Post Malone’s Dilemma

Is being a white rapper really a struggle?

Matthew Wilcox, Staff Reporter

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Austin Richard Post, better known by his stage name Post Malone, has had a turbulent relationship with hip-hop as of recently. Controversy surrounding Malone’s persona has existed ever since he declared in 2015 “I’m not a rapper– I’m an artist” and declined a spot on XXL Magazine’s Freshmen list, a compilation of ten new “artists-to-watch” that allows newcomers in hip-hop to receive focus and boost their careers. Malone declined the opportunity to appear on the list because he was “going in more of a rock/pop/country direction.”

Controversy about Malone resurfaced in the past few months, however, with his claim that it’s difficult to be Caucasian in the rap industry. “I definitely feel like there’s a struggle being a white rapper,” the 22-year-old said in an interview with GQ. “But I don’t want to be a rapper. I just want to be a person that makes music.”

Malone’s claim angered members of the hip-hop community, who were quick to point out that white rappers such as Eminem, the Beastie Boys, Macklemore, G-Eazy, and more never mentioned a struggle to be white in rap. Malone’s comments also annoyed those that expressed concern over the claim that being white in rap is a small struggle compared to the systematic struggles that minorities face in America frequently. Others still were mad at Malone due to the fact that he had embraced the sounds and styles that came out of hip-hop, only to distance himself from the community and claim that he wasn’t a rapper.

Malone is arguably the most polarizing figure in hip-hop currently. Despite the controversial statements the artist (not rapper) has said, his hit single “Rockstar” sat at number one on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart for months and went certified 2x platinum, and his upcoming album, “Beerbongs and Bentleys”, is expected to release in 2018 to a wide audience and high public acclaim. The long-term impact of his words about hip-hop is yet to be seen, but it doesn’t look like his controversy is going away soon.

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