Post Malone is coming to Stony Brook for the annual fall concert, Back to the Brook, and students could not see the hip-hop artist at a more perfect time in his career than right now. The “Stoney” singer has reached a career peak and the next few months will determine if he will be able to find continued success in his so-far short stint in the spotlight.
Just in the last few days, Post Malone, aka Austin Post, has contributed to two singles that will garner a significant amount of hype in the coming weeks for their crossover appeal. His lamenting, brooding verse on the remix of Lorde’s “Homemade Dynamite” is the strongest in a song that features verses from critics-darlings Khalid and SZA. And “rockstar,” the first single from his sophomore album, “Beerbongs & Bentleys,” dropped on Friday, with a feature from 21 Savage.
The duo of Post and 21 Savage is a successful one, as most of Post’s collaborations with trap rappers have been. 21 Savage’s monotone verse meshes well with the beat and Post Malone’s dreamy, slightly auto-tuned vocals on “rockstar.” On the track, the two rising stars bemoan the trappings of their newfound fame — a musical trope for sure, but one they execute effectively. Think “White Iverson” meets Future’s “Perkys Calling.”
Hip-hop legend Lil Wayne was in talks to perform at Back to the Brook, according to the Undergraduate Student Government. However, a disagreement over security policy at Island Federal Credit Union Arena doomed the deal. The “A Milli” rapper would have been the biggest performer to grace the stage at Stony Brook in years, despite struggling to maintain relevance thanks to a drop in quality and issues with Cash Money Records.
But Post is a solid replacement (with a price tag of $102,000, according to USG) in the midst of his prime. He has hip-hop and popular appeal, a solid middle ground between the usual rapper or pop band debate that occurs around nearly every university concert.
Ever since Post dropped his debut single, “White Iverson,” on SoundCloud in February 2015, he has been on an upward trajectory. The music video was posted on YouTube in July and a month later, Post signed with Republic Records. The music video has over 400 million views on YouTube and the song has gone platinum four times.
Post’s debut album, “Stoney,” dropped in December 2016 and was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in April. The album had five singles, four of which went platinum. “Congratulations,” featuring Quavo, went platinum five times.
Missing cohesion as a project, “Stoney” still highlighted Post’s hit-making ability and appeal as a singer despite not having the stereotypical top-40 sound or appearance.
Despite his popular appeal, Post’s personality would be unrecognizable to those who know him from his music. His often melancholic, woeful sound hardly reflects the goofy, creative artist displayed in interviews and at live shows.
Outside the recording booth, Post’s uninhibited and oftentimes silly disposition has forged relationships with a variety of characters ranging from Justin Bieber (featured on the underrated “Stoney” single, “Deja Vu”) and Kanye West to Indonesian teenage rap phenom Rich Chigga and YouTube comedy duo h3h3Productions.
Post comes across a tad more mature than your average 22-year-old in interviews, but only because fame forces him to be. In Ottawa on Wednesday, Post Malone started a “f*ck Jake Paul” chant, poking fun at the Vine star turned wannabe rapper and former Disney Channel star who has been entangled in multiple scandals.
Raised in Texas, the braid-wearing, grill-adorning singer is a huge fan of country and has a wide range of musical influences that are not always obvious in his biggest songs. Just this past Tuesday, Post performed an emotional and riveting version of Nirvana’s “All Apologies” on an acoustic guitar at Boston’s House of Blues.
Coming off a strong first two years in the public eye, this year’s Back to the Brook is the ideal time for students to see Post. He has two years of live performances under his belt, has dropped a platinum debut album littered with platinum singles and is marching ahead toward his second album. If he continues his success, Stony Brook students will get to see an artist on the rise and in his prime. But if “Beerbongs & Bentleys” disappoints, students will have still seen an artist at the height of his prime.
Post Malone will take the stage at Island Federal Credit Union Arena on Friday, Sept. 22. EDM DJ Slushii and student DJ Ardit Prioli will open the 7 p.m. show. While floor tickets have sold out, stand tickets and non-student tickets will be on sale all week at the Student Activities Center ticket booth.