Proving that miracles do sometimes happen, even when all seems forever lost, something incredible took place on the Internet a few days ago.
The world took to Twitter to deliver word it was worried about Post Malone. And, in doing so, a message was sent that society has changed in ways that once seemed unfathomable. Yes, social media can actually be used for good, instead of as a handy platform to play keyboard gangster to the rich and famous.
First the back story. Over the course of his brief and meteoric career, the man born Austin Richard Post has cultivated an image as a man who loves booze, weed, and assorted other drugs almost as much as he hates soap, deodorant, and anything resembling a showerhead.
That’s all ripe and dandy to the point when someone discovers that going too far with the partying is always a shit ton of fun until it isn’t. And Post Malone looked like anything but a man having fun last Friday night at a show in Memphis.
On-stage at the FedExForum, Malone spent part of the concert behaving in a fashion one would charitably describe as erratic. Lowlights included multiple attempts to pick up a dropped mike, forgetting lyrics, slurring his words, and generally behaving like a 14-year-old going 16 rounds with Sailor Jerry for the first time.
Instantly—which is to say right after they finished shooting, posting, and reposting his “performance” on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and the Facebook page for Modern Drunkard—fans took to Twitter and Instagram to suggest they were worried about his well-being.
And that’s where things got epically weird.
At what point did the world become horrified by rock stars acting like rock stars? (And yes, even though Malone is quite rightly filed under hip-hop, the man is living his permablazed and megabuzzed life like a rock star.)
Here’s why Malone should be left alone to play a human version of a turtle on its back if that’s what he wants. Imagine how much less interesting the world would have been if Keith Richards hadn’t been allowed to be Keith Richards: no heroin, no smoking 22,948 cartons of Marlboros, no drinking Jack Daniel’s like it was Peace Tea, no snorting coke cut with his father’s ashes, and no being famous as one of the most indestructible two-legged cockroaches to ever walk the earth.
There would have been no The Dirt by Mötley Crüe if Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee, Mick Mars, and Vince Neil hadn’t been given the freedom to overdose in the bathroom at weddings, drunkenly terrorize the frantic citizens of Japan on bullet trains, and drive drunker than a buck-naked Randy Travis on free-shooter Saturdays. (And, sorry no matter how much you can’t stand Mötley Crüe, you’re losing out if you haven’t read The Dirt.)
In a world where idols aren’t allowed to live life at their most stoned and drunkest, we never would have seen Grade A entertainment like a loaded Kid Rock staggering around a Nashville stage yelling that Oprah can fuck herself six ways to Sunday. Or a completely out of it Scott Weiland doing the worst karaoke version ever of the Stone Temple Pilots’ “Vasoline” at a Texas county fair.
Or the Butthole Surfers proving that acid can be a hellishly fantastic thing with Locust Abortion Technician and Cream Corn From the Socket of Davis. Or the Replacements inventing and perfecting drunk rock with their absolutely untouchable early TwinTone classics.
As for Malone, the post-Memphis tweetstorm of concern was kind of undeniably sweet, not to mention hopeful for the future of the planet, considering the bile that’s usually spewed on Twitter. Recognizing that fans were worried, he took to video to state, “I’m not on drugs, and I feel the best I’ve ever fucking felt in my life. And that’s why I can bust my ass for these shows and fucking fall on the floor and do all that fun shit.”
Disappointing, if for no other reason than drugs and/or booze were behind the greatness of Appetite for Destruction, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, In Utero, and everything ever recorded by Hank Williams III.?
Absolutely. But at least no one suggested Malone continue acting like a rock star until he’s secured a date with Jimi Hendrix, Mac Miller, and Juice WRLD.
Sometimes the Internet can be a surprisingly incredible thing.