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Post Malone

Post Malone

Diamond-certified American hitmaker Post Malone bridges the gap between the worlds of rap and the pop mainstream. Within five years of his debut, he went from underground genre novelty to certified superstar, amassing a string of Top Ten singles with a hybrid style that combined his unique vocal delivery, pained lyrics, and hip-hop production inspired as much by Tim McGraw as Kanye West. After the release of his 2015 quintuple-platinum single "White Iverson," off his debut, Stoney, he quickly ascended to the top of the pop mainstream in the late 2010s with a succession of multi-platinum hits that included chart-toppers "Rockstar" with 21 Savage and "Psycho" with Ty Dolla $ign from 2018's Grammy-nominated Beerbongs & Bentleys and one of the highest-certified singles in RIAA history, "Sunflower" with Swae Lee, from 2019's pop-leaning Hollywood's Bleeding. After dialing things back with 2022's vulnerable Twelve Carat Toothache, he made a further push into guitar-based pop with 2023's Austin.

Raised in Dallas, Austin Post loved a wide range of music from a young age and planned on joining a band thanks to the video game Guitar Hero. When his dad gave him a copy of Terror Squad's hit "Lean Back," though, Post decided to become an MC. He hung out with the Dallas crew the IRAS until a move to the West Coast dropped him in Los Angeles. After putting some braids in his hair, he coined the term "White Iverson," and when he posted the track in early 2015, he hit a million views within a month. Post signed with the Republic label later that year.

In 2016, he released the single "Go Flex" along with his official debut mixtape, August 26th. Months later, his first studio effort arrived. Stoney featured guests ranging from Justin Bieber to Migos' Quavo to Kehlani, peaking at number four on the Billboard 200 and later achieving multi-platinum certification. Following the success of his debut, Post issued the chart-topping singles "Rockstar" with 21 Savage and "Psycho" with Ty Dolla $ign, which reached a combined total of 13-times platinum. Those hit tracks landed on his sophomore follow-up, Beerbongs & Bentleys, which dealt with his rapid climb to fame and all its trappings. The set reached number one upon release and was later nominated for Album of the Year at the 2019 Grammy Awards. Along with producers Scott Storch, PartyNextDoor, Louis Bell, and London on da Track, the dark, introspective affair also featured guest rappers Nicki Minaj, YG, and G-Eazy, as well as the additional radio hit "Better Now."

In between official full-lengths, Post capitalized on his steady ascent in the mainstream, hopping onto the Spider Man: Into the Spider-Verse soundtrack with previous collaborator Swae Lee. Their duet, "Sunflower," topped the charts across the globe and marked a slight pop-smart shift in Post's production (Within a few years, the song was certified over 50 times platinum around the world, becoming one of the biggest songs of the decade). "Wow," "Goodbyes" with Young Thug, and "Circles" all followed, firmly planting him in the Hot 100's upper reaches for much of 2019. This quartet of hits all appeared on his third effort, Hollywood's Bleeding, which recruited guests Da Baby, Future, Halsey, Meek Mill, Lil Baby, SZA, Travis Scott, and even Ozzy Osbourne. His second number one album, the set topped the Billboard 200 for at least five non-consecutive weeks, the most for any artist that year. While "Circles" became his fourth Hot 100 chart-topper at the close of the year, he received a pair of Grammy nominations for that other 2019 number one, "Sunflower," including Record of the Year.

Post's 2020 output mainly consisted of guest appearances like Tyla Yaweh's "Tommy Lee" and Big Sean's "Wolves." He returned to solo work in 2021 with a cover of Hootie & the Blowfish's "Only Wanna Be with You" for the Pokemon 25 album, and his own track, "Motley Crew." The following year, he released his fourth full-length effort, Twelve Carat Toothache, which featured guest spots from Doja Cat, the Kid Laroi, and Fleet Foxes' Robin Pecknold. Dealing with the pressures and pitfalls of fame and fortune, the oft-dour set included hit singles "Cooped Up" with Roddy Ricch and "One Right Now" with the Weeknd. Less than a year later, he issued the hits compilation The Diamond Collection before priming fans with the release of "Chemical," the pop-punk-leaning single from album number five. That set, Austin, fully realized the guitar-based influence that had always bubbled behind Post's most successful mainstream hits (and was seen on full display during his viral 2020 Nirvana tribute set). ~ Neil Z. Yeung

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