Hoodie Allen Talks The Hype Album, Touring and Reaching Goals
Hoodie Allen just dropped his third studio album today (Sept. 29), The Hype, and is getting ready to begin a 48-date world tour starting in October. FLAUNT got the chance to catch up with Hoodie to talk about the inspiration behind the new effort, his favorite tour spots and much more. Check out our conversation with Allen below and then blast his new music, which is available now on all streaming platforms.
You just dropped your latest single “Ain't Ready” off the album, tell me about that song and how that track came together.
I think a lot of this album takes place over a year period detailing the beginning of me finally getting some attention in music. That song is basically the story-line of a time when some of the stuff that was happening to me musically was making me not able to really fully commit to personal relationships and seeing how my professional life impacted my personal life. I was kind of focusing on that. I think there was a time when I had someone good in my life but it wasn't a good time to make the real step and make real things happen. I think that's something that probably a lot of us have experienced.
The title of your album is The Hype. Where did this title come from?
The Hype is basically about, I mean you're familiar with the phrase "don't believe the hype" and all that stuff, and I wanted to take that whole idea of "the hype" and the buzz and hypebeasts and like the things that live online where we build things up, and take that idea and sort of apply it to myself and analyze my own hype and my own journey.
I wanted to show people sometimes the hype isn't all what it's cracked up to be and its not just, the minute you get some success, everything in your life turns around. It's more like the minute you get some attention for, in my case, music. It's kind of the start of the work and the start of the process.
Talk about the content of the album. How does it compare to your previous releases?
I think I spent a lot more time on this one and really tried to make a lot of music and figure out which songs fit best to tell that story and at the same time, as much as I wanted it to be an album that does have a narrative, I didn't want it to be so deep into the narrative that the songs don't make sense on their own out of context. Creating that balance was definitely very important for me and I think it came from working hard and taking my time on it, and worth giving the whole idea of a deadline.
What will we learn about you from this album? What will your Day 1 fans learn about Hoodie Allen from this project?
I think I really tried to touch on a bunch of personal experiences here and other than obviously speaking on relationships where I'm reflecting on things that didn't work and trying to dive into things that are working really well. I'm talking about real people and not just imaginative situations. I think one of the more telling tracks is probably the closing track "Runnin' Circles." It's kind of the sum up of the album in a sense where I'm trying to explain to people that I feel like I run 1000 miles sometimes and I look back up and I'm still standing exactly where I started.
I want to leave it up to the listener to decide if that's a good thing or a bad thing. I think a lot of us in our own pursuit either professionally or personally sometimes feel like we invest so much in something and we don't always know what the end goal is going to be or where we're going to end up. And if we end up back at Square 1, is it time to start over or is it time to keep pushing forward? So I think I'm giving insight into the stress and also the care that I feel in doing this. Hopefully that's something that shines through with that track particularly.
Is that your favorite track? What songs stand out to you off the album?
Yeah, that's definitely one of my favorite tracks. It's really hard to pick a favorite because I didn't put anything on there that I didn't want to put on there. I am my own label and have my own management. So the decision-making process is pretty linear. But that's definitely one of my favorites. But there are definitely other songs on here that I love for so many other reasons. I love all the collaborations. Those artists and bands I worked with are my friends and getting to work with them and make something completely collaborative and unique was so amazing. Every song is my favorite at the moment.
In terms of songwriting and lyricism, would you say this one of your stronger projects?
I think so. I sure hope so. I've always treated myself like a full writer, I know a lot people in my lane sort of situation that they get the hook sent to them by their A&R, and then write 16 bars around it and then they get a big pop singer on it. It just feels a little manufactured. Some of those songs are amazing and it's a process that works for a reason. I may have too much pride but I love writing my own songs and writing every word. For me, if the hook is really good, I want to take credit for it and want to be like that spoke to me and I didn't receive that from somewhere else.
What can we expect from your upcoming world tour?
I'm super excited, I think touring is one of my favorite things, outside of a day like today where an album gets released and all the fans finally get to hear something. It's that second step of the process where now that you've released something and you finally see fans in person and they're singing back your words to you.
That sort of brings everything full circle and that's something that I'm super looking forward to. I want to see what songs resonate with people, what the environment is like, what the vibe is, so I'm so excited to get on tour. I've always tried to do things differently, I play with a full live band, and I really think it takes the musicality of it from a typical rap concert to a real live experience that feels like a rock band.
How is touring internationally versus the here in the U.S.?
I've been lucky to do a lot of tours in Europe so far. This will be my third one actually. Going overseas is one of my favorite things. Germany and the UK are favorites. I definitely love playing here, too. I released the album, All American for a reason, I love going to play everywhere in America--not just the big cities. Catch me in Omaha calling it the best show in the tour because it probably will be or Minnesota or the middle of the country because they definitely show a lot of love.
Written by Corey Fuller
Photographer: Storm Santos
Styling: Blake Hardy