It’s not hard to understand why everyone likes Post Malone. The dozens of hit records Austin Richard Post has racked up in his short career are sung with a vulnerable falsetto that touches on the tender side, which makes them easy for his young fans to latch onto. Couple that with hip-hop tendencies and a down-to-earth, worries-be-damned persona, and he has a great recipe for success. What’s inexplicable is just how much everyone LOVES Post Malone.
Just a little over three years ago, the unknown artist released “White Iverson” and became a sensation. Since then the world hasn’t been able to get enough of the young crooner, even after he put his foot in his mouth several times over a number of polarizing topics, like indulging in conspiracy theories and alleging hip-hop isn’t a genre in which artists express true emotions. He’s never done anything so egregious that would get Posty “canceled.” With each passing week, the 23-year-old is racking up a new accolade — shattering streaming records, earning No. 1 albums in a new country, winning awards or sparking some new viral moment that garners headlines from every corner of the internet. His fans and the media can’t get enough of him. Post Malone is reaping the benefits of our binge culture, and to keep his fans' insatiable appetite going after devouring two albums, a mixtape and countless tours, his next obvious step is to move into the booming festival landscape.
Post Malone spared no expense for the daylong Posty Fest, which included performances from Travis Scott; Tyler, The Creator; Lil Skies; Ski Mask The Slump God; Tierra Whack; Saint JHN and Tyla Yaweh. The first half of Posty Fest was outside the Dos Equis Pavilion on an outdoor stage decked to the nines and including attractions like a military tank as seen in the artist’s “Psycho” video and loads of Instagrammable Posty Fest inflatables. This setup provided a great opportunity for the opening acts to get the attention they deserved while the amphitheater remained closed until Lil Skies opened the main stage later in the day. Judging by the crowd's reactions, Tierra Whack earned new fans with her impeccable rap skills and Saint JHN’s intensity earned him some clout as well.
As the outdoor festival closed and everyone filed into the amphitheater for the main acts, a buzz remained in the air. The Dos Equis Pavilion was sold out with not an inch of grass visible from the stage. To think Posty Fest featured three headlining-caliber acts is dumbfounding. Post Malone is one of the few performers in the world who headline today over Travis Scott, whose career is skyrocketing after the release of Astroworld.
Tyler, The Creator famously hosts his own huge festival in his hometown of Los Angeles called Camp Flognaw. Unfortunately Tyler wasn’t as mobile as he typically is during his sets after being in a car accident a few days ago, but the veteran carried on in spurts while performing tracks from his latest album, Flower Boy
. Travis Scott’s performance was really just a tease of his own upcoming Astroworld tour. The Houston native took the stage with a minimal setup and was in and out in less than 30 minutes, performing just a couple songs from the new album and building anticipation for his American Airlines Center show next month.
This was Post Malone’s day anyway. All eyes were on him as the curtain rose to reveal a massive stage structure with the artist tucked in high above the crowd, crooning the opening notes to “Too Young.” Overlooking his fans, he offered his characteristic humility and simply said, “Hi, I’m Austin Richard Post. Thank you for being here.” From there he moved into his latest worldwide hit “Better Now,” and the crowd rang back every lyric with a conviction performers would die for. His fans love him and he’s just as quick to let them know he feels the same, offering thank yous and complimenting their “angelic voices.”
Post Malone has never been known to be an engaging performer. Instead he leans into his mic with everything he has and his fans appreciate that. To up the ante, Post went all out on the production with pyrotechnics, fireworks, lasers. The performance was a far cry from his first sold-out headlining show at Trees just three years ago. There he performed “White Iverson” twice, pulled together another couple of songs, then vanished. Since then he’s worked his ass off pumping out records with a similar formula, spicing things up with emotive production. Now the “Always Tired” rapper can perform an hour-long set in front of 20,000 raging fans and toss out hits like “Psycho,” “Candy Paint,” “Paranoid,” “I Fall Apart,” “Go Flex” and more. Posty Fest was a testament to the work he’s put in to gain his worldwide reputation. And he’s made some friends on the way, the kind who will show up to a one-off event in Dallas like Swae Lee of Rae Sremmurd, who popped up to perform “Sunflower.”
It just would have been nice if Dallas played a bigger role in the festivities. Yes, Post Malone grew up in Dallas-Fort Worth, but since he made his ascent in Los Angeles, he’s never established a connection with the artists in the city. Dallas has a number of burgeoning new stars like Yella Beezy, who has the No. 1 song in the country on urban radio; T.I., Jeezy and Boosie, who are Kings of the South; Bobby Sessions, who’s gaining major traction with Def Jam behind him; and countless others. Yet, Post Malone disregarded all of that.
Maybe one of the reasons so many people love Post Malone is because he’s not malicious. Even through all the controversies he’s stirred up with his own words, he’s still just a young man learning to navigate the terrain of fame and fortune, so some slip-ups are bound to happen. In general the lovable artist has good intentions and he wants to do well. Many of the issues surrounding Post Malone concern things he doesn’t do, like supporting hip-hop when he can, or supporting his city when he can. But his vision is so much bigger than a genre or a city. He’s taken over the world and an industry by being himself, and that’s probably what everyone loves. Consumers have more choices than ever in whom they support, and probably every person at Posty Fest would want to be friends with Post Malone and play video games or down a few Bud Lites with him.
After performing “White Iverson” and “Rockstar,” he closed the night closed with “Congratulations.” A perfect capstone to the inaugural Posty Fest, a culmination of all the work Austin Richard Post has put in to become one of the biggest artists in the world, with no limits in sight.