Hoodie Allen v. Macklemore

Penina Remler , Assistant A&E Editor

Times have changed in the music industry.  No major record label producer could have imagined the latest conflict at the top of the hip-hop charts.  The dispute is between Ivy League graduate Long Islander Stevie Markowitz and well-off Seattleite Ben Haggerty.

These men may not seem like rap stars, but under their performance names Hoodie Allen and Macklemore, they have been taking the hip-hop world by storm, with their independent acts inspiring other budding rap artists.

Both have built highly dedicated and at times obsessive fanbases to help expand their popularity.  Hoodie’s “HoodieMob,” which stretches internationally, has felt attached to its favorite artist because he personally responds to their tweets, Facebook messages, and emails.  The night of the release of All American, his recent iTunes project, Hoodie posted a message to all his fans on Facebook.

“I don’t care about the money here,” said Hoodie.  “I really just want to shock the world tonight.  All the labels and the blogs who overlook us, who think this is just a fad, tonight we finally get to prove them wrong.”

The nonbelievers were proven wrong, and Hoodie instantly topped the charts.

Macklemore’s music speaks to the independent hip-hop social movement.  One of his albums, The Heist has put him on a national stage, while his other record Thrift Shop spins on pop radio nationally.

His story is one of his darkest days as an addict and his path to overcoming these obstacles.  His fanbase, referred to as “Shark Face Gang,” has allowed him to embark on one of the most successful independent music tours in the past decade as he is currently in the midst of “The Heist World Tour.”

Hit singles “Thrift Shop,” “And We Danced,” and “Wings” are eclectic both sonically and visually as Macklemore and his producer, Ryan Lewis, work tirelessly on their own to create the perfect visual.

At first glance, Hoodie Allen and Macklemore are white rappers, the most paradoxical of all in the music industry.  Yet their movements stand for something much more than that.

It is tough to step away from their appearances as white rappers, but they have achieved success based on the quality of their music.  Hoodie Allen and Macklemore speak to the value of being an independent artist and continue to impress us with their success.