Are you a fan of Post Malone, singer of such hits as “Congratulations,” “Rockstar” and “Better Now”? Because you know who isn’t? Jeff Weiss, writer for the Washington Post, who this week penned a scathing takedown of the rapper who hails from Dallas, Texas.
Among his chief criticisms of the certified hip-hop star, born Austin Richard Post: his lyrics are lame, his singing off-key, his music derivative, his in-between-song banter canned and uninteresting and — worst of all — Post Malone conveniently ‘opts out’ of the social investment required by a white rapper whose career consists of appropriating Black culture.
It’s difficult to comprehend the supreme level 10 takedown of this Washington Post story — which is kinda-sorta a review of the inaugural “Posty Fest,” the music festival bearing Post Malone’s name — without reading it yourself, truly.
But the piece is also so much more than “mean.” Once you sift through Weiss’s take-no-prisoners reads and top-level criticisms, it’s a thoughtful critique — not just of the problematic nature of a white hip-hop star who proudly says he doesn’t vote (yep, that happened), but also of where the United States sits as a country at this moment in time.
Even the title of Weiss’s story, “Post Malone is the perfect pop star for this American moment. That’s not a compliment.” is, frankly, pretty brilliant.
Here are Jeff Weiss’s 10 best reads of Post Malone from his Washington Post takedown piece. Brace yourself.
1. “Post Malone is a Halloween rental, a removable platinum grill, a Cubic Zirconium proposal on the jumbo screen of a last-place team.”
2. “He looks like he got clubbed over the head by a cartoon peacock. He just turned 23.”
3. “There are artists who dictate the zeitgeist and those who reflect it. Post Malone is decidedly the latter, an avatar of algorithm culture that rewards pleasant banality over the creatively vexing.”
4. [About Posty Fest] “Twenty thousand people rocketed up, stood on their seats, and for a brief moment there was the palpable fear of being stampeded to death at a Post Malone concert (which, of course, requires the deceased to be buried in a racecar-shaped coffin wrapped in the Rockstar Energy drink logo).”
5. “Post Malone took the stage to deafening cheers, scorching jet flames and billowing clouds of smoke like a Groupon version of a Kiss concert from 1975.”
6. “On recordings, his falsetto is afforded a modest four-cylinder strength. But onstage it comes off slurred and sloppy, twitching like roadkill, limp off-key notes underscored by a booming backing track that operated like a life preserver.”
7. “Even if his voice barely slithered past the 10th row, it didn’t matter to fans who knew every word. They were there to commune to songs such as ‘Better Now,’ his latest anthem to interchangeable heartache, presumably made for streaming at the Wahoo’s Fish Taco kiosk at LAX.”
8. “Post Malone’s music is dead-eyed and ignorant, astonishingly dull in its materialism, an abandoned lot of creativity with absolutely no evidence of traffic in his cerebral cortex — and there’s also a negative side.”
9. “What Post Malone is selling is the chill-bro relatability of the third-most-sensitive member of a frat house, softly crooning acoustic guitar rap covers to seduce Gammas after a pledge paddling. He is the dynamite hack — the platonic playlist substitute at the Duke University coffee shop so the vice president doesn’t fire you for playing Young Dolph.”
10. “His songs completely lack volatility and swing, leaving him as a little boy trying on oversized sequin suits and Versace loafers alternately trying to be a fake musty Elvis, a swaggering baller, a redneck backcountry rebel, but flailing somewhere in the doughy middle.”
11. “This is what the zeitgeist demanded as the latest whole-milk hip-hop avatar: a proud non-voter, a nonreader of books, the type of person who gets a JFK tattoo without knowing about Kennedy’s role in the Voting Rights Act while bizarrely claiming that he was ‘the only president to speak out against the crazy corruption stuff that’s going on in our government nowadays.'”
12. “Who allowed this [to] happen? What hole in the system allowed this greasy discarded barbecue wrapper to prosper? A fake pale king sitting on a tinfoil throne. Return to sender.”