Rapper keeps realness

Ruben Perez, Reporter

Hoodie Allen’s new mixtape “Crew Cuts” was released for free on his website Feb. 20, and it’s worth the download.

Allen has been making music independently since he started and doesn’t shy away from the fact that he’s a middle-class white guy who went to college.

“Crew Cuts” has a surprising amount of realness, in the sense that he isn’t talking about being up in the club, banging 600 girls a night and partying with Diddy.  Unfortunately realness tends to be lacking from a lot of up-and-coming rappers, and it’s nice to see that for a change.

Before “Crew Cuts” dropped he released the video for “Cakeboy,” which was kind of disappointing.  It’s not the best song on the album and the chorus “You can bake a cake cake cake” makes absolutely no sense.  Even in the context of the song, it doesn’t make sense.

Fortunately, he also released the video for “Fame is for Assholes” which, like the rest of his songs, is much better.  “Crew Cuts” also has great collaborations with people like Chiddy, G-Eazy and Skizzy Mars.

The downfalls of the album are limited to the chorus to “Cakeboy” and Shwayze’s contribution to the song “Wave Goodbye.” Maybe it’s a bias because Shwayze sucks, but his contribution to the song was so short I didn’t even notice it at first.  I had to listen again to find his three lines at the end of the song. “Crew Cuts” also has a ridiculous amount of pop culture references.  In “Reunion,” he references Alanis Morissette, “The Hunger Games,” “30 Rock” and Charlie Chaplin in only the first half of the song, but he can pull it off.  Unlike Lil Wayne or somebody that just says a name because it will fit or it rhymes well, Allen uses the references to say how cool he is and how well he raps and does it without looking like a douche. There are also no rap skits on the album.  Usually with a mixtape there are some skits that sometimes work really well, but most of the time are just interruptions between songs.

“Crew Cuts” is very good, has catchy beats and shows that Allen can deliver.  Unfortunately, my standard for rap mixtapes is very high after “The Bake Sale” by The Cool Kids, and Allen hasn’t made it to that point yet, but “Crew Cuts” shows he’s getting there.