Album Review: Leap Year by Hoodie Allen

Posted: July 26, 2011 by eptarheels23 in Album Review, Music
Tags: , ,

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Hoodie Allen has come quite a ways since his debut mixtape, Making Waves all the way back in 2009. I have personally been following him since that release and his second project, Prep Rally, was one of the most underrated tapes of 2010. It had sick samples, catchy hooks and witty verses. I have been looking forward to the third mixtape from the former Google employee to NY star for a while now. So is Leap Year the project that will take Hoodie Allen to the next level? Check out the review below!

1: Song For An Actress 5/5
Hoodie opens up the mixtape with a bang. The second the beat drops, you’ll be nodding your head to the beat. It’s filled with drum kicks and Hoodie’s first verse showcases his talents behind the mic. He really tears it apart with catchy lines all over the place, but it still flows superb. RJF, Hoodie’s producer, gets a sick sample for the beat and the chorus is really catchy. This is an amazing opener for the tape.

2: Can’t Hold Me Down (feat. Tayyib Ali) 5/5
The one and only guest appearance on Leap Year features the Philly up and comer Tayyib Ali. The beat on here is real smooth and jazzy, as it features a sax throughout the song. The track is still uptempo though and has a killer hook from Hoodie that will have you singing along in no time. Tayyib Ali steals the show with his verse, it just seems like the track was meant for him. Despite losing the battle with Tayyib, Hoodie keeps pace with his last verse. His flow on there is crazy and it’s some of the best I’ve seen from Hoodie. On the end I love how they close out the track with the chorus and just clapping for the beat, nice touch. This is a standout in every sense of the word.

3: The Chase Is On 5/5
The first single from Leap Year is possibly my favorite Hoodie track to date. It is more of an uptemp almost electronic/dance record from Hoodie. Ever since this track dropped last Thursday I have not been able to get it off of rotation. Hoodie’s verse are well done and he drops killer lines left and right such as “Oh you from Wu-Tang? Then why’s your face ghost?”. The chorus is probably the catchiest ever from Hoodie Allen (even better than You’re Not a Robot). RJF once again kills the production, you’ll see that throughout the rest of the tape. This is an absolute must listen.

4: James Franco 4/5
Hahaha, I love how the track is named after the hilarious actor of the same name. The chorus will once again stick in your head as it is just chanting of “Franco”. The beat is almost reggae/alternative/hiphop/electronic-ish and seems like something Aer would go over. The track is even complete with James Franco samples at the end, and they’ll make you chuckle a little. Overall, this isn’t the best track, but a solid listen nonetheless.

5: You’re Welcome 5/5
If you saw the trailer for Leap Year, this is the song featured in that. I take back what I said about The Chase Is On having the best Hoodie Allen hook ever. This is that track. Let me add something too, this is my favorite Hoodie track to date also. The beat is smooth and composed of laid back drum kicks and a little piano. Hoodie also drops some nice lines such as “I love my Japanese fans, this a bomb year, Nagasaki, and when I get up on the beat I kill it like a… not gon say it” and “I’ll be in the game eventually cause I’m so J.J. Reddick.” You gotta love Hoodie making fun of J.J., it doesn’t get much better than that.

6: Soul On Fire 4/5
I was hoping Hoodie would slow it down on here and make more of a soul influenced track but sadly no. This is an uptempo jam and the beat is pretty good overall, that’s what I’ve come to expect from RJF. However I’m not a huge fan of Hoodie’s verses on here. They just seem kinda awkward and not like they were originally meant for this track. With that being said, I love the chorus and it takes the track up a few levels. It is catchy once again (surprise) and Hoodie is really starting to impress me with his ability for a killer hook. This is an overall good listen, just not the best.

7: Evey Time You Go 4.5/5
This track is one of those tracks with a sad feel to it but is still semi-fast paced. So much for Hoodie and those awkward verses, he kills it here. His flow is top notch and it seems effortless to him. RJF lays down another great beat for Hoodie, it has a deep piano and and tons more instruments, which makes for one beat that goes. I don’t want to reiterate this again, but I’m a huge fan of Hoodie’s chorus. It fits the feel of the track perfectly and makes the track that much better.

