My first exposure to “emo” rapper Post Malone was in ninth grade gym class. Specifically, kids would play the song “Rockstar.” I remember at the time turning to a friend of mine and asking him how the hell this could somehow be considered rock music. I silently hypothesized that this “Post Malone” person had likely never held a real instrument in his life.
Fast forward about a year and I stumble across the YouTube channel for the California based guitar store “Norman’s Rare Guitars.” While browsing this channel, I found a video featuring Post Malone. Curious, I watched the video only to find not only was Post Malone a guitar player, he was amazing. By this point I was fascinated, trying to find as many videos of him playing as possible. I found mostly just acoustic covers at the time but that would soon change.
The next thing I found from him with direct ties to rock music came in 2019 with “Take what you want” featuring Ozzy Osbourne. The obvious connection being Ozzy, but the song also has what is as far as I am aware, an uncredited guitar solo. Although I don’t know who recorded the solo, its presence says alot.
The most recent and in my opinion most blatant example was this year’s “Post Malone x Nirvana Tribute livestream.” As the name implies, it was a live set consisting primarily of non-singles, songs like drain you, lounge act, and school. I gained more respect for him due to the omission of Smells like Teen Spirit, so lesser known songs could be spotlighted. I will admit however that my first reaction was the fear that younger children may assume Post Malone wrote those songs.
Overall, I have to say its a little sad that Post Malone doesn’t explore rock more, as it at least seems like he enjoys it. I wonder how much hesitation comes from the lack of mainstream popularity rock has in the current music industry, and how much simply comes from a lack of interest. No matter what, I will likely continue to follow his career with some interest.