Post Malone's star just continues to rise
There have been few meteoric rises in pop music like Post Malone’s. The 22-year-old rapper and singer-songwriter first appeared on the charts in September 2015 when his debut single “White Iverson” entered the Billboard Hot 100. Since then he’s had four Top 10 hits, and his sophomore studio album Beerbongs & Bentleys debuted at No. 1 on the album charts. During one week in May, he had 14 songs in the Top 40, from “Psycho” at No. 2 to “92 Explorer” at No. 40. Controversies seem to bounce off of him, his favorite beer tapped him to participate in April’s Bud Light Dive Bar Tour stop in Nashville, and later that month he kicked off a 28-city tour that’s likely to cement his place on Mount Superstardom.
In other words, he’s top of the world. Malone wants to be as big as the artists in the constellation of tattoos he permanently wears on his arms and fingers: Johnny Cash, Kurt Cobain, Bob Dylan and Elvis Presley. To the audiences that sing every lyric back to him in concert, he’s just as original as his heroes. Malone’s laconic delivery is instantly identifiable, and although he’s hardly an originator of trap-style hip-hop, he has an undeniable gift for hooks and reconfiguring trap’s rat-a-tat snares and deep kick drums.
Born as Austin Richard in Syracuse, N.Y., and bred in the suburbs of Dallas, Malone grew up hearing a wide variety of music due in part to his dad’s stint as a wedding DJ and appreciation for hair metal. Playing Guitar Hero led to playing guitar in real life, and in high school he handed out a self-produced mix tape that made the future singer of “Rockstar” into a homegrown celebrity. His parents drove him to open mics, but it was a move to L.A. that set things in motion for Post Malone’s rise. A video made with his gamer roommates that went viral demonstrated his comfort in front of a camera, and he made industry connections.
His life changed forever after he uploaded “White Iverson” to online audio platform SoundCloud in February 2015. The song caught on fast, and Malone was signed by Republic Records six months later. He met Kanye West while performing at Kylie Jenner’s birthday and wound up being featured on West’s Life of Pablo album, then toured opening for Justin Bieber. In December 2016, he released his debut studio album Stoney, which would become a No. 4 album.
Malone made mistakes, most notably controversial remarks about contemporary hip-hop during an interview in Poland. They weren’t enough to damage him though, as he became a record breaker with the release of Beerbongs. It broke first-day streaming records in the U.S. and internationally, and went platinum four days after its April 27 release. “Rockstar” was named the Top Rap Song at last month’s Billboard Music Awards, where he was nominated in 13 categories. With his own label in the works and an eye on making movies, one of rap’s most unlikely stars has no plans to burn out and fade away any time soon.
Park Theater at Park MGM, 8 p.m. June 22, $45.50-$102.50 plus tax and fee. 844.600.7275