The Top Ten Rap Artists of the Decade

By: Akim Hudson

Disclaimer: The term “best” is subjective, so if you disagree with the list, it is completely expected and justified. Also, the list is in no order and has nothing to do with skill and everything to do with influence on the culture of hip-hop. 

  1. Drake

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    PC:Billboard
  • In 2009, Drake made everyone aware that he wasn’t emerging, but he was here. His critically acclaimed mixtape, So Far Gone, was the beginning of Drake’s mainstream career. After the release of that mixtape, there was no looking back for Drizzy. Throughout this decade he released an array of albums that all have went platinum within days upon its release. Drake exudes an aura much greater than being a rapper, in fact, he was one of the originators of the era of rap singing. Drake is a true hybrid and became a household name, his fame and notoriety are ubiquitous, and is clearly a top ten rapper of this decade.  

Notable Discography: Take Care (2011, Grammy Award for Best Rap Album of the Year), Nothing Was The Same (2013, Grammy Nominated), If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late (2015, Grammy Award for Best Rap Album of the Year).  

  1. Kendrick Lamar 

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    PC:Forbes
  • The one and only King Kendrick, Kung-Fu Kenny, a true wordsmith whose pen is unmatched by many rappers,not just of his era, but all time. In 2011, Lamar released the mixtape, Section.80. with tracks that indicated the motifs of the rest of his discography up to date. Lamar, with Aftermath Records by Dr. Dre released his debut album, good kid m.A.A.d city. With tracks like “Sing About Me”, “I’m Dying of Thirst” that detailed the multifaceted institutionalization of Black people within the United States. It was an instant classic that consists of little to no skips, each track potent in great diction, multiple perspectives, subjectivity, and vulnerability. In 2015, Lamar went on to drop To Pimp A Butterfly. This is my personal favorite K. Dot album. He described it as an album to lift the black artists and not the whack artist. TPAB was one of the more intricate albums of its time, along with each track is snippets of a poem that Lamar wrote, that concludes after the final track “Mortal Man”, in which he had a discourse about revolution and reform, Marxism-like reflections on socioeconomics with the late great Tupac Shakur. His last release came in 2017, the Pulitzer Prize winning album, DAMN. Not much to say about this masterpiece. A detailed introspection of oneself again, an insightful elaboration about the trauma of blacks in the United States, and so forth. Lamar is amongst the most respected in hip-hop history and has many years of dominance left in the tank.  
  • Notable Discography: good kid m.A.A.d city  (2011, Grammy Nominated for Rap Album of the Year, Grammy Nominated for Album of the Year), To Pimp A Butterfly (2015, Grammy Award for Best Rap Album), DAMN. (2017, Pulitzer Prize winner, Grammy Award for Best Rap Album).  
  1. J. Cole

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    PC: Billboard
  • The one and only Jermaine Cole, perhaps the most vulnerable, versatile, and one of two skilled rappers of his era, yet criminally underrated. To be honest, although he is my favorite rapper out now. Cole starts the decade with Cole World: The Sideline Story in 2011. Ambition was the main theme of this album, and the audience can feel the young bright-eyed ambition of Cole on the majority of tracks on this album. By 2013, Cole released my favorite, Born Sinner which was really Cole’s coming out party. That chip on his shoulder grew bigger, Cole was ready to wage war with the legends with this release. Cole and Lamar’s comparisons were one of the biggest enigmas of the decade to me. They go hand and hand, but Lamar only had more accolade than Cole. The amazing feature that Cole accomplished this decade, was three consecutive platinum selling albums with no features, but he had nothing to show for this amazing feat. Cole was snubbed every year from winning a Grammy. He has a chance to win a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album with his collaboration album, Revenge Of The Dreamers III. Cole is amongst the best rappers of the decade due to his ability to do everything your favorite rapper can do, but just a bit better.  

Notable Discography: Born Sinner(2013), 2014 Forest Hills Drive(2014), 4 Your Eyez Only (2016), KOD(2018).  

  1. Meek Mill

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    PC:CNN
  • King of Philly, Meek Milly. More than likely faced the most adversity than any other rapper this decade, but that isn’t why he is amongst the top ten. Meek Mill is from humble beginnings, but always divulges “f*ck being humble”, due to how everyone turned their back on him during his times of somber and melancholy. In 2011, Meek Mill lands a hit single “I’m A Boss” featuring his record label owner, Rick Ross. Along with “I’m A Boss”, drops Dreamchasers, one of four fan favorite mixtapes which gave hip-hop fans the nostalgia of gangsta rap from the 90’s and 2000’s. Then fans got a double whammy, Dreamchasers 2 and “Dreams and Nightmares” both released within 2012. The intro to “Dreams and Nightmares” is still Meek’s anthem and perhaps song of the decade. Meek’s legal issues is the highlight of his career, going in and out of jail frequently throughout the decade, each time dropping quality music upon his release. The most notable album upon his release was Championships, the 2018 release has been revered by the masses as his best album, hence why it is Grammy nominated. Since Meek’s release he has become the poster child for prison reform and unjust incarceration. Meek is on a roll still and has shown no signs of slowing down. We all love an underdog, and hope Meek can continue to stay on track.

