GRAPHICS BY DENISE THUONG
By RENEE WANG
Hollywood’s bleeding, but not literally.
Post Malone’s third studio album, Hollywood’s Bleeding, was released on Sep. 6, comprising of 17 songs and several guest collaborations. The album topped the United States’ Spotify streaming chart in just two days; from “Hollywood’s Bleeding” to “Wow,” the album transitions from a soft electronic melody into an intense rap that goes to show the multi-genre talent Malone possesses.
Ultimately, Malone’s skill in conjuring moodiness with lyrical meaning enables people to relate to his new album in the message he successfully delivers.
According to an interview with Apple Music, Post Malone states, “I’m not trying to make songs that are huge smashes. I just want to make songs that tell stories and are genuine.” In his new album, Malone utterly conveys who he is as an ordinary human being, regardless of his fame and success.
In his opening song, “Hollywood’s Bleeding,” Malone criticizes people he associated with, specifically his lovers, saying that they “never took the time to get to know [him].” The beat suddenly drops after the chorus, and he continues to repeat a series of questions stating “It seems like dying young is an honor, but who would be at my funeral I wonder?” From these lyrics, Malone exposes a vulnerable side of him, especially when he concludes that there is no one that truly cares for him.
Generally speaking, Malone’s line of “dying young” recurs in another track on the album titled “Goodbyes Ft. Young Thug.”
At the beginning of the first verse, Malone states, “Me and Kurt feel the same, too much pleasure is pain,” referring to the rock band Nirvana’s lead singer, Kurt Cobain, who unfortunately passed away in 1994. Ultimately, the reasoning behind Malone’s inclusion of the late musician was to convey a strong message on how popular artists like Kurt are generically perceived to have a life of “pleasure.” However, he also emphasizes in his lyrics that it subsequently comes with damaging consequences.
Notably, the echoing background and groans of Malone’s voice in the song act as hints to the audience on the theme of the track, which is how fame affected Malone as it did with Cobain.
For instance, these small details in his lyrics show up again in “Circles,” the fourth single in his album, further exemplifying Malone’s take on relationships. In the chorus, Malone’s use of the metaphor “Seasons change and our love went cold. Feed the flame ‘cause we can’t let go,” reveals to the audience about his own problems within his relationships. The figurative meaning of feeding “the flame” describes something slowly getting worse which, in this case, is his deteriorating relationship that the audience can relate to. In essence, Malone successfully encapsulates meaningful verses that convey his connections to his personal life, including his distinct relatability.
Furthermore, aside from the album itself, the behind-the-scenes songwriting process with Ozzy Osbourne, SZA, Swae Lee, etc. had shown positive aspects that added multiple perspectives that made the songs more “organic.”
Namely, in Malone’s collaboration with American rapper Dababy on “Enemies,” a song about friends becoming foes, Malone and Dababy narrate a different story based off their experience on the subject of deteriorated relationships. Malone recalls how his friends became enemies due to his fame; on the other hand, Dababy shares about having fake friends when he achieved success from his debuting lead single. Subsequently, Dababy’s additional verse adds more depth to the song, making it more intimate with the listeners on personal subjects in a poetic, lyrical meaning.
In summation, Hollywood’s Bleeding goes into profound detail with lessons fans can take away from, while also being an awesome arrangement of songs to jam out to.