PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Steven Markowitz is from Long Island, but in many ways Hoodie Allen was born in Philadelphia at the University Of Pennsylvania.
The 29-year-old rapper is crossing the country currently performing songs from his third album The Hype. The album finds Markowitz – better known as Hoodie Allen – exploring the side effects of success and his journey that first started during his time attending Penn.
“I definitely see it as a second home, for sure. I think that’s super fair to say” explains Allen, over the phone between tour stops, when asked about Philadelphia. “A lot of my early music development and collaboration came out of my time at Penn, even some of my first performances ever. I learned a lot while in Philly.”
“It was college for me, so it’s like all the normal growing up, sort of learning about yourself stuff that would come from college,” he says of his Penn memories. “Since I was also really developing this passion of mine and starting to see the tiniest bit of buzz come from pursuing it, it was also a pretty interesting time.”
Early Hoodie Allen songs name-check the Ivy League school, but it wasn’t until securing a job at Google in California that his hip hop dreams started to be fully realized.
“I don’t really think I got accepted in the Penn community as a musician during my time there, it really wasn’t until I graduated” he laughs. “It’s sort of one of those things where you come back to your second home and now they love you.”
“I went to Wharton undergrad. Most people are not thinking of an artist career coming out of Wharton, so it was definitely a bit non-traditional. Even for myself, I didn’t necessarily know where I was gonna end up. I was also looking for something that fit a non-creative interest, which is kinda how I ended up at Google.”
Hoodie Allen’s zig-zag of a career from Penn to Google to full-time artist plays a big part in The Hype, his latest batch of well-polished pop injected hip hop.
“To me as a personal journey, it definitely talks about that beginning time up until now, and how it’s not always a straight line.”
You can see Hoodie Allen this Friday November 24th at Union Transfer, or maybe at Greek Lady or Locust Walk earlier in the day. You can hear the full interview with Hoodie Allen above, or check it out here.