In today’s music scene, many new players might be discouraged with the odds of breaking into the game where there are so many new talented musicians and resources for people to make it big. But with persistence and a unique ear, it’s still entirely possible. Perhaps the best example of this fact is the recent rise 21-year-old of Austin Post, or Post Malone as he’s better known. Breaking into the scene as a teenager, Post Malone has utilized new tools like Spotify and Soundcloud to rack up over 219 million streams on his latest single “Rockstar” alone on Spotify. The single, featuring another popular rapper 21 Savage, also holds the record for most streams in a week on Apple Music.
Post Malone first popped up on the scene in 2015 with a surprise hit in “White Iverson,” which blew up on YouTube and Soundcloud. The track currently holds 4.4 million plays on Soundcloud while the music video, starring Post and a Rolls Royce in the desert, has over 435 million views and continues to garner attention. His overnight successes has come as a surprise to him too, as he’s stated in previous interviews.
Post’s unique take on the hip-hop genre comes from employing all different genres throughout his music. When sitting down to listen to Stoney, his first full album, prepare to hear sounds ranging from well thought out rap, melodic pop beats, acoustic guitar assisted folk, and classic rock inspired ballads. This musical melting pot teeters between weird and genius, and it walks the line brilliantly. On the first listen, one might question Post’s divergence from the status quo, but eventually everyone comes around to appreciate the uniqueness of Post’s songs.
Along with exploding into the hip hop scene, Post is setting himself up to be a bit of a pop culture sensation. Playfully wagging his finger at traditional rap culture and himself, he can be found proudly rocking unkempt facial hair, a mullet or braids, and gold grills along with a wardrobe that looks like it was put together from a Goodwill catalog. Ranging from dirty flannels to old turtlenecks, Post’s style turns as many heads as his music. He also has a large social media presence, appearing in many well-known YouTuber’s videos such as H3H3 Productions and interacting with his 1.7 million Twitter followers.
Like any newcomer to the scene, Post Malone has faced scrutiny from others in the industry, mainly for issues regarding to cultural appropriation. He has faced criticism from Lil B and Charlamagne Tha God, both established figures in the rap community, among others. In response to being called a “culture vulture” and piggybacking off the success of rap, Post said in the same interview with Paper Magazine that believing artists of particular cultural backgrounds cannot crossover into other culturally dominated genres is an outdated way of thinking.
Post grew up in an age where rappers took over the rockstars, and hip-hop has grown to be the more popular music in youth culture. He’s discussed being aware of the advantage the public thinks he’s taking, but he’s just doing what he loves.
Post’s natural talent and social media savvy prove that he’s a force to be reckoned with, but a welcome one. With one hit after another, Post’s arrival to the music scene has proved that it is still possible to break out into such a crazy industry. And with another album on the horizon, it looks like Post is here to stay.