For a rapper, Post Malone is a pretty normal guy. Sure, he embodies the exuberant lifestyle of the rich and famous, but his beginnings were relatively plain.
Here is how Post Malone went from aspiring artist to star performer.
1. He hustled on SoundCloud.
Post Malone’s first hit was originally seen on SoundCloud. He realized that the song had the potential to be a major success when it got hundreds of thousands of plays and recognition from other artists.
Making it big on SoundCloud is a great indicator for a successful song, but Post took it to the next level.
2. He poured the last of his money into a music video.
Post Malone loves telling this story. The music video for “White Iverson,” the song that made his career, cost him only five thousand dollars. The catch was, he only had less than five thousand dollars left. He had to borrow money from a friend to make the video.
In the end, it was well worth the investment. This simplistic yet absurd video has over 300 million views on YouTube. It was a big risk, but he knew that the video’s success on SoundCloud meant it had potential to be a hit.
3. After making it big, he got right to work on his next album.
Post Malone was at risk for being a one hit wonder. While one big song is good enough to coast for a little while, he knew that he wanted hip-hop to be his career.
Rather than pocketing the money and blowing it all overnight, like many before him had, he started working on his second album.
Since making “White Iverson,” Post Malone has made it big again with his hit song “Celebration.” Had he stopped, he likely would have already exited the limelight.
The key to making it big is taking risks, paying attention to what is going well, and investing back into music. Post Malone’s success story is due to a lot of luck and hard work, but he was about as far from being a career rapper as anyone else when he started.
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Gabriel Dufurrena is a mathematician, writer, and educator living in Oakland, CA. When he’s not watching YouTube videos or teaching math, he’s getting into shenanigans with his other writer friends.