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Post Malone perfects his ‘genre-bending’ in Hollywood’s Bleeding

Tore Sætre | Wikimedia Commons

From performing at the Playstation Theater in 2017 on the “Stoney Tour” to headlining Madison Square Garden for two nights this October with his newly released album Hollywood’s Bleeding on the “Runaway Tour,” Post Malone’s career and rap presence has increased immensely.

Malone’s recent release of Hollywood’s Bleeding has influenced critics and listeners so heavily that Malone received the most American Music Award nominations for 2019 including but not limited to, best rap artist and best rap album on Oct. 24.

Post Malone’s newest album Hollywood’s Bleeding tuned in listeners to unexpected collaborations and reconstructed their ideas on his rap sound compared to his other albums, Stoney and Beerbongs and Bentleys

Within 17 tracks, Malone decided to implement elements of other genres, or what he calls “genre-bending,” in order to create his desired sound.

The album starts with its title track, “Hollywood’s Bleeding.” In the beginning of the song, listeners hear Malone singing alongside the guitar as though he was singing at his own funeral. This song describes the brutal loneliness of a striving musician living in Hollywood as seen in the lyrics, “Dyin in our sleep, we’re living out a dream we only make it out alone.” 

Additionally, he highlights how living in Hollywood makes you susceptible to being used by others for personal gain. Listeners start to realize Malone’s unfortunate truth of living in the spotlight and how it was never what he expected it to be.

“Allergic” and “A Thousand Bad Times” took Malone’s album to another level by using pop-based sounds to carry the song. When describing “Allergic” at his performance at Madison Square Garden on Oct. 14, Malone stated “this is the weirdest one off the album.”

 “Allergic” expresses a fight between Malone’s perception of his relationship with his partner but adds how he always goes back to her despite knowing it’s not good for him to do so. 

Malone follows this theme of dealing with the bad in life with the pop ballad “A Thousand Bad Times.” 

Malone expresses how no matter what bad might be surrounding him, he knows he can handle it since he’s not even dead yet, as expressed in the lyrics, “Cause I can take anything that you give me (what you give me), it’s gonna take a lot more to kill me.”

“Circles,” the leading pop-rock ballad, was originally given to listeners as a single in late August 2019 but was eventually provided on the record. 

This song highlights Malone’s desire to run away from his partner but feels that there is an endless return to each other no matter what. 

Listeners of Malone’s previous record might suggest that this song alludes to his “Stay,” however, “Circles” poses an opposite perspective where Malone wants to run away instead of staying with his partner.

Fans were also excited to find artists Future and Halsey to be featured on the track “Die For Me.” This song is a first for both Future and Halsey to release with Malone. Additionally, Halsey is known for her indie-pop sound, however, on “Die For Me” she decided to rap alongside both Malone and Future. 

By utilizing both Halsey and Future’s voices for background vocals, Malone portrays the hurt felt within relationships from false promises.

The most anticipated collaboration on the album is the song “Take What You Want From Me” featuring Ozzy Osbourne, lead singer of the rock band Black Sabbath, and Travis Scott. Listeners hear Osbourne sing the chorus alongside an electric guitar. 

As the song proceeds, fans are reminded of the electric guitar throughout both raps of Malone and Scott. Then, to finish the song, Malone sings “take what you want, take what you need” alongside an epic electric guitar outro. 

This song teaches listeners that although people can act like snakes and take whatever you give, you ultimately have control over what you want to give when you want to give it.

Malone then included SZA on the album in the next song, “Staring At The Sun.” As the song starts with the ignition of a match, listeners begin to understand Malones perspective of being blinded by love. 

Interestingly, Malone allowed SZA to sing in perspective of Malone’s partner as she sings in contrast to the lyrics “But girl, what I can promise is I’ll let you down, so don’t put up a fight, you’ll get lost in the light” to which SZA replies, “Cause I can count on you to let me down, I won’t put up a fight, I got lost in the light (oh).” 

As things get caught in the fire they burn — which is essentially what the song is alluding to and what Malone resists to make his partner want in their relationship.

The shortest song on the album is titled “Internet” and only around two minutes long. 

With classical music touches, Malone expresses his hatred of the internet singing, “Well, fuck the Internet, and you can quote that, whoa.” 

In this song Malone also draws into the paranoia he experiences from being online which alludes to his song “Paranoid” featured on his previous album, Beerbongs and Bentleys

Even so, Malone tells listeners that he does not want to be aware of the Internet since it only allows negativity to brew as sung in the lyrics, “Insta love well if ignorance is bliss, then don’t wake me up.” Although this song is the shortest, it adds substance to the album because of how draining being famous is not only in person but as an online presence.

Songs earlier in the album provided hyped rap from Malone however, in “Myself” Malone has listeners reflect with him on all that he has done as it follows along to the idea of the American dream. 

As Malone reflects on a previous relationship and raps about wishing he was there himself in order to experience it all over again. 

Additionally, he lets listeners know the overarching need for more — money to spend and ability to not care about anything at all — in his future. 

Malone even shows his need for more as he ends the song by singing, “No I can’t get enough, oh, oh, oh, oh.”

As Post Malone continues his Runaway Tour which is expected to finish by the end of November, listeners and concert go-ers get to experience a mix of Hollywood’s Bleeding, Beerbongs and Bentleys and Stoney in person.

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