Post Malone is always tired.
Need proof? Look no further than the words tattooed underneath his eyes.
Post Malone, whose real name is Austin Post, 25, has been on tour in the U.S. since early September last year in support of his latest album “Hollywood’s Bleeding.” The first leg of the tour went until Nov. 21 before another kicked off on Feb. 4 this year. As fans of music artists, we can only imagine how draining life on the road must be.
But after videos surfaced of Post acting seemingly unusual on stage in early March, some became concerned that the rapper might be abusing drugs.
A tweet from @skkwalkrr read: “post malone has been acting strange and inebriated at his shows. ppl are fearing that this behavior is from drugs and alcohol. even if you don’t like post malone pls don’t cheer this on. he clearly needs help and ignoring it only leads to tragedies. remember amy winehouse.” Other Twitter accounts made connections to the death of rapper Mac Miller in 2018. Miller died from an accidental overdose of fentanyl, cocaine and alcohol.
In one of the videos, Post picks his microphone off the floor and cradles it before standing up and waving with a goofy expression on his face. In another video, his eyes appear to be rolled back while he performs.
Now, if Ariana Grande started acting that way in concert, something would definitely be wrong. But that’s how a Post Malone concert goes.
During an episode of the “Ya Neva Know: you know what I mean?” podcast, rapper Mike Stud, a close friend of Post’s, rejected the concerns of drug abuse. “Post is not a drug guy. He’s not.”
Stud went on to explain that Post’s behavior during his concerts correlates to the song he’s performing in his set. For instance, during “rockstar,” the camera that broadcasts Post on the large screens in the arena will zoom in on his face, and he will purposely roll his eyes back. The song, “I Fall Apart,” one of Post’s notable tracks about heartbreak, will have the rapper almost screaming the lyrics and, “he’ll get kind of all over the place.”
After concerns blew up across the internet, Post addressed them at his March 6 concert in Memphis, Tennessee. “And that’s why I can bust my ass for these shows and f—–g fall on the floor and do all that fun s–t,” he said. “But for anyone that’s concerned here, I appreciate the love and the support, but I feel f—–g fantastic, and I’m not doing drugs.”
Post is an eccentric rapper; it’s part of his persona. He has worn flashy suits to award shows, released two lines of Crocs and got the aforementioned “Always Tired” tattoo on his face along with others.
But the concern from the public illustrates something bigger. In the last few years, a number of artists have died from accidental drug overdoses. Our generation has repeatedly logged onto Twitter or Snapchat to see news confirming the latest unexpected death. After being sucker-punched repeatedly, fans are now looking for signs of trouble.
Miller died at 26. Rapper Juice Wrld died from a drug overdose at 21. Singer Amy Winehouse died in 2011 from alcohol poisoning at 27. Beloved performers continue to die at young ages, and fans are concerned. Some of the tweets sent with concern about Post’s health echoed those fears that we would again lose another young performer.
It takes the artist-fan relationship to another level, beyond buying albums and concert tickets. Fans are not just listening to the music and the lyrics of the songs they love, but they are also looking out for the person behind the song.
Email Nyela Graham at firstname.lastname@example.org