With his upcoming fifth studio album Austin close to making its entrance on our musical horizons, and a recently announced tour entitled If You Weren’t Here, I’d Be Crying coming to Auckland in the latter half of 2023, we can safely say Post Malone is currently booked and busy.
Having begun creating music in his teens, Post has been climbing through the ranks to become a household name because of his fresh, genre-bending tracks. Toeing the line between rapper, songwriter, producer and singer, Post can do it all, and he has evidenced this to his dedicated fanbase time and time again. Having been nominated for various major awards, including American Music Awards, Billboards and Grammys, Post is showing no sign of slowing down anytime soon.
With tickets now on sale for the November show in Auckland, now is the perfect time to refresh our memories of Post Malone’s spectacular discography.
Moving to Los Angeles at a young age proved pivotal for Post. Soon after his arrival, he met producers FKi 1st and Sauce Lord Rich and Rex Kudo. This team was instrumental in helping create the song which would put Post on the musical map, ‘White Iverson.’ Despite only having 406 followers on Twitter at the time of release, prominent publications, including Complex, caught onto the song, deeming it “perhaps the hardest song” of 2015. The song received praise for the masterful lyricism combined with heavy punchlines. Within a month, the song hit one million views, and Post became increasingly noticed by record labels, resulting in his signing with Republic Records in August 2015. He then mingled with the likes of musical royalty, including Kanye West, who went on to feature him in the track ‘Fade’, from The Life of Pablo.
2016 arrived, and to the delight of the growing fanbase, so did Post Malone’s first full-length project in May, a mixtape called August 26th. A ten-track record that featured multiple collaborations with artists like Jaden Smith and 2 Chainz, August 26th received moderate praise on release. Among the samples for the album were ‘Dreams’ by Stevie Nicks and ‘Drugs You Should Try It’ by Travis Scott, the latter of whom was also finding their feet in the industry at the time.
Despite an original release date of August 2016 planned, Post Malone’s debut album Stoney crashed onto streaming platforms in December of that year. Composed of a massive 18 tracks total, the album’s lead single was ‘White Iverson.’ Leaning on the friendships Post had made up to that point, the album featured content from many other big names, including Kehlani, Justin Bieber, and Quavo. Going 6x platinum in Canada and New Zealand and reaching number 1 on the US Billboard Hip Hop charts, Stoney could easily be considered a commercial success for an artist still on their path to emerging.
Taking a path many had taken before him in terms of the album’s style, critics prominently praised the inventiveness and surprise delivered by ‘White Iverson’, while also acknowledging that there may still have been a way to go before achieving the heights of stardom. Undisputable highlights of Stoney include ‘Congratulations (ft. Quavo)’, which became Post’s first big international hit and became certified 14x platinum by the RIAA, and the melancholy heartbreak track, ‘I Fall Apart.’
In 2021, Malone re-released Stoney on the fifth anniversary of its coming out, called Stoney (The Complete Edition). The updated version added instrumental versions of each track, except for ‘White Iverson’ and ‘Feeling Whitney.’
Beerbongs & Bentleys
In April 2018, Malone released Beerbongs & Bentleys. Debuting at number 1 on the US charts, the album was quickly deemed successful and is arguably the star’s biggest project of his career. Already on a high from the breakout success of Stoney, Post continued the trend of dominating the charts and broke the record for the most simultaneous top 20 entries on the Billboard Hot 100 with nine songs in the top 20, a record previously held by The Beatles.
Supported by five booming singles, including ‘Rockstar’ ft. 21 Savage, ‘Psycho’ ft. Ty Dolla $ign, and ‘Better Now,’ Beerbongs was undeniably the party album of the year and cemented Post as a voice for the new generation, a voice that would come to be emulated throughout the years. One only has to look at the charts from the last few years to see Post’s trap-rock influence.
Critics described the album as, among other things, ‘apt’ and ‘full of attempts at sincerity,’ while praising what is to some Post’s most noticeable strength: his melodic instincts. However, despite its commercial success, it doesn’t quite hold the same punch or refinery as later works, something which is quickly remedied with Hollywood’s Bleeding.
With 2019 came Post’s third studio album Hollywood’s Bleeding. Composed of 17 tracks, it’s his longest album yet. The first single, ‘Wow’, arrived on Christmas Eve, 2018, followed by ‘Goodbye’ in early July of the next year before the official album dropped in September.
A particular highlight from the album is ‘Sunflower’, which premiered as part of the Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse soundtrack and featured fellow collaborator Swae Lee. Representing a woman whose shown persistence in difficult situations, the song leans heavily into symbolism and the power of loyalty. Breaking records for the most weeks spent in the top 10 of the Billboard R&B/Hip Hop sections, the song was an immediate success, keeping its place on the charts for almost a year. Earlier this year in May, the track became the highest certified song in history, going 18x platinum.
This became a fast trend for the album, deemed the biggest U.S. album of the year. Overall, it served as a triumphant project for Post, keeping his knack for the tradition fans had come to love whilst dabbling in darker and grungier themes. Ozzy Osbourne joins Travis Scott on ‘Take What You Want’, a fantastic blend of rock and hip hop that sums up Post’s artistry and his influences well.
‘Circles’ also became Post’s fourth number 1 hit, on which he explored the classic theme of heartbreak and romantic struggles. From a sonic standpoint, ‘Circles’ is similar to the August 26th track ‘Hollywood Dreams/Comedown.’
Overall, Hollywood’s Bleeding was a huge hit, earning Post his second nomination for Album of the Year at the Grammys. With critics describing him as ‘the everything star for the internet age; a goofball chameleon’ who has proven he is ‘instinctively skilled’ at creating blends of complex genres, Hollywood’s Bleeding cemented Post Malone’s status as a modern icon.
Twelve Carat Toothache
After the pandemic, like many of us, Post ended up sitting with his thoughts and addressing some of the issues which long plagued his personal life, including alcoholism. The result was 2022’s Twelve Carat Toothache. A powerful dedication to the lows of fame, it’s the antithesis of Post’s previous work, which worshipped that lifestyle throughout the lyrics. By finding himself at rock bottom, Post has created something which proves he is taking himself more seriously – for better or worse.
The album consists of 14 tracks and in true Post fashion, features several collaborations with other big industry names who significantly enhance the album. From Doja Cat to The Kid LAROI and The Weeknd, Post’s choices on this album make it just a bit more satisfying.
For someone so outwardly colourful, Twelve Carat Toothache contains dramatic swerves between pain and joy in a form that almost gives the listener audio-induced whiplash. While we are used to sad songs from the star, these new tracks don’t feel tortured or unaware the same way some of his previous work might have.
By bringing in such personal topics on tracks like ‘Love/Hate Letter to Alcohol’, Post can confidently create an intimate connection with audiences. By not shying away from the tough stuff, even though it’s often laced in wit and congeniality, there’s a sense of genuine vulnerability, which his previous work has perhaps struggled to achieve in places.
One thing is for certain – Post Malone is just getting better and better, and we can’t wait to see what Austin holds for us on July 28.