The New York born rapper has had an interesting journey into the music industry it has to be said; one of the few rap artists who can pull off not only a fun, rock ‘n’ roll aesthetic, but remain relatively down to Earth about everything while at it, all while sustaining multi-platinum status as a rapper. I mean it’s not often you hear a rapper cite Guitar Hero and emo icons like MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE as a musical influences growing up, but despite this, Posty is now one of the biggest names in modern hip-hop and the recent mumble-rap explosion. Hammering home this point, here we have his most recent album “Beerbongs & Bentleys” highlighting both aspects of Post Malone’s crazy success story…let’s check it out…
We open up this 18-track monster of a record with “Paranoid” and for the most part it’s your typically low-fi, melodic, pop-infused hip-hop track; the slow, smooth rhythm and minimalistic instrumentation, coupled with the auto-tune laced vocal leads this to pretty standard radio-friendly stuff. The autobiographical lyrics speak of his circumstances since finding fame, always watching his back, wanting that normality but when those cheques came; people changed, and despite his accomplishments it’s given him anxiety; an interesting, character building start. The level of self-awareness continues through “Spoil My Night” too, which focuses on the opposite side of the coin, knowing he can use his new found wealth and fame to get the girl with the ‘beautiful boobies’…and that’s a QUOTE I shit you not. While not entirely bragging, he’s aware enough to know the behaviour is toxic and to a degree there’s a level of morality layered within the lyrics.
With over an hour’s worth of music to mull over there’s plenty to talk about here, and we have to talk about some of the collaborations on this record for sure…and this includes the lead single “Rockstar” featuring 21 SAVAGE. The mumble-rap qualities are all the more prominent and it’s easy to see how the modern Soundcloud rap movement helped shape artists like Post Malone. Another minimalist, trap-based track, it really benefits from the less-is-more approach with a slick beat and down-tempo groove, although 21’s vocals couldn’t possibly be any flatter…honest to god he’d better avoid Sweden, Ikea will try to sell him off as a fucking shelf unit that’s how flat he is! Another single “Ball For Me” featuring NICKI MINAJ delivers too with some sickly-sweet retro synths and benefits from Minaj’s more up-tempo lyrical pace and tone, she’s been on form in 2018 taking into account her album “Queen”, they work well together and the track compliments them both.
Posty likes to shake things up a little bit now and again mind and examples of this here are “Stay”, which is honestly a decent little acoustic-based ballad, highlighting his ability as a song-writer, while “Over Now” despite retaining the more guitar driven style, has a more subtle, alternative indie-rock feel to it, channelling those early influences. If there’s anything negative to be said here really it’s simply on a matter of consumption; there is so much to digest here and there are times where you can’t help but feel going over the hour mark was at the very least excessive. For the most part, despite the aforementioned tracks, he CAN come across as a little vocally one-dimensional and it seems he’s quite content with his overall formula…I mean it’s working for him don’t get me wrong, but 18 cuts is a couple of beerbongs too many to be honest, I’d be more inclined to call an Uber than get in the Bentley in this condition. Nevertheless, it’s an enjoyable album for the most part and I’m happy to learn that Post Malone isn’t some terribly named new sub-genre, unless he claims it as his own…I really wouldn’t put it past him.