If I claim to like Post Malone so much, why do I keep pressing skip?
Photo courtesy of Flickr.
My feelings leading up to the day of Beale Street Music Festival this past year were akin to those I feel prior to Christmas morning: sleeplessness, anticipatory stomach butterflies, hopefulness of what might happen. Just as I prepare for Christmas by decorating and shopping, I spent weeks preparing for the big day, specifically for the performance by Post Malone. I compiled a playlist of all the most popular songs, memorized lyrics, and created an outfit which would make me stand out amongst thousands of others and capture the attention of the tattooed, mustachioed artist himself. After hours of standing though preliminary performances by country king Luke Combs and Memphis-made rapper Juicy J, Posty finally took the stage. The performance was euphoric, even surreal; then, it was over. The Christmas presents were opened, the floor was covered in wrapping paper (or, in my case, lemonade cups and corn dog wrappers), and the excitement was over. Though I kept listening to the songs in the weeks after the concert, my summer fling with Posty’s music eventually began to fizzle. When “92 Explorer” or even “Feeling Whitney” came on shuffle, I found myself instinctively pressing “skip.”
It’s not that I don’t think his music is objectively good. After all, he headlined BSMF last year and was nominated for four Grammys this year alone. His songs are catchy and relatively easy to sing along to. Yet, in the past couple of months, I’ve spent less than an hour in all listening to Post Malone. I had to ask myself: If I claim to like Post Malone so much, why do I keep pressing skip? In search of answers, I spoke with a Post Malone lover and hater. Posty fan Olivia Longsworth (10), who saw his performances at Beale Street and Mempho, says “A lot of his songs are upbeat, and It’s something fun to play in the car or when you're with your friends or when you're dancing.” However, Sophie Droke (10) says, “I can't really understand what he's saying. When I can understand what he's saying, I feel like he just repeats the same thing over and over again and I can't really relate.” Despite a difference in opinion, both agreed that neither one of them were right, but that people simply have different tastes. Therefore, my true opinion ultimately could not come from anyone else.
So, here is what I think is happening.
His music isn’t bad, I just don’t think it’s for me. Personally, my loudest jam sessions are much more likely to take place with throwbacks or electric guitar in the background. Call me crazy, but I’d dance along to The Beatles’ “Can’t Buy Me Love” before rapping to “Psycho” any day. That’s not to say I can’t sing every word to the chorus of Posty’s top hits. After all, I was a huge fan just a year ago. But what was different then, and what made my opinions change?
I credit my former obsession with circumstances at the time. I was 16, surrounded by superfans in school (not to mention the rest of the country), and had tickets see Posty in a matter of months. My social media feeds were replete with Post Malone concert videos, edits, and memes. Liking him wasn't so much of a choice as it was a given. If I had been older, spent less time on social media, or lived in a different place, perhaps I would not have been a big fan. My opinions about Post Malone were decisively influenced by his relevance; therein lies the influential power of popular culture. It’s undeniable that our opinions are shaped by what is popular. But, perhaps it's not such a bad thing that our conditions influence what we claim to like or dislike. In my case, the people I surround myself with, as well as my position as a teenager and Memphian, have allowed me to enjoy something that I may not have otherwise been able to appreciate. By familiarizing myself with the music of someone so relevant, I opened myself up to an understanding of pop culture references as well as a place in conversations that I otherwise would not have understood.
Honestly, I’m still not exactly sure whether or not I like Post Malone. His style of music may not be for me, but that doesn’t mean I can’t still listen and enjoy the memories associated with his songs. While “Stoney” may not be the soundtrack to my life, I’ll most likely keep playing “No Option” to get me through the last three minutes of a run, and I’ll undoubtedly still dance (and scream) along to “Congratulations” when it comes on at a dance. My obsession may be “Over Now,” but “Blame It On Me,” not Posty.
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