Year in Review: Top features #1

GVL/Kevin Sielaff

GVL/Kevin Sielaff

Shelby Pendowski

Originally published 4/13/15

When it comes to his fans, Steve Markowitz, also known as Hoodie Allen, is equally committed to them as they are to him. As he prepared for his show on April 9 at Grand Valley State University, he spent time responding to students’ tweets, taking pictures with fans who began lining up at 11:30 a.m. for his 8 p.m. show and tweeting out “So ridiculously excited for GVSU tonight! Can’t believe 3,000 people are coming, we will give you an epic show #GetWetLakers.”

“I have been tweeting like crazy today, like it is insane,” Allen said. “I am trying to catch up to everyone because this is probably one of the shows where there’s been a lot of social media activity. I am super excited because sometimes you’ll play a college show and there won’t be that many tweets, and you are like, ‘Oh this is going to be small tonight.’ But there have been a lot of people talking.”

When the doors opened at 7 p.m., the line wrapped around the GVSU Fieldhouse, and people even waited outside in the rain to see Lion Babe and Hoodie Allen perform.

Lion Babe, known for collaborations with hip hop artist Childish Gambino, was the first to take the stage. Following her performance, many individuals began to chant “Hoodie” in anticipation of Allen’s performance.

Throughout the hip hop artist’s set, references to GVSU occurred regularly. Hits such as “No Faith in Brooklyn” transformed into “No Faith in Allendale,” and in a cover of Big Sean’s “I don’t f*** with you,” Hoodie laid down an original rap with references to the wrecking ball, Late Night at Kleiner and even T. Haas.

The GVSU Spotlight Production’s spring concert was just the beginning of Allen’s busy summer of performing and writing new material.

“I try to write from, you know, real life situations from myself,” Allen said. “I think in hip hop, and in all music, it is important to tell your own story. So I think a lot of it is telling your own story and trying to write stuff in a way that other people can relate to.”

Starting on June 10, Allen will go on tour with Fall Out Boy and Wiz Khalifa on The Boys of Zummer tour.

“I am really excited,” he said. “I have never been in a position where I am the opener for a really big tour like that. It is kind of a new challenge for me.”

Allen released his latest album “People Keep Talking” in 2014, but he is currently working on new music.

“Right now, I am working on a mix tap that is all sample, all lyrical hip hop,” Allen said. “So whatever comes next will be like a free project, so it will be free online for everyone. I am sure there will also be like a proper album at some point in 2016, but I really want the mix tape to be just as important as an album will be.

“I think mix tapes are a nice place to experiment and try new things that you may be scared to do on an album.”

Although no collaborations for the mix tape or the album have been arranged yet, Allen would like to work with Chicago hip-hop artist Vic Mensa, Marina and the Diamonds, Lily Allen and Kate Nash.

Even as he grows in popularity, Allen said he will remain faithful to his fans and stay true to his music.

“For me, I just love doing it,” he said. “I love that you can go and talk to someone on Twitter for months and months and then they come to the show and you like know that person. I think it is really about how you interact with fans and how the rest of the music sounds that really builds someone from, ‘Oh I really like that one song’ to ‘Oh I need to go see him in concert.’”

Tickets for The Boys of Zummer tour are now on sale at