Monday, May 16, 2016

Post Malone - August 26 Review

The 'White Iverson' guy? Yeah, him. Post Malone has traveled the road of many others before him to reach a certain level of acclaim; that of the one-hit wonder who blew up out of nowhere with an interesting look, a bonafide banger, and a music video to boot. Much like Desiigner or D.R.A.M., Post Malone used Soundcloud and the ensuing wave of viralness to launch his stardom, with plans to now tour for Justin Beiber, all before dropping a single mixtape. That changed this past weekend when Malone unleashed August 26 with little warning, a move done by many but few with as little namesake as him. Rightfully though, being bred out of the Internet, it's bound to get noticed, some going so far as to say it outshined the larger mixtape of the night, Chance The Rapper's Coloring Book. While those comparisons are lofty, and almost entirely unfounded, August 26 sports a handful of bangers that proves Post Malone's dexterity, despite the lyrics and content circumventing any change in the continuing progression of Hip-Hop. It's at times relentless, at others nauseating, but as goes the Alternative R&B/Trap mashups we've grown accustomed to, August 26 exemplifies it by being a dash above mediocre.

If there's one thing August 26 taught me it's that Post Malone really wants to meet NBA players. Not only did 'White Iverson' feature a prominent legend in the game, due to Malone's similarities to his hairstyle, it also name-dropped Kevin Durant, Michael Jordan, Anthony Davis, and James Harden. That trend continues here, the dude's obsessed with ballers, and as an NBA fan myself it's fun hearing tracks like 'Monte' pay respect to current players. Lil Yachty's featured here, continuing his 2016 mean streak with another verse that's fun, flow-centric, and related to the topic at hand, going so far as to compare himself to the Atlanta Hawks' Kyle Korver. It's also my favorite track here, one that eschews normal trends while being just as loud and addictive as any other. There's a couple other hits, like '40 Funk' and surprisingly 'Lonely,' mainly cause it features Jaden Smith and he's not awful. Oh, and 'Come Down' might be the hardest, most atmospherically-drenched track here, ruined almost single-handedly by 'Hollywood Dreams,' the Rap-Country crossover I feared but expected. Never works, don't try it.

The rest of the tracks seem to wallow in tedium, failing to do anything interesting. There's a couple spots, like closer 'Oh God' that sounds like the theme song to one of those modern Western TV shows that'll last one season, known primarily for said theme song. The aesthetic is different compared to everything here, and for that reason it feels purposeful. 'Fuck' features an intoxicating chorus from Jeremih, 'Money Made Me Do It' has an admirable 2 Chainz verse and a simple beat, and 'Git Wit U' just goes mega hard. So while Post Malone may have a small niche in Alt Trap, it's one that feels unnecessary. His content is weak, and if it weren't for the NBA references, which in and of themselves are played out, I'd snooze through the bars that are just cluttering the tape. As with most artists like him the production is what keeps him afloat, handled primarily by his main beatsmith FKi. Even here they're iffy, but none, apart from 'Hollywood Dreams,' are all out bad. No track here feels as complete as 'White Iverson,' and being that August 26 is a precursor to a supposed album, that's okay. 

1 comment: