Hoodie Allen’s ‘bub’ redefines his music career

Ethan Hurwitz, Sports Editor

Changing course from his usual witty rap lyrics, Hoodie Allen released “bub”, his fifth studio album, on March 17. Detailing Hoodie’s inner emotions post-breakup, the project is a fantastic look at how artists use their pain to beautifully create.

Starting last May, Hoodie sporadically released five singles, making up most of the short, eight-song album. The switch in musical styles from pop-rap to pop punk was a great addition to the long list of songs that now rotate through my playlist. Helped written and produced by Nick Anderson, the lead singer of The Wrecks, “bub” takes inspiration from a number of indie and alternative rock songs, just in a more sentimental way.

Focused around Hoodie getting cheated on in a past relationship, “bub” uses a pop-punk sound that was a pleasant addition to his discography.

Despite the lack of rap bars found in his previous albums, “bub” is a lot more real and raw.

As most emotional traumas are, the project is locked and loaded with the five stages of grief, starting with denial. “Happy Again,” the fourth released single, shows how Hoodie is trying to cover his sadness by imagining that he and his ex-girlfriend are not truly happy.

“And I watched you pretend / Pretend that you were happy again / Again, again, again, again / So I pretend I’m happy again.”

The lead single, “Wouldn’t That Be Nice,” depicts an angry Hoodie trying to figure out what went wrong. He can’t choose whether to hate himself or his ex, leading to his panic seen in the music video. “Alibi” also has themes of lashing out, as he does not want to be used as an excuse. Though masked in a catchy beat that rivals the prime punk genre, the song has somber undertones that can cut deep.

Halfway through is the sole feature. Games We Play hops on “Hey Ben” to help tell the story of how Hoodie and a man named Ben unknowingly share the same girlfriend. Certainly a pickle, but they both find a way to make a tough situation into a banger.

“Hey Ben, I’m sorry, but I might have slept with your girlfriend / I was under the impression she was my girlfriend / Don’t worry, it won’t happen again / But, hey Ben, I can’t make any promises.”

Both bargaining and depression can be spotted in the songs “Call Me Never”, “Sabotage” and “eraserface.” With lyrics like “Fallin’ head first, back to get her” and “It happens every time I let you in my head”, the first two songs depict Hoodie trying to make amends and rekindle the now-extinguished flame. Though he knows it is not worth it, he still struggles with the idea of being alone.

Though titled with a clever name, the latter is the opposite of a clever jam. Hoodie is openly raw about his post-breakup emotions. His depressive state comes across strongly in the song as he desperately tries to erase his past.

“Wish I could erase you / Wish you weren’t my type / Wish you weren’t my favorite / Wish you weren’t my life / What a life I’ve wasted.”

Closing the project and the emotional rollercoaster is “Better Me,” an openly-penned letter to Hoodie himself. I consider the song as of his best, as he comes to terms with and accepts the closing of his past chapter. After seven songs of blaming his former partner, he turns the blame inwards, serenading how he was involved in the downfall, whether he likes to admit it or not. He hits his stride with an all-time lyric that perfectly encapsulates the album as a whole.

“I let you down when it really mattered / I dropped the ball, but you let it shatter / I’ll let you go / Somehow I’ll grow.”

Overall, “bub” is a project that deserves a full digest. With a short 23-minute run time, the album is a quick yet powerful way to see the harsh openness of a seemingly constant happy-go-lucky singer and person.