Here’s a challenge. Bring up the name “Post Malone” in any discussion about up-and-coming artists. Depending on the crowd, the reactions will inevitably range from eager nods to guffaws.
To skeptics, Austin Post is still trying to ride the high of “White Iverson.” To others, the 22-year-old Texan is taking all the right steps to become a lasting, unique voice in today’s fabric of hip-hop and R&B. So which is it?
Two years ago, the label of “one-hit wonder” might have been accurate. But now, two years after “White Iverson” first catapulted its way to the top of the charts in summer 2015, Post Malone’s resume looks a lot more impressive. Four charting singles, including the 2016 mega hit “Congratulations,” a mixtape, and a 14-track debut album (18 if you count the deluxe version) demonstrate a talent that’s indicative of something much more than a fluke.
Post Malone does something remarkably well: setting an atmosphere.
His delivery toes the line between singing and rapping, and his songwriting toes the line between youthful hedonism and somber introspection. In short, these are party tunes with a sobering sense of self-awareness. Granted, it’s a style that he neither invented nor pioneered. But there’s no denying his influence in popularizing this sound in mainstream hip-hop and R&B.
Perhaps his most impressive track is a lesser-known work titled “Hollywood Dreams/Comedown” from his August 26th mixtape. It shows a reverence for the classics, a love for the party, and a sense of foresight about the inevitable comedown. Post Malone in a nutshell.
Within the first few seconds of “Hollywood Dreams”, it’s apparent that this reinterpretation of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” display his classic rock influences. But this tale of a substance-fueled night out then takes a dark turn in its second half when the party favors take hold.
The lines “I thought that I would learn by now / I thought that I would never come down” show a moment of clarity in the midst of hedonism. No doubt, there are some autobiographical elements in these lyrics.
Songs like this show a level of sophistication that goes far beyond that of just any self-made Soundcloud rapper.
So what should one expect from a Post Malone show?
During live shows, Post Malone is not afraid to put his emotions on full display. For hometown crowds like the one from his first-ever sold out show in Dallas, he basks in the crowd’s adulation and gives them his all. At times, it’s hard to tell who’s more starstruck – the crowd or Post Malone. Take a look at a recording from the sold-out show below; the energy of the room is almost intoxicating.
No doubt, festival crowds will challenge the young artist. For starters, the setting is not as intimate as a club. In addition, the crowd is more likely to have casual listeners that are not as familiar with his music. But as he releases more chart-toppers and continues to mature as an artist, his performances will steadily improve.
Regardless of how polished he is as a performer, the chance to capture an emotional, energetic, and down-to-earth Post Malone is too good to pass up.
Post Malone is one of the bigger names booked for Voodoo Music + Arts Experience.
The festival is set to take place October 27-29 this year. Tickets for Voodoo are available HERE. For the latest information on this festival, be sure to keep up with the River Beats team’s coverage and to follow Voodoo Music + Arts Experience on social media.
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Feature image courtesy of Mikel Galicia and The Dallas Observer.