Post Malone’s rise to the higher tiers of the Hip Hop world has been relatively quick. From his 2015 breakout single, “White Iverson,” to his subsequent major label debut, Stoney in 2016, Malone quickly made a name for himself as a reliable producer of atmospheric, beat-centric tracks which make a perfect soundtrack for late night driving, or late night drinking, depending on your preference. Some have criticized his approach as being quantity over quality, and his music as “sonic wallpaper,” that isn’t meant to be listened to as much as played in the background. While some of this is true, Beerbongs and Bentleys marks Malone’s second 18 track project in two years, and the record stays relatively entertaining throughout which is more than can be said for most long rap albums released today.
Malone makes an interesting change on this album that is apparent from the opening track. Gone are the nocturnal, bass-heavy beats of Stoney, in favor of lighter, happier beats that are much heavier on the higher end. While the change can be jarring at first, its an interesting move that serves to differentiate the sophomore effort from its predecessor.
The track-list itself is not without highlights. The albums single, “Rockstar” is solid, though 21 Savage’s feature is a bit of a blemish. “Takin’ Shots” and “Psycho” feature entertaining bars and catchy vocal choruses, and “Stay” is a welcome step outside of the repetition of the album, making it probably the best track on the project.
These hits, however, are hindered by weak tracks like “Spoil My Night,” and “Zach and Codeine.” On top of that, the album really limps over the finish line with a weak handful of tracks rounding out the list. The lineup could’ve been stronger around fifteen tracks.
Malone’s performance across the album is respectable to say the least. He commands each track with energetic and unique performances that really leave something enjoyable to be found even in the worst tracks.
Conversely, almost every feature on this album is terrible. The aforementioned 21 Savage nearly ruins one of the best tracks in the lineup with his sleepy, boring flow and uninventive lyricism. Nicki Minaj’s performance is characteristically irritating and really doesn’t fit in the track at all. Aside from these two, Swae Lee and Ty Dolla $ign give relatively inoffensive performances, but add little their tracks other than a slight break from Malone’s superior performance. The only features with any value fall on the same track, coming from YG and G-Easy on “Same Bitches.”
My only other issue with this record maybe slightly unfair, but it comes from the lack a variety. Post’s insistence on avoiding the title of “Rapper” comes from his ability to sing and play guitar, as well as his eclectic tastes in music. In many ways, he’s not wrong. His acoustic work has been quite impressive in viral videos and one off releases, but this title is hard to avoid because when it comes time to lay down a record, audiences hear nothing but traditional rap music. While this may be a bit of an unfair attack, as Beerbongs and Bentleys is actually less repetitive than most similar projects, it would be nice to be treated to more than just one song featuring an acoustic guitar, and even that song is heavily produced.
Overall, this is an impressive Sophomore release. While Malone may not have completely found his voice, he’s certainly closer and much more unique on this project. The record gives me hope for the future, even if it doesn’t wow me in the present.
HEAR THE ALBUM: https://open.spotify.com/album/6trNtQUgC8cgbWcqoMYkOR