THE GRADE B
BOTTOM LINE A promising hip-hop debut that doesn’t quite live up to its potential
Post Malone’s debut “Stoney” (Republic) has been one of the year’s most-anticipated albums thanks to the strength of his breakthrough single “White Iverson.”
The song, one of 2015’s best, introduced the Dallas rapper’s unique hip-hop flow to the world, bouncing between laid-back and hyper as he rolled through his clever rhymes about basketball as a metaphor for life. Malone follows through with that style on “Stoney,” but it generally pales in comparison to the inventiveness and the surprise of that track.
The closest he gets to that magic is on the dreamy “Yours Truly, Austin Post,” where he raps about coming down from “the high of my life.” Malone also gets a spark from some famous friends, including Justin Bieber, who sings the pretty hook on “Déjà Vu,” and 2 Chainz, who helps turn “Money Made Me Do It” into a trap-tinged special.
However, it’s Kehlani’s fiery and cool appearance on “Feel” that serves as her star turn while also bringing out the best in Malone, showing that there is plenty of potential in him that is left to realize.