Monday, November 20, rock musician and culture vulture masquerading as a hip-hop artist, Austin Post aka Post Malone made waves when he stated in an interview that “fans looking for real shit” avoid hip-hop music. This was a shock to many in the hip-hop community as one of the bigger stars among the new crop of artists, Austin was effectively shitting on a genre that has made him rich and famous. It wasn’t a shock to me, because I pay attention. Austin Post, who got his start in music as a rock artist, is the newest in a line of white musicians who has used hip-hop and black culture to get rich, famous and then move on when the genre no longer was needed or suited them.
If you’ve been paying attention, Austin has been showing the signs of being a culture vulture. He told XXL in 2016 that he was not focusing on hip-hop and was going in a more pop/rock/country direction, which was why he did not make their freshman list. He responded by stating that he shouldn’t be chastised for that decision and that he can make any genre of music he wants. And he is correct. Austin Post can make whatever music he wants…that doesn’t mean it has to be supported by us though. Austin Post is your typical white millennial who grew up believing that he can mimic whatever culture he wants without fear of repercussions. The white millennial that believes calling him out on his shit is reverse racism. That is why I’m not mad at Mr. Post. I’m mad at YOU people. Specifically, you black people that supported him but are now suddenly outraged.
Yes, you people that bopped to White Iverson because you were captivated by yet another white person doing something typically black. You people that ignored every sign that he was in it for himself and not the culture. You people that fervently defended him over the last year whenever people who did see the signs, said something. You people that said “but the music is good” whenever those signs were pointed out. Now you want to be mad? Get all the way out of here. Were you mad when he said he’d perform at the Inauguration of Mango Mussolini “if the price was right’? No, you weren’t. But you (rightfully) got Chrissette Michelle out of here for doing so. So, let me get this straight, the black woman has no right to go get the bag from the racist president using her for optics, but the white boy isn’t held to that standard?
Austin Post is here because of YOU. YOU streamed/bought his music. YOU went to his shows. YOU supported him and made him into a star with a number one record. Now isn’t the time for your outrage, that was last year before he was a star. Do you know why? Because even if you succeed in “getting him out of here” he will just do what Miley/Bieber/Insert white pop star here did when they were done using hip-hop: lay low, and pop up with a clean image and start appealing to white people again. The only difference is, Post used us to get his initial fame.
Am I saying that every white person in hip-hop is a culture vulture? Absolutely not. What I am saying, is that for every Eminem and Mac Miller, there are far more Post Malone’s and Yelawolf’s. Those who are all for black culture when it’s lining their pockets, but stop just short of lending their voices and platforms to our plights. If Austin was “for the culture” instead of disparaging the genre, he would’ve used his platform to big up a few artists that are making substantive music that is more than just for turning up. Hip-hop is in a better place than it has been in a long time. Someone who is benefitting from music lacking substance, that knew about the culture, would’ve pointed out Rapsody, Joey Badass and a host of other up and comers making great music (shouts to Shawn Smith, Open Mike Eagle and Translee).
Maybe one day, we will learn that for every well meaning white person who is genuinely interested in our culture, there are a million more who don’t care and are only using it for personal gain. After all, we have hundreds of years of evidence that when white people, en masse, show up to “work with” us, it usually only enriches them. And this isn’t a new problem. I can go back to Def Jam and the other small hip-hop labels selling out to the white owned label giants decades ago to trace the root of this problem. And don’t get me started on how our gatekeepers got ran off or rendered powerless by fear of being called a “hater” when trying to stop the Austin Post’s of the world from gaining prominence.
So, no, I’m not mad at Austin Post and you shouldn’t be either. He only did what he was allowed to do. Save that anger and vitriol and remember it for the next time an obvious culture vulture begins to rise to prominence. Stop gassing up every white person that embraces our culture and start making sure they are really here for the culture. Stop inviting every white person with a conscience to the cookout and stop being ashamed to look out for your own. That’s how you stop a culture vulture in their tracks. That’s how you don’t look up in thirty years and have kids not believe you when you say hip-hop was once created and dominated by blacks because the history was white washed and erased…again.