Owen Sweeney, Invision/AP
Three years ago while striding out of Saint Laurent on Hollywood Boulevard, Austin Richard Post exposed to TMZ how he came up with his stage name “Post Malone:” a rap name generator. This information joined with the repeated lyrics and slothful backbeats in most of his songs give Malone a bit of a lazy image. Despite this, some of his recent lyrics, while remarkably blunt and often depressing, are shining truths of Hollywood’s current climate.
Post’s new album, “Hollywood’s Bleeding,” is an inside look on his own sentiments about the city of Los Angeles. Much of the album is written in a way that reveals the toxicity of the lifestyle he and others live in Hollywood, allowing Post to express his feelings on the matter.
His title track is a window into the mind of Post as he experiences the life of an L.A. celebrity. The first lyric explores the idea that a celebrity’s life is filled with “blood-sucking vampires.” While vampires are mythical, paparazzi and clout chasers aren’t. Indeed, Post did not explicitly say that this was his problem with Hollywood, it’s safe to assume that he has a problem with people who latch onto him merely for his money and status. While the chorus sounds like a lonely love song, with its recurring lyrics being, “I just keep on hopin’ that you call me / You say you wanna see me, but you can’t right now,” the verses make it sound like Post is going through much more than just romantic difficulties. In fact, it makes me want to reach through my screen and give the man a hug. The song then erupts with a marvelous high paced but melancholy backbeat. Later in the song Post raps, “It seems like dying young is an honor.” Probably hashing out recent deaths like Nipsey Hussle and XXXTentacion, it’s clear that Post is hurting. This tune, unlike many of Post’s other pieces, holds emotional weight.
These lyrics are an extreme contrast from his song later on the record, “Saint Tropez.” Phrases like, “I money ball like Bradley Pitt,” and closing lyric, “I’m in Saint Tropez, had to check wrist,” are just a couple of examples. What a versatile songwriter!
After sitting through the painful lyrics of “Saint Tropez,” I was ready for a new sound. The universe heard, and “Allergic” came up next. The beat was energetic, and the lyrics were, once again, somewhat depressing and unremarkable. Post opens the song with his sweet-toned voice only to pop in every six words with a booming “allergic!” that is bound to startle the listener. This song’s theme seems to be another attempt at a love song, resembling a bit of the doo-wop beats heard in the ‘50s. While it’s difficult to decipher his meanings, Post writes that “instead of holdin’ me down you’re only holding me up / It shouldn’t be so hard, this is impossible love.” These words are beautifully honest, yet still closed off enough to keep the listener on the outside of his pain. The lyrics may leave much to be desired, but the song broadens Post’s audience towards those who care less about the lyrics of a song and more about its upbeat melody.
All in all, this album is a perfect record to listen to while swinging in a hammock on a 70-degree night while drinking green tea with honey and watching the red sky turn black. I know, oddly specific, but I’m really enjoying myself right now! Its beats are addictive, and its lyrics are perfect for teens that are gluttons for bittersweet car rides and vibey study sessions. “Hollywood’s Bleeding” is a perfect mix of Post’s flowing rap and euphonious singing voice, and its versatility will leave all listeners with something to enjoy.
The Parkway West Pathfinder gives “Hollywood’s Bleeding” an 8.1/10.