A mere 17 months have passed since the last time Post Malone performed in Vancouver, but a lot has happened in between. For starters, Malone won the award for top rap song at the Billboard Music Awards, for the single "Rockstar" (featuring 21 Savage). Last August, Malone's debut Stoney set a new record for the most consecutive weeks in the Top 10 of Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop albums chart—a record previously held by Michael Jackson's Thriller. And while we're talking awards and honours, Malone's album Beerbongs & Bentleys was nominated for four Grammy Awards. It didn't win any, but Post did get to perform with the Red Hot Chili Peppers at the awards show back in February, which is probably better than winning anyway.
Most recently, Malone released his third LP, the critically lauded Hollywood's Bleeding, which is currently the number-one album in Canada, the U.S., the U.K., and well, pretty much every other place that keeps track of such things. The man born Austin Richard Post is on the road in support of Hollywood's Bleeding; that tour will bring him to Rogers Arena tonight (September 16).
Oh, and Malone probably also smoked a lot of weed during those 17 months. Like, a lot.
INDIE-FOLK SUPERFAN. Unless you were already aware of his wide-ranging tastes, you might not peg Malone as a Fleet Foxes fan. Turns out that "fan" doesn't quite do it justice. "Evangelist" might be a better word. Malone has been proselytizing on behalf of the Seattle folk-rock band since at least 2015, when he tweeted "fleet foxes is the only group that i love every single song of." He also tweeted the following:
FJM is, of course, Father John Misty, also known as Josh Tillman. Malone's fellow Fleet Foxes fanatics will already know that, in addition to being a prodigiously talented solo artist, Tillman was the band's drummer from 2008 to 2012. He also cowrote the song "Myself" on Malone's latest album, Hollywood's Bleeding. "Working with Josh Tillman was incredible," Malone told Spotify. "We slammed butts and Bud Lights to write a cool, top-down, summer cruising song about doing all this shit, being everywhere, but not having the time to fully enjoy it."
One person Malone hasn't had the opportunity to collaborate with is Fleet Foxes' main man Robin Pecknold, although he told Billboard he would like to do so, calling Pecknold "a great writer". Until that happens, Malone will have to content himself with cranking tunes like "The Shrine/An Argument" and singing along:
GIVE ME AN N-R-A. One of the craziest things about America is how large swaths of its citizens subscribe to the mantra "Praise the Lord—and pass the ammunition." Post Malone is among those who dearly loves his guns. In a 2017 Rolling Stone profile, journalist Jonah Weiner got a firsthand look at the rapper's personal collection, recounting the experience as follows:
“This is an M14—the gun Navy SEALs use,” he says, placing a chunky rifle in my hands. He takes it back, hands over a Walther PPK—“James Bond’s gun”—with decorative engraving down the barrel. Next up are a .44 Desert Eagle hand cannon and an M1911 pistol, then two gold-plated Glocks—“I’d never actually shoot these.” Finally, there’s his Cobalt AR-15, an assault rifle, specially modified to pass California regulations, that he’s particularly proud of. “Looks like something out of Halo, right?”
He ducks into a bathroom to ash the cigarette he’s smoking, then makes for his master bedroom, which he shares with his longtime girlfriend, Ashlen. On the floor beside their bed is a pump-action Mossberg shotgun: “Great for home defense.” He reaches behind a pillow, fishes out an FN Five-Seven pistol fitted with a laser sight and—to better disorient any home invaders, he explains—a strobe light. He goes behind another pillow, pulls out a Glock 19. “This is for Ashlen. It’s supereasy to use.”
At the root of his gun fixation? That would be a hard-core belief that it's the next best thing to being drunk. "The feeling is pure . . . inebriation," Malone says in the piece. "It’s like hitting a punching bag to let off steam.” The below video, shot in April 2018, certainly seems to corroborate things. Forget hanging out in strip clubs or snorting up half of Steven Tyler's late-'70s per diem on tour, Post Malone would rather devote his time to more all-American activities.
JUNK-FOOD JUNKIE. One of the big benefits of being in your teens or 20s is that you can pretty much eat whatever the fuck you want without worrying about looking like a man in his third trimester. Some folks treat their bodies as a temple, and other like a fast-food dumpster. Post Malone is a man who's definitely enjoying himself while he can. Last October the food delivery service known as Postmates reported that the star prefers to order in rather than waste his days stocking up at the nearest farmer's market. Over a 12-month period Malone blew over $40,000 on food deliveries, that breaking down to 3,000 menu items on 660 orders in 52 different cities. In fairness, he's not above having someone make runs to the grocery store, but he also has a serious thing for the greasy goodness of Chick-fil-A, Burger King, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, KFC, and Panda Express. Not only is Malone Postmates' best customer, he's also a savvy shopper. Consider this invaluable life hack as detailed in Hollywood Reporter: "He’s developed special requests, like....asking to 'open boxes a little so it doesn’t get soggy' when indulging in Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers." There's going to come a time when the rapper won't be able to see his own dick in person, but for now he gets to enjoy things like breadsticks "Post Malone Style", which is slang for there's no such thing as too much butter.
POST, APOCALYPTIC. Back in 2017, Malone told Rolling Stone that he intended to build himself some sort of post-apocalyptic compound for when "bad shit goes down."
The world is going to shit. They’re taking away a lot of our rights. We have a shitty thing going on in the White House—I don’t like Trump. But I don’t think it’s just him. Something’s coming.
And when that something comes, Malone intends to be prepared. Since that interview, the performer has relocated from L.A. to Cottonwood Heights, Utah, where, by all accounts, he is now the proud owner of this US$3 million dollar home:
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It looks like a pretty nice house, even if the interior finishings are badly dated-looking. (And considering that the same amount of money will get you a rat-infested tear-down in East Van or a two-bedroom condo in Coal Harbour.) What it doesn't look like is the kind of place that could withstand an assault by nuclear bombs, radioactive zombies, or a marauding horde of climate-change refugees. Mind you, that's just what we can see on the surface. If Malone is true to his word, he's already building something beneath it that will rival the Batcave, Dr. Evil's bunker, and the Mines of Moria in its subterranean awesomeness. In 2017, he told the H3 Podcast, "I’m building underground....It’s gonna be fun until the world ends, but whenever the world ends, it’s gonna be functional. Put the 'fun' in 'functional'."
GAME BOY. You know what one of the best things is about not having to show up at 9 a.m and punch a clock? It's that you're free to sit around in your ginch all day, eating cold Chef Boyardee from a can while playing video games in a pair of Depends. On that front, Post Malone is living the dream. One of the reasons that he doesn't go out for his own food is that it would cut into his video gaming, his go-to time-wasters including Player Unknown's Battlegrounds and Call of Duty WWII. Such is his devotion to online killing and maiming that he's mostly eschewed ye olde Xbox and PlayStation consoles in favour of custom-made PCs capable of handling the rigours of not leaving the couch for two weeks at a time. Should you have an hour and a half to kill right now, you can watch Malone give a live demonstration of how the less-motivated members of the one-percent club spend good chunks of their work days. Praise the Lord—and pass the ammunition.