Hip-hop goes pop with Swae Lee and Post Malone | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Hip-hop goes pop with Swae Lee and Post Malone

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The future of hip-hop is here, and it’s poppy as hell. Two of the biggest names in the game these days are rappers who frequently lean into the sweet and sensitive side of the genre: Post Malone and Swae Lee. Post Malone is the tattooed face of hypermelodic sad-boy pop rap, who’s gotten nearly as much attention for his goofy, trashy sense of style as he did for his buttery 2017 breakthrough smash, “Rockstar.” Swae Lee is half of hip-hop hit machine Rae Sremmurd, and he’s provided trippy hooks and choruses for the duo’s nonstop string of bangers (including the modern classic “No Type,” the omnipresent “Black Beatles,” and the psychedelic “Powerglide”). Swae and Post teamed up for the first time on 2018’s “Sunflower,” a single from the soundtrack for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. The song is two and a half minutes of pure bliss, eschewing almost every hip-hop trope in favor of sunny electronic pop, and its bouncy choruses, velvety vocal interplay, and warm ’n’ fuzzy lyrics made it one of the best tracks of the year. Since then, Swae has continued to step out with a bunch of singles under his own name, and Post’s most recent full-length, last year’s Hollywood’s Bleeding, featured seven smash hits (among them “Sunflower”) and collaborations with the likes of SZA and Ozzy Osbourne. And while there’s no word on whether they’ll hit the studio together again, the Post-Swae machine should still be firing on all cylinders throughout this gigantic package tour.   v

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