Interview: Hoodie Allen
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“I’ll try not to get swarmed”, Hoodie laughs as I mention the queue of adoring, slightly scary female fans forming outside Birmingham’s Institute five hours before he is due to take the stage. I find myself in the company of one of America’s biggest upcoming rappers. Backstage crammed in what I imagine is a changing room, only stacks of money seem to litter the place. It is immediately clear that Hoodie Allen is making a name for himself over here in the UK as well as in the States. He apologises, in his typical New York City accent, for the drums soundcheck that seem to rattle the room. “The kids were going crazy last night. It was probably the best night of the tour. Tonight is going to be so much bigger with so many more people so it’ll be interesting to see what energy Birmingham gives me”. The MC-come-pop-star has recently teamed up with Ed Sheeran a single together; 'All About It'. For someone, like myself, who is far from into rap music, the song serves as a blur between pop and hip hop and is actually pretty good. And, from the tempestuous masses that locate themselves outside the building, so do many others. “Ed’s a really good person and so easy to work with. He’s my homie.” “I met him at a gig that he played in New York City and I was there with my girlfriend and we had a mutual friend and I found myself backstage and we kicked it off from there. He’s so great”. The impressive thing about Hoodie is his rejection of record labels, still being unsigned after years of producing music and turning down offers from major record labels. Chat digresses to the problems he faces because of this: “There are positives and negatives to breaking through music without a label. I used the internet and it was alive for me.” “I never knew Birmingham was a city before my career and now it’s my third time playing here. I’m content. I’m content, man.” “Obviously we had the single with Ed and that’s going to give me loads of exposure.”
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