Face tattoos, unkempt hair, and beer-swilling aren’t the typical blueprint for pop stardom. And yet, we still have Post Malone.

He’s one of the most listened-to and inescapable artists of the moment, and his music has broken commercial performance records previously held by The Beatles and Michael Jackson. But for every Posty fan, there seem to be even more people confounded by the idea that he has fans at all.

VICE spoke to Berkeley College of Music songwriting professors Kareem Clarke and Brian “Raydar” Ellis to discuss the Post Malone phenomenon. They credited his repetitive rhythms and melodies and strategic song structure as major players in his music’s popularity potential. Another advantage? His average singing voice.

“You know, it's different from a Beyonce when she sings ‘Love On Top’ you know when she gets to the part where she modulates, in other words she goes from from one key to a higher key to a higher key,” Ellis explained. “When she's doing that, at a certain point the average listener is just not going to be able to follow, like they can't […] For artists like Post or artists like Rihanna, they tend to just work inside a specific, limited range of notes that complement their voice but also complement the average listener.”

Looking at his music and persona in aggregate, it’s clear Post Malone is the beneficiary of a rare confluence of factors that almost predestine him for mass popularity. The formula is covering all his bases at once.


His songs are easy for everyone to remember and sing. His music pulls from multiple genres without ever fully committing to one. He’s a pop star and a populist. He does beerbongs and he drives Bentleys.

Subscribe to VICE News here: http://bit.ly/Subscribe-to-VICE-News

Check out VICE News for more: http://vicenews.com

Follow VICE News here:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vicenews
Twitter: https://twitter.com/vicenews
Tumblr: http://vicenews.tumblr.com/
Instagram: http://instagram.com/vicenews
More videos from the VICE network: https://www.fb.com/vicevideo

YOU MAY LIKE
Loading...
The most feared song in jazz, explained

Making sense of John Coltrane's "Giant Steps." Follow Vox Earworm on Facebook for more: http://www.facebook.com/VoxEarworm And be sure to check out ...

Post Malone – I Fall Apart (Lyrics) 🎵

"Post Malone – I Fall Apart (Lyrics) 🎵" Hit the 🔔 to join the notification squad! Support Pixl Networks http://snapchat.com/add/pixlnetworks http://...

How Israel Rules The World Of Cyber Security | VICE on HBO

U.S. intelligence agencies accuse Russia of hacking the 2016 presidential election, a Ben Ferguson travels to Tel Aviv to find out how Israel is on it...

4 simple steps to writing a song | Ralph Covert | TEDxNaperville

Is songwriting really that complicated? Children’s rock performer Ralph Covert shares 4 simple steps to being a songwriter. To show how easy it can be...

Post Malone Shows Off His Insane Jewelry Collection | GQ

For a 21-year-old, rapper Post Malone has one hell of a jewelry collection. In this video, the rising star explains how he got his first Rolex, why he...

Why people think they see ghosts

Even though there is no scientific evidence that ghosts exist, you may not be crazy if you see one. Subscribe to our channel! http://goo.gl/0bsAjO V...