Banger Alert: “No Option”
MVP of the Year: “Congratulations” f/ Quavo
Folk Success: “Feeling Whitney”
Post Malone’s debut album Stoney is a major accomplishment. Coming off the unexpected hit “White Iverson” in 2015, he 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, folk, country, and R&B. One minute he’s delivering a hip-hop banger with “No Option,” the next he’s crooning his way through the folky “Feeling Whitney.” The changes feel remarkably logical, and the album flows smoothly from beginning to end.
Stoney is a bit overstuffed at 19 tracks, and even the various genres don’t deviate too far from the hazy feel that Post is known for. Still, it’s hard to say what I would want him to cut. Poppier moments like his Justin Bieber collaboration “Deja Vu” seem destined for radio success, while his forays into more acoustic music—“Leave” and “Yours Truly, Austin Post”—are among the album’s most enjoyable. There were plenty of reasons to be skeptical of Post Malone’s intentions in hip-hop, but Stoney proves he’s the real deal. Ignore this album at your own risk. —Chris Mench