Socially conscious rising rap duo, The Hoodies, consists of two brothers: Eben “E-Class” Nettles (age 26) and Umar “Young Poppa” Abrams (age 18). Known and loved for their unique chemistry and freestyle rapping abilities through their viral “In The Whip” series, the brothers were born and raised in upstate New York with familial ties—and musical influences—in all five boroughs in New York City.
Both Umar and Eben began rapping at very young ages (Eben at 8, Umar at 4). What began as two bonded brothers with a life-long dream of rapping and freestyling in their mother’s car for fun quickly turned into a call to action. After the unlawful killing of Trayvon Martin, brothers E-Class & Poppa felt moved to act—it was at that moment “The Hoodies” were born. E-Class & Poppa named themselves “The Hoodies” as a tribute to Trayvon Martin and every other black youth unjustly targeted based on their appearance. Their stage name reclaims a symbol demonized by law-enforcement and turns it into a symbol of empowerment. The Hoodies’ goal is to shed light on the perspective of the person inside “the hoodie” and provide a voice for America’s oppressed.
Stylistically, The Hoodies are from a whole different era—the golden era to be exact. Raised on the likes of Tupac, Nas, B.I.G., Jadakiss, Jay-Z, 50 Cent and many more, these influences are present in The Hoodies’ nostalgic production and timeless delivery. With his distinct voice and sophisticated lyricism, it’s been said that Poppa may even be the living reincarnation of his namesake, Biggie himself. What distinguishes this group, besides their brotherly bond, is their nostalgic sound, impeccable lyricism, and undeniably captivating energy. Unlike much of what we hear on the airwaves today, The Hoodies are all bars, all heart, all the time—no singing, no mumbling. Since going massively viral with their “In The Whip” freestyle video seriesin 2016, The Hoodies have made appearances on shows like Ellen and Hot97 with FunkFlex, and have had hip-hop royalty like Jadakiss and Styles P join in on their “In The Whip” sessions.
Both in their music and through public platforms, The Hoodies are sure to highlight their message and speak for the voiceless. During his Hot97 freestyle, E-Class raps, “They say I only rap about drugs, guns, and killin’ / Well, sh*t! The government put us in this position / Where it’s poverty-stricken, drug use, and liquor-sippin’ / These children go to prison before puberty can hit ’em.” Not only do these two brothers aim to share their undeniable musical talent with the world, in doing so they strive to set a positive example for effecting meaningful change in our current climate. They’ve even begun speaking with inner city youth, an effort they hope empowers kids to recognize and fulfill their true potential.
Looking ahead, The Hoodies will release their highly-anticipated album Hidden Gems, which was produced by hip-hop icon Kid Capri and is set for release on September 26th, as well as a mixtape that includes their beloved “In The Whip” sessions at the request of their fans. The Hoodies currently have a production deal with Asti Love, LLC, which is owned by longtime industry veteran Kristi Clifford, who has worked with numerous hip-hop stars over the last three decades, including Kid Capri, Jay-Z, Missy Elliott, Megan Thee Stallion, and more. The Hoodies are the first clients to be signed to Asti Love, LLC’s production division. This up-and-coming duo shows no signs of slowing down as their famous bond grows tighter than ever and their musical prowess reaches audiences everywhere, one “In The Whip” video at a time.