8: Push You Away 3.5/5
The beat is outstanding, Hoodie’s verses are nice and flow well. So what’s the problem with this track? I don’t like the hook. After all the praise I’ve been giving Hoodie for his hooks, he lays down one below par here. It’s fine though if he has one bad hook and ten good ones, I can live with that. The beat is almost eerie and dreamy here, but it just doesn’t seem to fit. This is a good track, just happens that it’s on a tape of great tracks.

9: Sticks & Stones 5/5
This record is straight up about Hoodie rapping. He shows everyone why he is such a good emcee in the first place. He goes hard for the whole track, this is why I feel in love with Hoodie’s music back in 2009. I do have to commend RJF for giving Hoodie the perfect beat to go ham on. It is quick and knocks in way that Hoodie just spits fire. There are so many witty and clever lines in here you’re going to have to listen to this a lot to catch them all.

10: Flipping Out 4/5
I would compare this track to a worse version of You’re Welcome. The beats are similar and Hoodie’s flow is pretty much the same in each track. With that being said, a worse version of You’re Welcome still makes for a damn good song. This won’t be song I talk about a ton, but it will still get plenty of plays on my iPod.

11: #Whitegirlproblems 4/5
Classic Hoodie track. This has a vintage Hoodie Allen feel to it, it could have been on any of his three projects. The beat is smooth and is composed of drums and guitar riffs. His flow is what I’ve come to expect and makes the track what it is. I am also really feeling the sample from RJF, it’s pretty dope. Solid track from Hoodie here.

12: Dream Up 5/5
Wow. That’s all I can say. Hoodie keeps impressing me even more. His flow is insane and it made me just sit back in what I was listening to. He just keeps getting better with each and every track. The beat is uplifting and almost inspirational. It is like a canvas for Hoodie to paint his art over, it sets the stage perfectly. This is one of the best tracks on Leap Year and I would completely recommend listening to this. On a random note, Hoodie also mentions he’s on Team Jacob haha.

13: Moon Bounce 5/5
Coming into this track I felt that Hoodie really needed a strong record to close out the album so that he capitalized on the previous success and didn’t leave a bad taste for the listener. Well, did Hoodie come through or what. This beat is slower paced and filled with a killer piano that slowly builds up to an almost epic chorus from Hoodie. I can’t believe how great of a closing this is from Hoodie. Wow.

I am completely blown away. Hoodie really outdid himself on Leap Year. It has killer production (thank you RJF), insanely catchy hooks, killer verses, amazing samples and standout tracks all the way through the tape. As I stated above Hoodie has come such a long way since his first release and has grown exponentially in talent. I wouldn’t be surprised if this tape ended up in my Top 5 for the entire year when it’s all said and done, it will definitely be in my Top 10. Hoodie’s fan base is growing at a fast rate and yet he still remains humble to everything that is happening to him. Let me close out this review by saying something I could have said above, but then you wouldn’t have needed the rest of the review: the two words that describe Leap Year are unbelievably good.

Download: Hoodie Allen – Leap Year

The Chase Is On

You’re Welcome

Can’t Hold Me Down (feat. Tayyib Ali)

Sticks & Stones

Moon Bounce

  1. […] new music from Game, Na Palm, DJ Drama, Joell Ortiz and new album/mixtape releases from Jay Rock, Hoodie Allen and Rockie Fresh. Hit the jump to stream and download all the new music after the […]

  2. […] Hoodie Allen. RJF does all of his production, including one of the best projects of the year in Leap year. RJF is honestly one of the best producers I’ve ever when it comes down to samples. His […]

  3. […] employee and now NY rapper Hoodie Allen. He has released one of the best projects of the year in Leap Year and has another solid mixtape in Prep Rally to his name. You can also count in Connecticut artist, […]

  4. […] Hoodie Allen – Leap Year (review) Released: July 26th Features: Tayyib Ali Standouts: Songs For An Actress, The Chase Is On, […]

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