes from the Nassau County rapper who declined several record deals and decided to put out his "All American" album himself.

"All American's" huge opening shows that his long-term strategy paid off. Until Tuesday's debut, Allen has offered his well-received mixtapes for free, featuring songs that showed off his nimble flow and clever rhymes, while mostly relying on hooks built from other artists' songs. "All American" marks not only the first time Allen has commercially released an EP, but also the first time he and his team are responsible for all the music.

It was only two years ago that Allen was working at Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., as an account manager, trying to balance his promising career in business and his promising career as a rapper. He chose music when his first mixtape, "Pep Rally," was embraced by the blogosphere.

It's a past he references in "Top of the World," where he rhymes, "I went from working at Google to watching my Google alerts, now I got a buzz bigger than Google Earth."

That's no lie.

He headlines Manhattan's Highline Ballroom on April 24.


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