Friday marked the release of Post Malone’s first studio album, Stoney. Post’s debut album includes 18 songs and features from Justin Bieber, Kehlani, Quavo, and 2 Chainz.
Born Austin Richard Post, the 21-year-old rapper first became interested in music as a teenager, in the form of guitar. Post moved from Syracuse, New York to Dallas, Texas when he was 10 years old. While living in Texas, the future rapper became familiar with country music and was inspired by Johnny Cash and Hank Williams. A teenage Post channeled his guitar and vocal talent in a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right,” which now has over 334,000 views on YouTube.
After a quick stint at a community college in Texas, Post moved to Los Angeles to further pursue a music career. Post, who credits his diverse taste in music to his father, made a dive into the hip-hop music shortly after moving to Los Angeles, writing and recording the mega-hit “White Iverson” in February of 2015. “White Iverson” was released on Post’s SoundCloud account where it immediately took off, gaining over 1 million streams in the first month of it’s release. In July of 2015, Post released a music video for “White Iverson,” which now has close to 230 million views on YouTube. The video for “White Iverson” features Post dancing and riding on top of a Rolls Royce in the desert, with braided hair and gold teeth.
After the success of White Iverson, Post continued releasing songs on his SoundCloud that gained popularity, while also collaborating with famous artists like Kanye West, Young Thug and Justin Bieber. Post was even able to capitalize on a group of fans he might not have normally been able to reach by opening for Bieber on his Purpose tour.
As Post’s popularity grew, so did the expectation that he would soon release a studio album. Post released his first full-length project in May of this year with a mixtape titled August, 26th, a reference to the projected release date of his first studio album, Stoney.
While Stoney comes about three and a half months after it’s initial projected release date, it is worth the wait. With an insanely popular hit in “White Iverson,” many questioned if Post was simply the next internet created one-hit wonder, like Bobby Shmurda, iLoveMakkonen, or wait, bold prediction, Rae Sremmurd. Fortunately for Post and his fans, there is enough substance on Stoney to assume that Post has some staying power in the music industry.
Post’s bread and butter is pop-rap or radio-rap, a genre that is fully explored on Stoney, but with 18 tracks, a number that is probably too high, Post is able to include songs featuring his acoustic side. Post has expressed excitement at the possibility of becoming a country singer at the end of his career, a look into that future is available on several songs on Stoney. The album’s last song, “Feeling Whitney” is a complete departure from pop-rap, going full on country folk. While it may seem out of place on Stoney, “Feeling Whitney” is actually a beautiful song. On “Feeling Whitney,” Post plays simple guitar chords throughout, while hazily crooning a somewhat depressing ballad. Post employs his guitar and singing voice for several other songs on Stoney.
Post is still mostly tied to hip-hop, a genre in which he continues to succeed. While thematically, Post does not offer much depth, rapping about girls, drugs, money and fame, he does it well. Stoney shines with it’s production, Post perfectly lays down auto-tuned raps over beats from hip-hop titans like Dj Mustard and Metro Boomin.
Several Post classics that have been available for months like “White Iverson,” “Too Young” and “Go Flex” made their way on to Stoney’s track list. “Go Flex” is an interesting song that combines rap themes and a hip-hop beat that is fused with an acoustic guitar for an enjoyable listening experience. If Post can continue to blend genres like on “Go Flex,”this sound may be unique enough to maintain success in the industry for years to come.
According to Complex, Post will be touring Europe in February to promote Stoney, which is now available to stream or purchase on multiple platforms.
[Featured Image by John Salangsang/Invision/AP Images]