Everything from the relatable practice of drinking and crying along to a classic Bright Eyes album to the possible inspiration for a growing face tattoos collection is touched on in a new interview with Post Malone.
On Monday, GQ Style shared an interview with Posty by writer Kelefa Sanneh, and the potential quotables count is indeed high.
Looking back on the earlier days of his career and how his sound has grown to better support his strengths, Malone made a point to shout out three fellow artists, all of whom he at one time tried to emulate.
"I so badly wanted to be like Mac [Miller] and Travis [Scott] and [A$AP] Rocky," he said, adding that the process of carving out his own sound took time.
"Finding my own identity in the whole thing was—I don't want to say difficult, but it was a process for me," he said.
Later, in Sanneh's words, Posty spoke on "the history and the system that enabled his success," a reference to the pushback the artist received earlier in his career for what some have argued amounted to outright cultural appropriation. Also mentioned in the interview are previous comments from the artist himself, including a controversial 2017 chat he had with a Polish publication in which he said you "don't listen to hip-hop" when you're "looking to cry" or "think about life." While Post noted at the time that he felt there are "great hip-hop songs . . . about life," he explained that he tended at the time to go with an artist like Bob Dylan when in search of a cry.
Citing his age, Malone—though he didn't directly address the accusations of "using" hip-hop from earlier in his career—suggested in the new GQ discussion that he's now feeling the urge to show his gratitude for that history and system in a multitude of ways.
"I'm 24. It's time for me to give back and show appreciation and do whatever I can to show that I'm grateful to be able to do what I do," he said.
Elsewhere, Post commented on his vocal style, sharing some sound words of advice for anyone out there who might think that their voice might prevent them from making music that connects with people. To drive home his point, he tucked in a mention of Talking Heads alum David Byrne.
"You don't have to sing good," he said. "You just gotta be fuckin' real about it. It's like David Byrne said: 'The better you sound, the less people will believe you.'"
To be fair, Posty is paraphrasing here, as the actual Byrne quote (taken from a parody video circa the Stop Making Sense days) is, "The better the singer's voice, the harder it is to believe what they're saying."
Elaborating further during the interview, the artist shared some words of praise for Conor Oberst, specifically highlighting the 2005 Bright Eyes album I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning. "Listening to him as a kid definitely inspired me," he said. "I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning is probably one of the saddest [albums]—I sit there, and I'm drinking and crying my fuckin' eyes out to that shit."
Posty also discussed his penchant for face ink, with Sanneh noting that he suggested a "defense strategy" inspiration for them.
"I'm a ugly-ass motherfucker," he said. "It does maybe come from a place of insecurity, to where I don't like how I look, so I'm going to put something cool on there so I can look at myself and say, 'You look cool, kid,' and have a modicum of self-confidence, when it comes to my appearance."
Read the full interview, which also sees Malone talking mental health and reflecting on his breakthrough hit "White Iverson," right here.
And if 2020 is interested in course-correcting its early months of fuckery, the respective teams of Posty and Conor should immediately begin hashing out a way to bag up a collab for Bright Eyes' forthcoming album.