While he might be on top of the rap world with his auto-crooned trap bangers, Post Malone comes from a surprisingly varied musical background. Before “White Iverson” took Posty into the stratosphere, Austin Richard Post simply wanted to learn guitar because of his love for Guitar Hero 3. The rhythm game — which sees players face off against Tom Morello and Slash and features songs like “Paranoid,” “Even Flow,” and, of course, “Through the Fire and Flames” — quietly remains one of Malone’s biggest influences.
Though his biggest hits usually feature Malone strutting over expensive-sounding beats, he just can’t seem to keep the guitar out of his hands. During his live shows, Posty breaking out his acoustic to cover one of his favorite tunes gets just as much applause as when the first notes of “Congratulations” or “Rockstar” play over the PA. It’s also earned him a begrudging respect from the rock and metal communities.
And with a background in metalcore, the kid’s got chops. More often than not, his renditions of grunge, metal, or country classics are embraced by both fans of Post Malone and those of the original artist. There’s something about his earnest love for the songs he chooses to cover that wins over fans of any genre. Even if you have a bias against face tattoos or solid gold grills, how could you deny the smile on his face when he’s playing the solo from “Santeria”?
By all accounts, Malone has no intention of ceasing his practice of publicly honoring his favorite musicians. Fresh off the back of his latest album, Twelve Carat Toothache, he unleashed a cover of Pearl Jam’s “Better Man.” At least over here at Consequence, Malone channeling his inner Eddie Vedder is already going over better than anything off of Twelve Carat Toothache.
So, though we might have recently bemoaned his skills as a songwriter, let’s celebrate Malone’s undeniable talents as a song stylist. And, hey, if Elvis Presley is anything to go by, that’s really what makes an icon anyways. Check out our picks for the 10 best Post Malone covers below, in no particular order.
— Jonah Krueger
Nirvana – “All Apologies”
It’s no secret that Posty loves himself some Nirvana. He has several Nirvana tattoos, performed a full Nirvana cover set (for which he received Frances Bean Cobain’s blessing), and “All Apologies” isn’t even the only Nirvana track featured on this list. One might expect the Cobain worship to run stale, but, damn, can Malone play the hell out of those songs.
The top comment on a 2017 video of Malone performing “All Apologies” at the House of Blues in Massachusetts sums it up nicely: “Wow, I heard about it and thought to myself, ‘This fucker is gonna butcher it’ then I watched it, and was completely surprised, he fucking killed it!” Yes he did, humble commenter, yes he did. — J.K.
Green Day – “Basket Case”
There is nothing quite as exhilarating as watching your favorite artist perform live with only a
guitar in hand. In 2017, the people of Silver Springs, Maryland didn’t know what they were in for when Post Malone sat in front of them and covered Green Day’s infamous “Basket Case.” The intimate cover was early proof that the multi-faceted artist can do far more than pop-rap. — Kelly Park
Bob Dylan – “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright”
Ten years ago, when he was still Austin Richard Post, the singer-songwriter uploaded a video to his YouTube channel. In contrast to the production level of most of his later discography, Post Malone’s Dylan cover cut through with its simplicity, while bringing a tinge of country. The artist signed his no-frills cover with the description, “Excuse my hair haha. Thanks for watching.” — K.P.
Brad Paisley – “I’m Going to Miss Her”
For all of the tumultuous emotions Post Malone injects into his music, you wouldn’t expect him to relate much to a carefree song about choosing fishing over your wife. But dangnabbit, his version of “I’m Gonna Miss Her” is more convincing than a fish-loving husband swearing that “work” called him early on a Sunday morning.
Backed by Dwight Yoakam’s band, Posty doesn’t hold back. He leans into a slight country accent and sounds right at home surrounded by a fiddle and a steel guitar. Throw in Malone and the band’s beautiful harmonies, and there’s really only one question left: Post Malone country album when? — J.K.