by Thomas Sheremetta
I won’t lie, Post Malone is one of my favorite artists right now. His style of music mixed with his laid back but friendly attitude makes him worthy of his recent accomplishments, such as the success of “Rockstar.” However, he’s taken some flak recently, and in my opinion, it is completely unnecessary.
Though Post Malone’s music dabbles in the rap genre, describing his music as only rap does not do his music justice. For instance, his music has been described as a “melting pot of the country, grunge, hip-hop and R&B [genres]” (Clashmusic.com). In an interview with GQ, Post made it clear that he simply doesn’t care about the label that is genre. But, this fact isn’t good enough for some of Post’s haters.
If you scourge the internet, you can find their critiques. Luckily for us Binghamton students, our student paper provides us with some local Post news. Check out the article in PRISM on January 22, 2018! In the article, “Post Malone Doesn’t Respect Hip-Hop,” it claims exactly what the title states. The article responds to the supposedly offensive quote from Post’s interview with NewOnce:
If you’re looking for lyrics, if you’re looking to cry, if you’re looking to think about life, don’t listen to hip-hop… There’s great hip-hop songs where they talk about life and they spit that real shit, but right now, there’s not a lot of people talking about shit… Whenever I want to cry, whenever I want to sit down and have a nice cry, I’ll listen to some Bob Dylan. But whenever I’m trying to have a good time and stay in a positive mood, I listen to hip-hop because it’s fun. I think hip-hop is important because it brings people together in a beautiful, happy way. Everybody’s happy.
The author roasts Post for his lack of respect for hip-hop and accuses him of using his white privilege to make a profit. That’s a very far stretch. First, who cares what kind of music he wants to listen to when he’s sad or happy? I assure you that everyone has music for certain moods. I love hip-hop, but I also love post-hardcore metal. Almost everyone I know makes fun of metal and regards it as “only noise.” It may be seen as disrespectful, but I could care less about their opinions. There is nothing wrong with people disliking certain vibes of music, as they have a right to do so. Here is a question to ponder: if Post Malone truly disrespected hip-hop culture, why would he take qualities of its genre to progress his art, which he clearly cares so much about?
The author would suggest that his utilization of rap style is part of his white privilege, profit oriented agenda. Frankly, this doesn’t make sense to me. Hip-hop is currently one of the most popular genres of music. People of all races listen to it. Why does there have to be some overarching reason for Post Malone being at the top of the charts with black hip-hop artists? 21 Savage and Kanye West didn’t care about his skin color when they collaborated with him. In music, the majority of people care about the content rather than the skin color. It just so happens that the genre of music that includes Post Malone and Lil Uzi Vert is wildly popular with youngsters presently. This may explain why Post’s fall concert at Binghamton University sold out in only a few days. Listeners don’t care about what he likes to vibe to when he feels down, listeners don’t care about his skin color; listeners care about his ability to make high quality music.
But, even still, we see media outlets such as Complex attack Post Malone and conclude that “he’s a problem.” These outlets are upset that Post Malone is “taking advantage” of black culture in order to progress his own career without acknowledging the hardships that they’ve faced. This can be an understandable critique for some when regarding his exchanges with Charlamagne tha God on the topic of Black Lives Matter. It’s not entirely fair to crucify Post Malone because he doesn’t understand certain political views. He’s new to the game. Let me know what celebrity hasn’t fallen into controversy.
We know that he’s a problem to Complex because he’s white. Complex maintains a much more positive review on Lil Uzi Vert’s career being flavored with a rock-star style. In an article, they talk about Lil Uzi embracing the influence of rock-n- roll without any question of race at all because it is not a problem for a non-white artist to be influenced by David Bowie or Marilyn Manson.
If we as a nation truly want equality, we need to stop pushing each other away and strengthening the divide. Even if you disagree with Post Malone, cultural appropriation plays too big of a role in today’s society. For instance, a burrito shop was closed in Portland last year all because the people making the burrito were white and therefore, were taking advantage of minorities. By that logic, does that mean I can’t eat pizza because I’m not Italian? Of course not, because it shouldn’t be an issue that people want to use the workings of other cultures in order to enjoy their lives more. In my opinion, the idea of cultural appropriation that critiques artists like Post Malone is largely unnecessary for a society that strives for equality.
If you couldn’t tell, I’m a big fan of Post Malone. In light of these recent criticisms, I’m still confident that his next album in 2018 will be very successful due to his ability to create unique, high quality music.
- https://www.gq.com/story/dont-call- post-malone- a-rapper
- http://www.clashmusic.com/features/facing-the- music-with- post-malone
- http://www.complex.com/music/2017/11/post-malone- and-racism
- http://www.complex.com/style/2017/06/lil-uzi- vert-rock- star-style- shaking-up- rap-world
- http://www.foxnews.com/food-drink/2017/05/24/portland- burrito-shop- forced-to- close-amid-accusations-cultural- appropriation-stealing- recipes.html