Few mainstream celebrities in recent memory have had as much of an affect on metal as Post Malone. In the short time since his ascendancy to stardom, the heavily-tattooed Soundcloud rapper has promoted heavy music as a rule, constantly repping both young and old acts. And while plenty of metalheads might not care for his music, and in keeping with the metal way of things have rejected him outright for making melodic hip-hop rather than brutal goregrind, it’s undeniable that the dude has been a sterling advocate for metal throughout his career.
Here are 10 reasons why Post Malone is good for metal that even outright haters can’t brush aside…
He puts death metal bands next to pop stars on his fest line-up
It’s a shame that Post Malone’s Posty Fest got rescheduled this year. But even before that happened, finding rising death metal stars Gatecreeper and punk upstarts Turnstile’s names next to Megan Thee Stallion on a festival poster was pretty fucking rad. It’s cool to see that though he’s obviously aware of some bands being more famous than others, Post still thinks all of those acts deserve to have their names on the same bill. Onstage duet? We can only hope — imagine Chase Mason bellowing, “I’M A SAVAGE!”
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He also parties with those bands
While plenty of pop stars and rappers want only to chill at the hottest clubs with the biggest-name celebrities, Post Malone is hanging with metal’s sweatiest. The dude swung by Slayer’s last tour for the chance to rage with former Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo. But it’s not just the big names — the rapper famously played a game of beer pong against Gatecreeper, with whom he’s developed a lasting relationship. This dude is obviously living a dream we all have, which only helps cement a love of metal as being anything but weird.
He normalizes having a million fucking tattoos
To be fair, yes, this is less something Post Malone does and more something he is. But it’s worth noting that for a culture which has long courted a love of extreme body art, a major celebrity blowing up whose whole face is tattooed takes some of the heat off of us. Sure, some metal fans who love the outsider status of tattooing might consider this a bad thing in the long run, but for all of us who are tired of being stared at and judged, this dude is lending a helping hand. Go ahead, get that one design you always wanted. Who cares who sees it?
He’s made having a ‘metal phase’ into a good thing
In the past, a mainstream artist having a ‘metal phase’ was something at which they rolled their eyes in interviews. But Post Malone has really owned the metalheaddom of his youth. In high school, the rapper was in a band named Ashley’s Arrival, a fact that he’s never hidden and has since been totally proud of (well, as proud as you can be of anything you did in high school). Have to give the guy some credit for not casting metal as something you get over once you grow up.
He gives classic rockers work…
If we’re being perfectly honest, Ozzy Osbourne’s Ordinary Man album might not have popped off the way it did without Post Malone’s help. Sure, the record was awesome on its own — it was even The Pit’s #1 Album of 2020 — but Post’s use of Ozzy in “Take What You Want” and his bringing together the Prince of Darkness and producer Andrew Watt helped take that record from a new release by a classic artist to one of 2020’s most well-regarded albums. Respect where respect is due.
And he helps them further their legacy
Not only did Post Malone help breathe new life into Ozzy’s work, he also helped set the stage for the next chapter in the metal god’s career. Soon after Ordinary Man came out, Ozzy revealed that he and Andrew Watt were already hard at work on the follow-up. This wave of momentum was, it must be admitted, largely driven by Post Malone’s continuous support and collaboration. If a Soundcloud rapper sparks fresh flint for metal royalty, well then, good for him.
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He jams with tech-metal nerds
Performing alongside Ozzy Osbourne is a given — performing alongside the king of YouTube tech-metal nerdery? Not an obvious choice. And yet Post Malone went there — the rapper jammed with Jared Dines, the Internet personality best known for strumming on guitars with too many strings and exposing which scales are brutally overused in metal. That Post was down to hang with a dude whose notoriety is so entrenched in metal as a whole speaks to his desire to plumb even the genre’s deeper caverns.
He’s open about his body image issues
Look, it’s no secret that a lot of metalheads’ anger at the world at large is in response to said world’s lack of respect and decency towards them. Lots of metalheads feel ugly and horrible given how often everyday society tells them they’re just that. So the fact that Post Malone broached that topic in a GQ interview — that he’s admitted that his face tattoos were in part to cover his own feelings of ugliness — opens up this conversation for all his mainstream fans. Hopefully the next time some person who loves Post is about to insult someone for being too fat or wearing elaborate goth make-up, they’ll think twice. At least we hope they will. Humans have a real surprising capacity for callousness.
— Nekrogoblikon (@Nekrogoblikon) July 29, 2020
He’s into fucking goblin metal
Look, plenty of celebrities are happy to be seen wearing a Mötley Crüe or Slayer shirt. But fucking Nekrogoblikon? Not as much. And yet here’s Post Malone on Joe Rogan’s podcast, spreading the good word about the wonders of goblin metal and its flagship band. In our minds, if even a handful of dudes who listen to that DMT-freebasing nutbar’s podcast put on a goblin metal track because of Post Malone, that guy is a hero.
He genuinely seems to be in it for the right reasons
The truth is that metal has cultural weight because it has a genuine fanbase — metalheads like it because they love it, despite it being weird and extreme and not very financially sound as a lifestyle. Celebrities have glommed onto that because, well, their shit often feels surface-level and mercenary, and wearing a metal shirt shows a connection with something unusual and pure. But all of the points above seem to prove to Post Malone not being in this for whatever cultural clout metal imagery might give him. He’s consistently repped metal, metal bands, and metal songs throughout his career. He’s one of us. And if one of us can become one of the biggest rappers in the world, then maybe shit ain’t that bad.
Words by Chris Krovatin