One of the most promising new hip-hop acts of 2016 is Austin Post, known as Post Malone, who is soaring up the charts with his first hit. The tune, “White Iverson,” almost feels more like an R&B track than a rap song, since it features an Autotuned rap-singing style reminiscent of Drake or the Weeknd.
The hazy vibe of “White Iverson” gives the impression that it's a love song, but the lyrics are more mundane than that, with a bunch of basketball metaphors that serve as an introduction to Malone himself. He sings, “White Iverson / When I started ballin' I was young / You gon' think about me when I'm gone / I need that money like the ring I never won.”
Malone told Vice that while he has listened to metal and folk, he got started recording rap music as a teen. “I got Audacity and started just messing around over my own beats,” he explained. “When I was 16, I released a mixtape that I recorded at my friend’s house. I recorded it myself and made all the beats. That’s when the hip-hop started.”
“White Iverson” inches up to No. 14 on this week's Billboard Hot 100 and lands at No. 5 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The fact that Malone is experiencing such good fortune without finishing a full album and with only a handful of songs available to the public has led some to suggest that his success has come too quickly. He agrees with the charge.
“It did take off way too fast,” Malone confirmed to Vice. “I think it took off way too fast. It’s just the way it goes sometimes. You gotta go with the flow.” The performer says he's working with Young Thug and Makonnen on material for the record, and his dream collaborators include rapper Future and country music legend George Strait.
The title “White Iverson” came from the fact that Post got cornrows and thought he looked like a white version of former NBA star Allen Iverson. In December, a remix of the track was issued featuring guest appearances by Rae Sremmurd, French Montana, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, and others. Post Malone said he has no idea yet when his album will drop, except that he hopes it will surface sometime this year. “There is an album coming, and it will be very cool,” he promised.