NEW YORK — To most businesspeople, Hoodie Allen seems crazy.
The Long Island rapper followed up his first album, “All American,” which debuted in Billboard’s Top 10 last year and reached No. 1 on iTunes without the help of a major label, with a new mixtape, “Crew Cuts,” that he released, again by himself, last week. But instead of taking advantage of his growing popularity to boost sales, Allen decided he needed to give back instead.
He made “Crew Cuts” available on his website, hoodieallen.com, for free.
“Even though I gained a lot of fans with ‘All American’ who were only accustomed to downloading stuff that’s on iTunes, there are a lot of fans who started with me who were used to only getting things for free,” Allen says. “I didn’t want to become an artist who only releases products for sale ... It’s not really all about the money.”
The first afternoon it was available, “Crew Cuts” was downloaded 40,000 times from his website, and discussion about it made #CrewCuts a trending topic on Twitter nationally.