At first glance, rapper and songwriter Post Malone might seem out of the ordinary. With his long, braided hair, multiple tattoos and overall disheveled presence, Malone is a unique artist in his own right.
Born “Austin Post” in Syracuse, New York, Malone moved to Texas while he was a child. He credits his initial interest in music to the popular game Guitar Hero. The game inspired him to learn the guitar, which eventually led him to create his own mixtape while still in high school at the age of 16. Malone moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue a career in music after leaving a few months into his studies at Syracuse University.
The first song that shot Malone into the limelight was “White Iverson,” reaching one million views on SoundCloud in the first month it was out. On July 19, 2015, Malone dropped the music video for “White Iverson” and it continued to grow in popularity on the charts. He was signed onto Republic Records a month later. The video currently has 424 million views on YouTube after being released two years ago.
Malone did not expect the song to become as popular as it did, claiming that he wrote it only two days before actually recording it. Malone has even gone on to call himself a “one hit wonder.”
After gaining a surprising amount of popularity, Malone went on to produce his first album, “Stoney,” with Republic Records. Released on December 9, 2016, “Stoney” reached #6 on Billboard’s Top 200 by the end of the month, remaining on the chart for the next 43 weeks.
In an interview with Complex, Malone describes his sound as, “saucy, unique, crispy, it’s going to melt the face off your skull. It’s the new stuff.” There is no denying that Malone’s sound is original. With “White Iverson’s” smooth vocals and ethereal background music to the gut wrenching lyrics and tone of “I Fall Apart,” “Stoney” is an album with a little bit of every sound. Whether you’re looking to get pumped up (listen to “No Option”), or need a song to listen to in the car with the windows down (“Go Flex”), this album has you covered.
Robert Mohollen, a recent WCU alum, is a fan of the way Malone produces his music, “He uses his own voice and creates music without a heavy use of autotune,” said Mohollen. As for his favorite song, Mohollen said he enjoys listening to “Too Young.”
Malone played in Philadelphia’s Electric Factory this past September while on his 2017 Stoney Tour. Francis Convery, a second-year computer science major at West Chester, was in attendance at Malone’s Philly show. Convery is a big fan of Malone and his unique sound: “He tests the restrictions each artist has to a specific genre. Who says a guy from Texas can’t rap and cover Nirvana’s ‘All Apologies’ in the same night?”
Convery enjoyed how engaging Malone was to the audience, saying “It was funny how honest and personal he was. Even when the venue had technical difficulties, he tried his best to give the crowd attention by telling some corny jokes and embarrassingly danced around the stage.”
As for the music, Convery was a fan of Malone’s performance of “I Fall Apart,” “He had the entire crowd screaming the heart wrenching chorus and you could tell he was putting a lot of effort into it.”
Post Malone is definitely not your ordinary rapper. At only 22 years old, he pushes the boundaries for rappers and singers alike. Between his eccentric style (I mean—have you seen those French braids?) and unique repertoire, Malone is an artist to keep our eyes and our ears on.
Taylor Stenroos is a fourth-year student majoring in English with a writing track with minors in journalism and French. They can be reached at TS833344@wcupa.edu.