Don't Box Him In

Streaming sensation Post Malone’s gigantic pop-crossover success this year is rooted in his ability to craft a solid R&B groove and credibly inhabit the realm of black music despite (or perhaps because of) his determination not to be defined by the obvious. His massive sophomore album, beerbongs & bentleys (Republic), which has thrown off a slew of smash tracks, including the career-defining “rockstar” will surely be recognized come Grammy time.

What do the Grammys mean to you? What do you think is their significance for artists overall in 2018?
Lately I just keep thinking how great it would be to have a Grammy, because what we do isn’t normal. As artists, it feels unbelievable to be acknowledged for our work. Sometimes that work goes unrecognized by people who matter the most, but you know as long as you have the ability to recognize yourself, that’s all that counts. And the way I connect with the fans is very important.

Looking back on everything that’s happened with beerbongs & bentleys, has the response been what you anticipated?
It’s been great to see how fans received the album. The album was only out for one day and the tour kicked off and people were singing every word! I set out to make the biggest album of the fucking year and felt we did that. There are real music fans out there looking for different shit. I spoke to them with this album.

You had a huge moment at Coachella—what was that ex-perience like? What was the most surprising thing about taking part in the festival?
You see this crowd of like thousands and thousands of people just going crazy and being free. The most surprising thing is how fans one second will be turning up to songs like “rockstar” or “Congratulations,” and the next minute they’ll be singing along with me and a guitar to “Stay” or “Feeling Whitney.” And people sing every word to every song. It was fuckin’ insane.

There’s been a lot of conversation about what genre your music belongs in—you seem to embrace everything from hip-hop to alternative rock. Do those categories even mean anything anymore?
I like everything—metal, old country, hip-hop, funk and R&B. What I’m not into is boxes. I don’t put people in boxes. There are no genres anymore. If a song makes you feel nice or it makes you feel sad or if it makes you feel anything, what does it really matter what category it is?

Since you’ve become one of the biggest streaming acts in the world, we’re wondering: What do you stream? Who’s on your playlists?
I add to my playlist all the time. It’s everything from Tyla Yaweh, who’s playing the first Annual Posty Fest in Dallas on Oct. 28, to Young Thug and Lil Peep, Nirvana, Bob Dylan, Green Day, Rob Zombie, Future… my playlists are all over the place.

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