Music

Please Enjoy This Utterly Brutal Review Of Post Malone’s Festival

"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."

Post Malone

Last week, Post Malone threw ‘Posty Fest’, a one-day festival in his hometown of Dallas positioned as a celebration of his massive year. His sophomore album, Beerbongs & Bentleys, broke streaming records across the globe (in fact, it even prompted us to ask whether the ARIA charts are broken).

Like it or not, the face-tattoo’d indebted rapper is one of the biggest stars of 2018. Jeff Weiss, a reviewer for The Washington Post, definitely falls into the latter category. After attending Posty Fest, he wrote one of the most eviscerating take-downs of the year: “Post Malone is the perfect pop star for this American moment. That’s not a compliment.”

“Him?,” the article begins. “The most popular young artist in the most unpopular young nation is a rhinestone cowboy who looks like he crawled out of a primordial swamp of nacho cheese. Post Malone is a Halloween rental, a removable platinum grill, a Cubic Zirconium proposal on the jumbo screen of a last-place team.”

Ouch. Whether you agree with Weiss or not, you can’t deny the delightfully venomous turn of phrases found throughout his article. We really recommend you read the whole thing — yes, it’s relentlessly mean, but for a reason.

To Weiss, Post Malone — real name Austin Richard Post — is the embodiment of almost everything wrong with America: its dogged disenfranchising of African Americans above mediocre yet sellable whiteness (“If Post Malone were black, he wouldn’t have sold half; he simply wouldn’t exist.”); its celebration of vacuous materialism; a reluctance towards thought or consideration of truth. Which, you know, is a big burden on the shoulders of one 23-year-old rapper. Then again, he lays out a pretty strong argument.

“The most popular young artist in the most unpopular young nation is a rhinestone cowboy who looks like he crawled out of a primordial swamp of nacho cheese.”

“This is what the zeitgeist demanded as the latest whole-milk hip-hop avatar,” he writes. “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”.”

Beyond what Post’s popularity represents, Weiss just thinks the music sucks. For him, Post’s live rapping “comes off slurred and sloppy, twitching like roadkill, limp off-key notes underscored by a booming backing track that operated like a life preserver.” Ooft.

He also goes in on the event, describing it as a “less a festival than a behemoth SAE rush mixer held on a few acres of corporate-branded concrete”. Then there’s the scorcher of the line about the taste levels of the attendees: “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).”

Which, when read alongside this tweet, seems to be onto something.

Finally, Weiss goes in for the kill.

“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. Even if his intention is sincere homage, the bludgeoning witless imitation can’t help but feel like minstrelsy… Post Malone’s problem isn’t that he’s a bad person or even completely untalented. It’s that he stands for nothing at all.”

Post, for the record, has seemingly responded on Twitter. It looks like he stands for himself.