Project Title

“A Pop Star and a Populist”: A Rhetorical Analysis of Post Malone’s Kairotic Appeal

Presenter Hometown

Elizabethtown, KY

Major

English

Department

English and Theatre

Degree

Graduate

Mentor

Dr. Brent Shannon and Dr. Lisa Bosley

Mentor Department

English and Theatre

Abstract

While Post Malone, a genre-resisting musician, is demonstrably popular by music industry standards, his unique appeal to his ideal audience is better explained through a look at his use of rhetoric--kairos in particular--and the rhetorical situation he operates within. Specifically, Post Malone appeals to millennial audiences by embodying the generation's most deep-seated concerns, namely those of financial distress and disillusionment leading to despair. Almost all songs on his first album, Stoney, feature lyrics focused on amassing wealth in a time of economic uncertainty, complimented by overarching ethereal sounds that loom over the songs, mimicking millennial disillusionment. Further, Post Malone encapsulates Generation X's shift to an alternative form of masculinity that resists and subverts hegemonic masculine ideals, particularly significant in the rap and hip-hop genre, which has long been dominated by hypermasculine aggression and anger. Instead, Post Malone presents alternative emotional outlets in his lyrics on tracks like “Otherside” and “Feeling Whitney,” as well as a uniquely subversive physical presentation featuring juxtaposed couture items and low-culture pieces like Crocs and omnipresent bottles of Bud Light. His resistance to genre is also significant in his inability to be categorized and the subsequent frequent misunderstandings of his value in the media, indicative of the millennial disposition at large. In these ways, Post Malone appeals to the current millennial moment in time, their kairotic situation, standing as an important rhetor for the millennial generation.

Presentation format

Poster

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 

“A Pop Star and a Populist”: A Rhetorical Analysis of Post Malone’s Kairotic Appeal

While Post Malone, a genre-resisting musician, is demonstrably popular by music industry standards, his unique appeal to his ideal audience is better explained through a look at his use of rhetoric--kairos in particular--and the rhetorical situation he operates within. Specifically, Post Malone appeals to millennial audiences by embodying the generation's most deep-seated concerns, namely those of financial distress and disillusionment leading to despair. Almost all songs on his first album, Stoney, feature lyrics focused on amassing wealth in a time of economic uncertainty, complimented by overarching ethereal sounds that loom over the songs, mimicking millennial disillusionment. Further, Post Malone encapsulates Generation X's shift to an alternative form of masculinity that resists and subverts hegemonic masculine ideals, particularly significant in the rap and hip-hop genre, which has long been dominated by hypermasculine aggression and anger. Instead, Post Malone presents alternative emotional outlets in his lyrics on tracks like “Otherside” and “Feeling Whitney,” as well as a uniquely subversive physical presentation featuring juxtaposed couture items and low-culture pieces like Crocs and omnipresent bottles of Bud Light. His resistance to genre is also significant in his inability to be categorized and the subsequent frequent misunderstandings of his value in the media, indicative of the millennial disposition at large. In these ways, Post Malone appeals to the current millennial moment in time, their kairotic situation, standing as an important rhetor for the millennial generation.