Review: Post Malone’s long-anticipated sophomore album outlines rapper’s struggles

Posted on May 4 2018 - 5:25am by Ethel Mwedziwendira

After what seemed like an eternity, he’s back. The brains behind the debut single “White Iverson” has returned with the release of his long-anticipated album “beerbongs & bentleys,” which has been in the works for over a year.

Quasi-rapper Post Malone outlines his struggles after making a name for himself in the music industry on his latest album. In “Post Malone Is a Rockstar,” a short documentary released by Mass Appeal to support the album, the Dallas-based rapper and producer highlights his rise to fame that followed the release of his debut album, “Stoney.”

That album featured artists such as Kehlani, 2 Chainz and Quavo, dominated radio stations and went on to become an RIAA-certified multi-platinum record.

“I’m just trying to pay homage to my legends,” Malone says in the documentary as he takes the camera crew back to his old workplace, Chicken Express. “I was trying to work (at Chicken Express) because I was trying to make money so I could buy some Versace shoes.”

He’s achieved this goal, but with newfound fame and success comes a downside.

Malone’s latest release takes listeners through 18 songs that depict his lifestyle of parties filled with girls, money and the most expensive designer clothing as well as detailing what his journey from rags to riches was like. Malone doesn’t consider himself a rapper, and he isn’t the best songwriter. In fact, many expected him to be a one-hit wonder after the release of “White Iverson.” However, Malone’s ability to create catchy hooks and melodies is what makes him one of the most prominent figures in the music industry right now.

Two of the album’s three singles, “Rockstar” and “Psycho,” each premiered at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. On “Rockstar,” which was released in September and features 21 Savage, 22-year-old Malone talks about how he feels “just like a rockstar” and references big names in rock, such as Bon Scott and Jim Morrison. This song is a perfect example of the hip-hop industry’s recent fascination with rock ‘n’ roll that can also be seen in the punk rock-influenced music of Lil Uzi Vert, XXXTentacion and Rae Sremmurd.

But there are other strong components highlighted in the album. His best hooks are in “Better Now” in which he reminisces on a past relationship. He describes having the same opinions as his ex about the relationship and how they most likely still have feelings for each other.

The rapper also shines brightest on the fourth track of the album, “Zack and Codeine,” in which he delves into the hip-hop lifestyle and the fame he’s received since releasing “Stoney,” a theme echoed throughout the album. He goes on to describe how he’s better off than the average person with the lyrics, “Make a hundred bands, so all your hands out. No, my friend, can’t do no handouts. All these rappers, they sound the same now, sayin’ I’m to blame. Now y’all see me on the TV.” Malone makes a reference to “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody” show, something the rapper’s Gen-Z audience can relate to.

In terms of production, the album is seamless thanks to the help of big name producers like London On the Track, Ted Walton and Scott Storch. Malone has branched out behind the boards, playing more guitar on the album in comparison to the last and using live drums throughout the entire record.

Though he’s solidified himself in the industry, the weak lyrics on “beerbongs & bentleys” show that he might have to prove himself a little harder to fans. If he continues to work on his sound and lyrics, he could be on track to be one of the biggest modern rock-rappers the industry has had in a while.

But until then, it is still unclear if “beerbongs & bentleys” and his future albums will prove that.