He made a song for mainstream audiences, not for his loyal fans.
I love Post Malone’s music… Okay, I don’t “love” his music like I do Frank Ocean’s, but I am a big fan of his album. I just wanted to mention that before I start shitting on his new single, dubbed Rockstar.
The most likeable aspect of Post Malone is his personality outside of his music, which you see a lot of in H3H3‘s videos, such as the H3 Podcast. Overall he appears to be an artist who simply creates whatever makes him happy; a rare quality in a rap artist, and one that is highly commendable.
Usually rappers will focus on one aspect or idea; such as creating a narrative within their music, or the commercial aspect and making money. Post Malone has always been shown as an artist who wants to make whatever he’s feeling in the moment, regardless of what that may sound like.
So after getting the impression of him being a creative maverick, I immediately was excited when he titles his newest song “Rockstar”. My mind goes wild; is he making a rock single, or perhaps taking a new direction with rap and going for a similar style to Yelawolf? The latter of these ideas felt particularly likely following him teasing some psychedelic guitar tunes on his Instagram.
So you could imagine when my confusion when Rockstar was released, and sounded annoyingly similar to White Iverson. Not a bad thing, but this was clearly released to grasp mainstream audiences. A surprisingly materialistic decision, don’t you think?
From a critical perspective I think Rockstar should have sounded closer to Go Flex than White Iverson, especially considering how vital the guitar is in Go Flex. Again, this only makes me more suspicious that the song was a commercial decision, not a creative one.
As for the song’s message, which compares modern rap to 80’s rock, it’s nothing new. Remember when Kanye said, “I’m the number one rockstar on the planet”, that quote is taken from when he discussed rap’s relevance and how it’s replaced rock in popularity.
Maybe Post Malone’s next single will be more original.