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Upfront: Post Malone

They always say congratulations

Words by Kish Lal

You can’t get away with calling Post Malone a one hit wonder anymore. His debut record Stoney was recently certified Gold, an accolade that perfectly matches his teeth. The album features his cult-hit, ‘White Iverson’ alongside collaborations with Justin Bieber, Quavo, and Kehlani. At 21, he’s already enjoyed the euphoric highs of a lifelong career. His musical output is fresh, after all his ability to meld country twang with R&B has gotten him co-signs from pioneers like Pharrell and Kanye West. But not everyone is a fan and that simply comes with the territory as a white hip-hop artist. Charlamagne Tha God infamously pummelled Posty on his first radio interview for The Breakfast Club, attempting to trip up the then 20-year-old on his intentions, his loyalty to his girlfriend and his support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Since that interview, you could speculate he’s been media trained – a fair assumption if you believe the conspiracy that he’s an industry plant.

 

Maybe that’s why I was nervous as I called in to Post Malone’s hotel room. I was unsure what I’d get on the other line; he was only hours away from his final Australian show on what had already been an extensive tour across the UK and Europe. I asked him how he was and he laughed, “To be honest, I’m just chillin’ and playing Xbox”. He was charming, carefully spoken, and only really serious when asked about conspiracies – “I definitely think there’s a lot of weird stuff that doesn’t add up.”

Before we spoke I was undecided on Post Malone. I’m a fan of his music but I can’t help but question whether the industry really needs another white rapper? What I do know is, his country tinged, Metallica inspired hip-hop has me hooked.

Is this your first time in Australia?

Yes ma’m it is. There are not nearly as many kangaroos or koalas as I thought there would have been but it’s a super dope vibe a super cool place. I wanna come back and just relax and do outdoor stuff.

How many shoeys have you drunk so far?

I’ve had 5 shoeys. I can’t stop, I can only drink beer out of shoes now [laughs] I kinda like it? It might be weird, part of my weird foot fetish type deal.

It’s an Australian tradition to find new ways of getting as drunk as possible.

You guys drink more than the Irish, its great! When I was in Ireland everyone was getting hammered but here it’s crazy I love it.

Do you remember the first time you had a Bud Light?

Yeah I wanna say my first Bud Light was with my pops. The Cowboys Stadium has the world’s biggest beer freezers so he took me there and I had one. I didn’t get drunk but that was my first one.

Was it love at first sip?

Oh yeah it was great. It has a nice and the smoothest drinkability and it just has a nice flavour, it doesn’t get you too full and you can have a couple and you’re good.

That’s a glowing testimonial right there. Do you tour with backup Bud Light in case of an emergency?

No but I should! I haven’t been able to have one in so long. I wasn’t able to have one in Europe ‘cause they don’t have them there and I haven’t had one here. Ya’ll have Budweisers but those make me too full so next time I’m gonna have a suitcase just full of beers.

You need to get a self refrigerated suitcase.

Wow – that’s… that’s a great idea actually. I need to invent that.

Leave it to me, I need to make my first million somehow. Plus I need a way to bring Four Loko to Australia

[Laughs] Four Loko is crazy, it was banned for a while but I’m glad we have it back

Let’s get off the booze and onto the music. You don’t seem to love being called a rapper. When you dropped Stoney, an album you sing on, play guitar on, even get a little bit country, did you feel relieved to prove that there was more to you?

I really wanted to show people that I’m not just a rapper – I make everything and I enjoy everything. I got to spread my musical wings and fly and express myself whichever way it came out. It’s tough you know, I wanted to put the album out [sooner] but it kept getting pushed back.

You’re already working on your next album, Beerbongs and Bentleys – is that happening this year?

Yes ma’am.

I’m seeing a pattern here: the first album was named Stoney because you used to love smoking weed. With the next record, I’m expecting a whole lot of drinkin’ songs.

Yeah definitely, that’s basically my life. I like talking about the things that I enjoy and the stuff that I do. Beerbongs and Bentleys, when I thought of [the name] it made sense. I love beer, a 30-pack, and kicking it but I’ve come into some money so I’m kind of classy. I’m still ratchet though and that’s the kind of thing I want people to see. Give them a taste of my life, you know?

When is it out?

I’m hoping before my birthday in July. I’m going to finish it up and I’m actually thinking it’ll be out pretty soon, here’s hoping.

What can we expect from the new album?

There’ll be a few new features. I produced a lot of the album, [there’s] a lot of my own ideas in there. A lot of my own production, a lot of dope features, a lot of new sounds and more guitars. We’re trying to keep it fresh and funky and make music people will like and music I like.

More Justin?

Maybe [laughs]

You’ve worked with so many artists; Quavo, Justin Bieber, Pharrell and you’ve even worked with Kanye. Do you ever feel intimidated?

Definitely at the beginning I was very nervous but now I have to keep it in and be one of the guys. They appreciate that because they’re used to everyone being like “oh my god”. I try and keep it chill and be myself and I think they like me. I hope they like me. I don’t want to be a weirdo you know [laughs]

The thing about you I find interesting is that people really want to hate you. Especially interviewers. Especially Charlamagne. But you’re really just very sweet and tend to win people over.

A lot of people don’t like me. I think before the album people thought I was a one hit wonder, a cultural appropriator but I think after they heard the music they ate their words a little bit and I’m hoping with the next one they eat ‘em a little more. I’m just trying to win people over and it takes a little while because [my music] is new, its fresh and people aren’t used to it but I just want to change their minds.

You and Pharrell ended up bonding over a love for conspiracy theories. There’s even one about you being an industry plant.

I love it, I think its super dope and I love to watch YouTube videos like ‘Post Malone Illuminati’ and stuff and I think its super funny [laughs] I’m just glad people are talking about me. I didn’t even know what an industry plant was until this. People are going to talk and say anything to discredit you and say that you’re not dope and you paid money to get on and it’s just not true. But I love controversy.

What’s your favourite conspiracy?

You know it’s a touchy subject, it’s hard to know what you can and cant talk about but I definitely think there’s a lot of weird stuff that doesn’t add up on account of the US government. There are a lot of weird things happening in our country and across the world. How about that other plane on 9/11? Whenever you look at the crash site there’s nothing there… There’s a lot of crazy things I could get into but I don’t want to sound like a psychopath [laughs] your whole life could be a lie, it’s outrageous.

I’m currently really deep into the Justin Bieber is a reptilian shape shifter conspiracy. You’re friends with him. What can you tell us?

I have spoken to him about it and I don’t think its true… [Laughs]

2017 is going to be a big year for you, especially with another album on the way. One year plans are so last year. What’s your 5-year plan?

I definitely want to win a Grammy, I want to work with Toby Keith, Serj Tankian, James Hetfield, a bunch of dope people I look up to that I really think could bring a whole different flavour to the genre of hip hop. There are so many different places that we could go that we have not been or explored yet so we should give it a try.

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‘Stoney’ is available now via UMA.

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