Fewer phrases in the English language have been more grossly overused than "Rockstar," the title of the new single from Grapevine's own Post Malone.
CEOs are the rock stars of business. Plastic surgeons are the rock stars of medicine. The teen at your local McDonald's who flips burgers really fast is the rock star of the kitchen.
But in Post Malone's case, the dude really is a rock star. Finally.
There was reason to believe he'd never get there. A white hip-hop artist who grew up in a subdivision, Austin Richard Post was dismissed at first as just another cultural klepto from D-FW -- the millennial Vanilla Ice.
He still had plenty of skeptics after he struck gold with "White Iverson," his 2015 debut single inspired by NBA star Allen Iverson. But naysayers piped down when Kanye West and 50 Cent started featuring him on their songs. And the carping got even quieter with the release last December of his debut album Stoney -- a reference to Post's nickname, "Stoney Maloney."
Even though Post took flak for dueting with Justin Bieber on the album, Stoney created major waves, debuting at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 and selling over a million copies. Reviews were mixed, but many critics were impressed by his blend of hip-hop, tender crooning and singer-songwriter influences.
New York Times critic Jon Caramanica singled out the Stoney track "Cold" as "unusual and impressive ... the singing is spectral." And while he said there was a certain "gimmickry" to Post, he added "it's admirable when someone leans into it as convincingly as Post Malone does."
After "White Iverson," Post scored four more hit singles from Stoney, including "Congratulations," a song about succeeding in the face of skepticism. The tune was certified as quintuple platinum (for the equivalent of 5 million sales) and it even passed "White Iverson" on the pop charts, making it to No. 8.
"Rockstar" had even more rocket fuel and traveled all the way to No. 2. The first single from his upcoming second album Beerbongs & Bentleys, the song is an all-too-familiar brag about getting famous and reveling in booze, drugs and random sex. Musically, however, it's a haunting trance that recalls the trip-hop artist Tricky.
In concert, Post has been performing "Rockstar" in front of images of Jimi Hendrix, Lou Reed and Axl Rose. Perhaps in homage to Axl -- who once sparked a riot after jumping into the crowd during a show in St. Louis -- Post dove off the stage mid-"Rockstar" during his own recent show in St. Louis.
Trouble is, his young fans weren't familiar with the concept of stage diving, and as Post jumped, they darted out of the way and let him crash to the floor:
He may be a bona fide rock star, but at age 22, he still has a few lessons to learn about rock star showmanship.
Post Malone and opening acts Smokepurpp and Young Pinch perform at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 24 at the Bomb Factory. Sold out. Details.