The term ‘self-made’ gets thrown around a lot in hip-hop. Post Malone is a 27-year old hip hop artist from Syracuse, New York, recently spoken about on Forbes website as being ‘self-made’.
He’s also been depicted in Luc Belaire’s ‘Self Made Tastes Better’ marketing campaign for the same quality.
There’s no disputing the success of his Post Malone’s “White Iverson”, which has amassed over 1 billion YouTube views to date and having generated over 100 million streams.
A lot of Post Malone tracks have generated similar numbers, however, ‘self-made’ might be taking things a little far. Here’s why.
Yes, There’s Hard Work
Before we get going on Post Malone’s self-made comments and what self-made is, hear us out.
No matter how lucky someone is, they still got to put in the work. They need to show up on game day to be there for the opportunity to win.
None of this is to discount Post Malone’s effort as a working musician. It’s simply to say that to say that he’s ‘self-made’ is nowhere near justified, on him or anyone for that matter, when you take a look at the help he’s had.
The Names Who Have Supported Post Malone
There is a long list of names and corporations who have supported Post Malone, especially as he has progressed into the top levels of fame.
An example of this is when Post Malone opened for Justin Bieber throughout the singer’s Purpose World Tour in the spring and early summer of 2016.
Again, this isn’t to say he didn’t put in the work. There is no arguing that’s a huge opportunity for anyone and that kind of exposure helps to keep the engine of success turning.
The Systems That Helped Post Malone Get Ahead
As with most artists, Post Malone’s early success is dependent upon YouTube exposure and music streaming via Spotify, and the algorithms associated with these platforms.
Speaking to Forbes, Post Malone says, “Being self-made is about being successful without cutting corners or changing who you are to impress anybody.”
The thing is that he’s not successful because he was defiant. He’s successful because someone needed to be successful in these systems and in this case, he was the lucky name that took the cue.
The Conditions Were Right For Him To Succeed
Post Malone appeals to young people, he looked for exposure in the right areas, and he is playing the most commercially successful genre in the United States right now.
Socio-politically, he aligns with what is popular in the marketplace right now, not to discount his effort.
With regards to Post Malone’s other musical interests, such as looking at his covers of popular rock songs, it is perhaps unlikely that he would have anywhere near the same success had he pursued music in these other genres.
Why Post Malone Should Be Recognized & Admired
For all intents and purposes, Post Malone is someone who is willing to put in the work.
He acts like himself, he does his own thing, and it appears like he’s true to his art. That said, he promotes himself as having “his own lane in music.”
The success he has had is confined to streaming and YouTube, his mainstream success has only lasted for a short while so far, and nothing he has done is unprecedented. The uniqueness of his success is non-existent.
All the power to him for making the music he wants to make, for people digging his stuff, and for the success he’s had. There’s nothing that can take that away from him. To sell consumers however that this is some sort of ‘self-made man’ is unfair.
There are many reasons why he is successful and many people who have paved the way for him to get to where he’s at today.
In the end, it’s not pure luck either. That said, he himself recounts the story of him putting out his first song and having 30,000 hits on it the very next day. There is some luck involved.
There’s a lot of work too though. We raise our glasses to Post Malone and celebrate his success.