Although well past the original release date of August 26th, Post Malone finally unleashed his debut album Stoney last Thursday night. Coming off his unexpected hit “White Iverson” in 2015, Malone (who’s real name is Austin Richards) has faced much scrutiny from the Hip-Hop community, whose members deem him as nothing but a one-hit-wonder. Post Malone could have easily become a caricature; a goofy white boy with cornrows and a grill, bastardizing Hip-Hop for profit. Instead, he’s managed to find a remarkably unique comfort zone somewhere between Hip-Hop, Pop, Folk, Country, and R&B. One minute he’s delivering Hip-Hop bangers with “No Option” and the next he’s crooning his way through the folky “Feeling Whitney.” The progressions feel logical, and the album flows smoothly from beginning to end.
Stoney is a bit overstuffed at 19 tracks, yet it’s still hard to pinpoint what I would cut out. Pop influenced tracks like his Justin Bieber collaboration “Deja Vu” seem destined for radio success, while his dive into a more acoustic sound on records such as—“Leave” and “Yours Truly, Austin Post” are among the album’s most enjoyable. The album seeks to find a middle ground between folky-country sounds infused with Hip-Hop. The area where that mixture of genres works most successfully is in the album’s production. By working with experts such as Illangelo, DJ Mustard, Fki, Pharrell Williams and others, Post Malone manages to straddle genre lines with ease. There were plenty of reasons to be skeptical of the longevity of Post Malone’s career in this fickle Hip-Hop game and Stoney doesn’t necessarily ease our skepticism but it certainly shows that he’s more focused on creating a lane of his own.
I give the album a 7/10.