An Open Letter to Post Malone

Rapper Post Malone visiting SiriusXM Studio on Nov. 30, 2016, in New York City (Matthew Eisman/Getty Images)
Rapper Post Malone visiting SiriusXM Studio on Nov. 30, 2016, in New York City (Matthew Eisman/Getty Images)

Dear Mr. Malone:

First let me say that, as an old-school hip-hop head, I will refrain from criticizing your music. I will not comment on your lyrical genius of rhyming “shottas” with “grrra-ta-ta-ta.” I won’t even mention how your synthesized, Auto-Tuned, Caucasian half-singing on “Rockstar” sounds as if T-Pain fucked a Pinterest page. I am predisposed to liking rappers who can actually, you know, rap, but your song is a hit, so I assume some people like it.


Instead, I want to talk about you.

You recently did an interview with the bastion of hip-hip hop culture,
Rolling Stone magazine, that I and many others found troubling. While the epidemic of white culture vultures sucking the lifeblood out of hip-hop is nothing new, I don’t necessarily think all white people in hip-hop are appropriators. I think Eminem is as much a hip-hop staple as any black artist. I like Paul Wall. I’m even a fan of white Ghostface Killa, aka Action Bronson.


But you worry me, Post. Your interview reeks of the kind of privilege I often see in the larger population of white people who scream reverse racism while stuffing their pockets with the dollars earned off the art, culture and platforms we built.

I’m not even mad that you said the word “nigga” in a Vine that you later had scrubbed from the internet because I believe that many, if not all, white people have an innate desire to use the word. And you, Mr. Malone, are most certainly white people.

It is interesting that you, a white boy who hails from the mean streets of Syracuse, N.Y., and the hoods of suburban Texas, so willingly inject black stereotypes like “smoking like a Rasta,” and allude to the “homies pulling up on your block,” while so casually dismissing your critics as haters or racists.


You took umbrage when Charlamagne tha God asked you what you did to support Black Lives Matter, and you answered: “I guess what I can do to help Black Lives Matter is keep making music. ... I don’t know.”

In your Rolling Stone story, you called Charlamagne’s line of questioning “reverse racism” and said:

I wish I’d said, ‘What are you doing for Black Lives Matter?’ Some sassy shit to shut him up. Like, maybe my music’s not the best, but I know I’m not a bad person, so you’re just being a hater. ...

He’s not a good person. He hates me because I’m white and I’m different. But we’re still rocking and we’re still successful, and he can’t stop it.


If white privilege somehow became a person, learned how to make shitty music and covered its weak, undefined, inbred jawline with an unkempt beard, I’d name it Post Malone. You are white privilege, Mr. Malone.

You get to make millions trading on the bullshittery of hip-hop imagery, spewing the words “bitch” and “ho” in every verse and creating nonexistent street credibility out of whole cloth while simultaneously enjoying the benefits of whiteness.


You talk about all the guns you own, excusing it as your right as an American, not understanding that your black counterparts who say the same things are automatically labeled “thugs” and criminals. Even worse, many of those black men are only infusing the reality of their lives into their music, while you are practicing a nefarious form of prestidigitation known as “making shit up.”

When 21 Savage talks about the same thing, he might be referring to being one of 11 siblings raised by a single mother. He might be talking about the experience of having one of his brothers killed. He might be telling his truth wherein he was banned from every school in his county for owning a gun. It might not be constructive or laudable, but it is real.


And you are an incubuslike, oblivious fraud.

In the midst of your bragging about your cache of guns that you claim protect you and your valuables, the interviewer asked you if anyone had ever tried to take anything from you, and you acknowledged that no one has, but added:

A lot of people are sensitive about it these days, but it’s an American right to own a gun. It kinda sucks that now we have to live in fear of going out to a concert, but there’ll always be bad people, and if bad people want firearms, they’ll get ‘em no matter what.

... I don’t have all the answers – I’m just trying to get my money and get out.

In fact, I am not writing this letter to criticize you. I am writing because I am jealous of you. I wish I could be like you. It must be so nice.


It must be great to have your “nigga”-spitting raps erased from the whole-ass internet and have the privilege of flinging the accusation at someone else simply because they asked you a question. It must be nice to believe that reverse racism even exists and for your only regret about the Black Lives Matter movement to be that your feeble white mind couldn’t come up with a quick, “sassy” retort to erase it from the conversation.

I wish I could do it.

I wish I could reinvent myself as a thug or gangsta to capitalize off a genre of music without the repercussions of being criminalized. I wish I could straddle the fence on social issues that didn’t affect my life or my livelihood. I wish I could not give a fuck about Black Lives Matter because my white life was assigned an infinite value at birth. I wish I could tote guns, call women hos and pretend I was a ghetto-fabulous, new-millennium cowboy for the sake of sport without worrying about becoming the feared black villain.


But most of all, I’m jealous that you were able to weave your weak chin into the wallets and conscience of a culture without giving a damn about it. That you can perpetuate the endless cycle of black death without participating. That you aren’t saddled with the responsibility of being a caretaker of my art, so you can easily dismiss it by saying that “genre is stupid.”

No, really, I think you are amazing.

I am both amazed and disheartened that my people are so willing to embrace someone like you. If I told the world that there was a white boy from Texas who went around using the n-word and who had a stash of weapons worthy of a mass shooter, wiggering it up for the world to see, they’d probably ask, “Who is this motherfucker?”


And I’d say, “Some dude named Austin Richard Post.”

Again, they would probably ask, “Who the fuck is that?”

And when I said the name of Post Malone, they’d probably recognize you and I’d be jealous again. But then again, just like you said about Charlamagne, I might just be hatin’.


And you just might be ... Satan.

Yours truly,

Black people

World-renowned wypipologist. Getter and doer of "it." Never reneged, never will. Last real negus alive.



This is why I had to give up even trying to follow what began passing as hip hop years ago. I predict the same thing that happened with jazz and then rock will happen with hip hop: White people will continue taking it over, and when I am old and wrinkled and half-deaf, young Black people will consider it “white people music.” Hopefully we will have made something else cool by then, and we can have a few decades before they copy and ruin it.