“If you’re looking to cry, if you’re looking to think about life, don’t listen to hip-hop.” – Post Malone
Well, if you’re a hip-hop head like myself, you were probably outraged by that statement. This was said by auto-tune crooner, Post Malone (apparently he calls himself “Posty”) in an interview in Poland a few days ago. Post then went on to say that he chooses to listen to Bob Dylan for those situations rather than hip-hop. He also acknowledged that while he’d rather listen to Dylan, there were still good hip-hop songs…just not any currently:
“There’s great hip-hop songs where they talk about life and they really spit that real s***, but right now, you know, there’s not a lot of people talking about s***…”
Ah. I see. I guess “Posty” must have missed DAMN., [4:44], At What Cost, ALL-AMERIKKKAN BADA$$, Big Fish Theory, 4eva is a Might Long Time, The Never Story, IWASVERYBAD, Packs, Saturation I and II, Brick Body Kids Still Daydream and the countless other mainstream and underground hip-hop albums I haven’t mentioned that have dropped this year, filled with substance and content. And I haven’t even mentioned last year’s releases.
Post Malone is completely out of touch with the genre, and it is so GLARINGLY obvious.
I’m not going to deny that a lot mainstream hip-hop right now lacks substance. That’s obvious. But at least even artists like Drake and Future have acknowledged their influences (Future actually has ties to the Dungeon Family), are aware of hip-hop history, and most importantly, RESPECT their predecessors. Also, mainstream hip-hop only makes up a small percentage of the entirety of the genre. There’s a PLETHORA of artists outside the mainstream that are making excellent, thought-provoking content without nearly the amount of recognition that artists in mainstream get.
Not only does Post BARELY fit in the category of hip-hop (another labeling problem within itself), but I honestly don’t even think he’s knowledgeable of the genre he’s in. He’s CLEARLY not knowledgeable of the fact that hip-hop was founded off of social commentary.
One of the most annoying things about this whole fiasco is the fact that there some people who are still defending him due to the fact that he said that there were, in fact, some “great” hip-hop songs. Just because he made a weak attempt at acknowledging those in the genre who, according to him, make good music, doesn’t make what he said any less insulting to those who bust their ass and pour their heart out in their music. Not is it only disrespecting to the entirety of the genre, but it’s also disrespecting the existing mainstream hip-hop artists that make emotionally-tinged music (ex. Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, etc).
I would also like to bring up that this isn’t the first time Post Malone has disrespected the genre. Way back during the selection for the XXL Freshman cover for 2016, XXL had supposedly reached out to Post Malone about being on the cover. Ultimately, Malone never ended up appearing on the cover. In an interview on the Breakfast Club, the XXL Editor-In-Chief, Vanessa Satten stated that, according to Malone’s camp, he was heading in entirely different artistic direction and didn’t want to be associated with hip-hop. Apparently he was going in a “rock/pop/country” direction (check out her statement here). You can certainly hear the rock and pop influence in his music already. Considering most of his stated influences include alternative rock bands and folk artists…this shouldn’t shock anyone in the slightest. So…he makes “hip-hop”…but doesn’t want to be associated with the genre? In his “apology”, Post stated that he loved hip-hop and that his last album (referring to Stoney) was hip-hop, and that his next album was going to be hip-hop…yet he also stated awhile back that he doesn’t make rap music…what?
So why does Post Malone even make “hip-hop” in the first place?
Post Malone has completely taken advantage of a genre he doesn’t even respect. He’s making trendy music and thriving because he knows he can. And yes, the color of his skin plays a huge factor into his popularity. All these factors combined allow him to get to a place where everyone knows his name. His music is already becoming less and less like hip-hop, and I predict that trend will continue as long as his career lasts. He’s simply using hip-hop as a stepping stool to the top, so that he can eventually make the music he’d prefer to make and still sell records.
To conclude this rant piece, I would just like to remind everyone that this genre of music is incredible and has so much to offer. Hip-hop is one of the most diverse and creative outlets on the planet, filled with so many talented artists with stories to tell. It is also black culture, and should be respected to the upmost degree. As a white guy, I am privileged to be apart of something like this. I am a mere “guest in the house of hip-hop” as Lord Jamar put it. Post Malone is also a guest, and should never make statements about the genre like he did.
So in the words of Kendrick Lamar, I say this to Post Malone, “Sit down. Be humble.” And keep hip-hop out of your f*cking mouth.