Post Malone: Those Looking for Lyrics Need Not Bother with Hip Hop

Between Joe Budden vs. DJ Akademiks and Pete Rock vs. Waka Flocka, hip hop is inundated with arguments about the state of hip hop, “old heads” vs. the “new school,” and an apparent prescription drug epidemic that may be rearing its ugly head in the genre. Post Malone could not have picked a more convoluted time to drop his own argumentative bomb—that those looking for lyrics, emotion or thought-provoking material need not bother with hip hop—into the space.

“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,” said Malone to Poland-based outlet NewOnce in a recent interview. “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 that shit.”

Post has enjoyed a noteworthy two-year run since breaking into the mainstream with “White Iverson.” His proper debut, Stoney, a genre-fluid compilation of Post’s trademark woozy, reluctant confessionals and anthems, dropped to a lukewarm reception initially in December of 2016, but proved to have significant staying power. “Congratulations” featuring Quavo, serviced as a single nearly two months after the album, became one of 2017’s true dominant rap hits, peaking at No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and racking up well over a half-billion views on YouTube for its video. Not to mention, as you read this, Posty’s “Rockstar” single, which will appear on his upcoming sophomore LP, Beerbongs & Bentleys, is enjoying a sixth non-consecutive week atop the Billboard Hot 100.

But things haven’t been all rosy for Post, and this fresh controversy is a perfect example. He wound up entangled with the rappers Starlito and Don Trip over issues of artistic integrity and “White Iverson” earlier this year, and Lil B recently called him out for not making hip hop. His label, Republic, was also called out—by fans and critics alike—for appearing to use a manipulative YouTube-related maneuver to bolster the song’s performance on the charts.

But “Whenever I want to cry,” Post continued, “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.”

Without digging too deeply, it seems here that Post is making a sweeping generalization. Considering the wealth of rap artists with diverse, provocative material, from rising stars like Rapsody and IDK to established vets like Rick Ross and JAY-Z. But he’s hardly the first person to comment negatively on the quality of present-day hip hop, and there are likely viable points to be made in that regard, too. Due to his lack of specificity, he barely got through his thesis before stomping on a land mine.

The Dallas artist’s Beerbongs & Bentleys album releases on December 1.

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