Post Malone - Stoney
“Saucin’, saucin’, I’m saucin’ on you.” Those were the lyrics my friends picked out to ask me if I had heard a song called ‘White Iverson’ by the artist Post Malone. It’s obvious why they chose those lyrics; partly because it makes up the main hook, but also because it had been made into a meme posted over several pictures, including one of a dog smiling while almost completely submerged in what appears to be tomato sauce. (Who can pass up a good dog meme?) The first time I heard the song I instantly connected with it. Not because of the basketball metaphors, which were unfortunately lost on me the first couple of times I listened to it. What really drew me in was the ominous intro; the tempo and rhythm changes and the wide range Malone displayed in just one song; a trait he was able to carry over into his debut album Stoney released in December.
The album, which has 14 tracks with 4 more added on the deluxe version, opens with ‘Broken Whiskey Glass’, perhaps as a nod to Malone’s past growing up outside of Dallas, Texas. The song, taken at face value, describes a rough scene of waking up in a trashed room after taking various drugs, setting the stage for the gritty and often dark side of self-medicating.
In line with his ability to show off range, the song ‘De Vu’ (which features Justin Bieber) has an up-tempo, latin-esque beat, and follows the pair through their journey to figure out if the love they have for a girl is real or not. Although I wouldn’t call myself a Belieber (do people still say that?) I think it’s fair to say Bieber has proven he has chops, and his vocals mix and blend perfectly with Malone’s.
Midway through the album, in the the track ‘Go Flex,’ Malone starts to look back at the success he's found. This track, along with ‘White Iverson’ and a few others, were released as singles prior to the album’s release. The song, which primarily features an acoustic guitar over a rhythmic beat, is another honest and introspective look into Malone’s life.
Personally my favorite song on the album is the track ‘Congratulations,’ which features Quavo, who makes up ⅓ of the hip hop group Migos. This was another song that immediately had an impact on me. With the opening line “My momma called, seen you on TV, son,” Malone shows that his mom’s acceptance and pride really means something to him. Coming from a guy who would immediately call his mom with good or exciting news, that resonated with me. It’s at this point that Malone drops his modesty, and starts to brag about all he’s done, including the line “People hatin’, say we changed and look, we made it. Yeah we made it.” And I don't disagree.
In perhaps the most revealing tune, Malone wraps up his album with ‘Feeling Whitney.’ The song starts with Malone flicking a lighter before the acoustic guitar comes in, and is the only song on his album that just uses a guitar and his voice with no backing beat. Malone uses this stripped-down song to show a more vulnerable side to him. In this song, continuing the recurring self-medicating theme, Malone talks about having to keep up a facade, and not being able to show any emotion. Through the success, he has made it clear that it’s been tough to have and maintain relationships. This feeling is especially present when he’s sober, as observed in the line “Drought comes around, feels like I have no one to depend on.” Stuck in a cycle of hiding his feelings and using substances to feel normal, Malone tries to convince himself that he doesn’t need anyone, that he can make it on his own.
I’ll be honest and say that Stoney wasn’t what I was initially expecting for Post Malone’s debut album, but I believe it was the best way for him to really show how talented and versatile he is. Regardless, if you’re a hip hop fan or not, Malone’s ever-changing style and raw lyrics are combined to create an honest and sometimes painful rounded out album with a message that can be applied universally.
by Josh Clasberry