Austin Richard Post, known professionally as Post Malone, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer.
Post was born in Syracuse, New York, the son of Nicole Frazier Lake, from Walton, NY, and Rich Post Malone. His father had been a disc jockey in his youth and introduced Post Malone to many different genres of music including hip-hop, country, and rock. He is of Polish, English, and Scottish descent.
When Post Malone was nine years old, he moved to Grapevine, Texas, with his father and stepmother Jodie, after his father became the manager of concessions for the Dallas Cowboys. The post began to play the guitar and auditioned for the band Crown the Empire in 2010, but was rejected after his guitar strings broke during the audition. He credited his initial interest in learning guitar to the popular video game Guitar Hero. Post Malone has always had a love for emo music, and appeared for a DJ set at Emo Nite in Los Angeles in June 2017, playing My Chemical Romance at the event. According to Post, his very first foray into professional music began when he was in a heavy metal band. Soon after, he says he transitioned to softer rock as well as hip-hop, before beginning to experiment on FL Studio. At 16, using Audacity, Post Malone created his first mixtape, Young and After Them Riches. He showed it to some of his classmates at Grapevine High School. He was voted “Most Likely to Become Famous” by his classmates as a senior in high school. He worked at a Chicken Express as a teenager.
He enrolled in Tarrant County College but dropped out. After leaving college, Post Malone moved to Los Angeles, California, with his longtime friend Jason Probst, a professional game streamer.
According to Post Malone, he chose Post Malone as his stage name when he was 14 or 15. The name was rumoured to be a reference to the professional basketball player Karl Malone, but Post Malone later explained that while ‘Post’ is his last name, he used a “rap name generator” to get “Malone”.
After moving to LA, Post Malone, Probst, and several other producers and artists formed the music group BLCKVRD and recorded music together. Several members of the group, including Post, moved into a house in San Fernando Valley together. While living in San Fernando Valley, Austin met 1st Down of FKi. He met 1st and Rich from FKi and Rex Kudo who produced several of Post’s tracks, including “White Iverson”. Post recorded the song two days after writing it. “White Iverson” is, in part, a reference to the professional basketball player Allen Iverson. In February 2015, upon completion, it was uploaded to Post’s SoundCloud account. On July 19, 2015, Post Malone released a music video for “White Iverson”. The single received praise from Mac Miller and Wiz Khalifa. However, the song was notoriously mocked by Earl Sweatshirt.
After hitting one million views within a month of releasing “White Iverson”, Post quickly garnered attention from record labels. In August 2015, he signed a recording contract with Republic Records. Post subsequently worked with a number of prominent rappers such as 50 Cent, Young Thug, and Kanye West, among others. In August 2015, he performed at Kylie Jenner’s 18th birthday party, where he met Kanye West, who enjoyed his music, leading to him collaborating with Post on his single “Fade” from his album The Life of Pablo. Post later began his friendship with Canadian singer and songwriter Justin Bieber, which led to Post Malone being an opening act for Bieber’s Purpose World Tour. On April 20, 2016, Post premiered his new single, “Go Flex” on Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 show. On May 12, 2016, he released his first full-length project, a mixtape, titled August 26, the title of which was a reference to the release date of his debut album. On June 9, 2016, Post Malone made his national television debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, performing “Go Flex”.
In June 2016, XXL editor-in-chief Vanessa Satten revealed Post Malone was considered for XXL’s “2016 Freshmen Class” magazine cover, but she was “told by his camp that he wasn’t paying attention to hip hop so much. He was going in more of a rock/pop/country direction.” However, Post denied these claims, explaining that his latest mixtape, as well as his upcoming album, were both hip-hop. In August 2016, Post issued an apology for his album, Stoney, being late. It was available for pre-order on November 4, and was finally released on December 9. Post Malone later went on to call the album “mediocre”, despite the success of the single “Congratulations” featuring Quavo, Post’s first top-ten song on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number eight. Stoney also featured the top 100 hits “I Fall Apart”, and “Deja Vu”, featuring Bieber, with the album, later being certified double platinum by the RIAA in October 2017.
Post’s music has been described as a “melting pot of the country, grunge, hip-hop and R&B” and Post himself has been described as versatile. His vocal style has been described as laconic. Jon Caramanica of The New York Times described Post Malone as “an artist who toes the line between singing and rapping, and hip-hop and spooky electric folk”. Malone himself has called his music “genre-less”.
The post cites Bob Dylan, in whom he became interested around the age of 15, as an influence on his music, calling him “a genius” and “a god” though his music has been called “about as far away from Rock n’ Roll as you can get.” He called “Subterranean Homesick Blues” the “first rap song”. He has a tattoo of Dylan as well. Post Malone has also listed rappers 50 Cent, whom he called a legend and Key! as influences.
In February 2017, Post Malone revealed the title of his next project, Beerbongs & Bentleys, and was set to be released in December, before eventually being pushed back to 2018. In September, Malone released the first single from the album, “Rockstar”, featuring 21 Savage. The song peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and held the spot for eight consecutive weeks, later prompting Rolling Stone to call him “one of the most popular musicians in the country” in 2017. In November, Malone released the official music video for “Rockstar”, directed by Emil Nava.
On February 20, 2018, Malone previewed his new song with Ty Dolla Sign titled “Psycho.” “Psycho” was released on February 23, 2018, and a tour with 21 Savage was announced. The song debuted at number 2 and later peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Post’s third entry in the top 10. On April 5, 2018, Malone stated that Beerbongs & Bentleys will be released on April 27, 2018. The same day, he also premiered the song “Stay” during the Bud Lite Dive Bar show in Nashville. Upon release, Beerbongs & Bentleys broke the first-day streaming records on Spotify, with 78.7 million streams worldwide. The album was also certified platinum by the RIAA after four days and spawned three top 10 songs and six top 20 songs.
In an interview with Billboard in May 2018, Malone’s manager announced that Malone was planning to start his own record label and film production company and Post Malone later won Top Rap Song at the Billboard Music Awards for “Rockstar” featuring 21 Savage. Post Malone confirmed in June 2018 that he was writing his third album.