SSE Hydro, Glasgow
When angstily rapping about his fractured psyche, the US star is compelling, but you sense he still hasn’t worked out his true voice

Where Post Malone goes, controversy often follows. The most recent, overshadowing the start of the Texan’s latest European tour, involves an apparent snub towards recently incarcerated rapper 21 Savage. Rockstar, the hedonistic smash that turned Malone into one of hip-hop’s most lucrative new names in 2017, featured a guest verse from 21 Savage, but when the 23-year-old performed the track at last week’s Grammy awards, he declined to shout out his collaborator, currently being threatened with deportation after US immigration arrested him earlier this month for allegedly outstaying his visa.

The incident underlined a suspicion within the rap community that Malone, real name Austin Post, isn’t one of their own, but an interloper: a “rhinestone cowboy” offering “one of the shallowest bastardisations of rap to date”, to quote journalist Jeff Weiss in a scathing Washington Post takedown of the MC that went viral last year. Here is an artist, detractors insist, that benefits from the many white Americans who enjoy the murk and menace of Future and Migos, but would prefer to hear a white American doing it.

There’s no acknowledgment for Savage at Malone’s first Scottish show, either. Instead, what follows as the rapper bounds on stage, dressed in black, glugging from a red cup, is a perfunctory pop-rap spectacle that sees him thunder through country-infused hits from his two studio albums. Broken Whiskey Glass, from his debut Stoney, provides a Morricone-style cinematic opener, full of epic strings and cawing vulture noises. Outings for Psycho, the new single Wow and White Iverson – the airy blend of synths and 808 bass that put Malone on the music industry’s radar in 2015 – arrive soon after, before the star grabs an acoustic guitar for a stripped-down rendition of campfire singalong Stay.

Original Source

 

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