Notable Discography: DC4 (2016), Dreamchasers(2011), Dreamchasers 2(2012), Dreamchasers 3(2014), Dreams and Nightmares(2012), Dreams Worth More Than Money(2015), Wins and Losses(2017), Championships(2018) 

  1. Nicki Minaj
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    PC: Billboard
  • The Barbie herself, perhaps the most dominant female figure in hip-hop history. Minaj came to fame under Young Money by Lil Wayne. Her debut, Pink Friday won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album, on her debut she earned a Grammy, impressive for anyone, but since there hasn’t been a woman in hip-hop history to accomplish such a feat adds on to the magnitude of the highest merit in music. Her album sales are the highest of any female in hip-hop history as well, 100 million units overall. Some may believe she is the greatest female emcee, I beg to differ, I say MC Lyte, but that’s a different discussion for a different time. The Barbie started a wave that produced talents such as Cardi B, who now has the torch.  

Notable Discography: Pink Friday, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, Pinkprint.  

  1. Future

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    PC:Pitchfork
  • Hendrix, the father of all mumble rapping, Percocet popping, lean sipping, dread headed trap rappers. Only thing I need to discuss in Future’s decade, was his undefeated run, lasting from 2014-2018. Look at the discography in that span, Honest (2014), Monster (2015), 56 Nights (2015), Beast Mode( 2015), Dirty Sprite 2 (2015), What A Time To Be Alive (2015), Purple Reign (2016),  Evol (2016), FUTURE (2017), HENDRXX (2017). This sort of eminence speaks for itself.  
  1. Chief Keef
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    PC: NBC News 
  • Chief Sosa, The Godfather of drill music. Straight out of Chicago, Keef birthed a new genre of hip hop. On the surface, the subject matter may be the same as the typical gangsta rap, but this was more of a gang banging type of rap. a Rap derived from the gang culture within Southside Chicago. 2012 Keef blew up and took the rap game by storm. He opened the door for G Herbo, Lil Durk, Lil Bibby, Lil Reese, and other Chicago rappers of the modern day. 

Notable Discography: Finally Rich(2012) 

     8. Lil Uzi Vert

iHeartRadio Music Festival, Daytime Village, Las Vegas, USA - 22 Sep 2018
PC: Rolling Stone 
  • There wasn’t anywhere you can go in the summer of 2016 where you didn’t hear Uzi knocking from someone’s speaker. Luv is Rage had everyone in a frenzy, his melodic flow of music is irresistible to dance and vibe to. The magnitude of Uzi’s star power was utterly ridiculous. When he was going through label issues, millions of people were in anticipation of a “Free Uzi”. Anytime he released a new song the masses would be enthralled just from his presence alone. I consider Uzi to be a predecessor to Future and Young Thug. 2020 should be a good year for Uzi, gaining momentum from his latest release “Futsal Shuffle 2020”.  

Notable Discography: Luv Is Rage, Luv Is Rage 2, Uzi vs. The World, The Perfect Luv Tape 

  1. Kanye West 
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    PC: Billboard
  • Yeezy is a top five producer ever, and one of the greatest musical geniuses ever. To kick the decade off, Ye dropped My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, arguably album of the decade. Literally with no skips, great production, lyrics and subject matter. Yeezy himself may not have directly dominated the 2010’s, but his eminence did. He influenced every facet of hip-hop from production and auto-tune, to fashion and subject matter. Not to mention that he released The Life of Pablo, Watch The Throne, Cruel Summer, Ye, and produced many hits this decade. I didn’t like Yeezus, but it has been believed to be one of his better albums. Ye will continue his legendary career in the next decade.

Notable Discography: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010), Yeezus (2013), The Life of Pablo (2016), Jesus Is King (2019).  

  1. Tyler, The Creator

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    PC:Pitchfork
  • Tyler, The  He bolstered emo rap into the mainstream audience early on in his career, bringing a no holds barred style of authenticity. His subject matter was matched by no other and was fairly controversial at one point in his career. In his debut album, Goblin in 2011 detailing the dark introspective thoughts of Tyler. He was rather explosive and quarrelsome, with his“horror core” style of music. But he would evolve into a vulnerable and romantic type. His two latest releases, Flower Boy and IGOR, depicted the growth of Tyler, and IGOR is Grammy nominated. His musical genius is only expanding and gaining fortitude and versatility. He created Odd Future, and empire that fell apart but in its prime was in a class of their own and have been dubbed the modern-day Wu-Tang. Tyler is still very young and will continue to drop classics.  

Notable Discography: Goblin (2011), Wolf (2013), Cherry Bomb (2015), Flower Boy (2017), IGOR (2019).  

 

Honorable Mention: A$AP Rocky, Travis Scott, 2 Chainz, Rick Ross, Young Thug, 21 Savage, Pusha T, Jay-Z, Chance The Rapper, Migos (disqualifies because they are a group), Gucci Mane, Waka Flocka Flame, Kodak Black, Freddie Gibbs, A Boogie, Tory Lanez.  

 

Welch looks to take the next step

By: Isaiah Blakely 

Dominick Welch had a slow start to his freshman year but found his groove in the second half of the year, and he looks to build on that this season.

Welch averaged 7.5 points per game and 4.4 rebounds in 25 games last season. Welch missed a chunk of the season with a foot injury. Welch’s first seven games he was only averaging 5 points and 2.6 rebounds a game, but his last 18 games he was averaging 8.4 points a game and 5.1 rebounds including in the Atlantic 10 tournament where the Buffalo native averaged 12 points 7 rebounds and 2.3 blocks over the three games.

Welch led the team with 43 three pointers made and shot 36 percent from three. Head coach Mark Schmidt wants Welch to continue to develop on the offensive end.

“He’s made unbelievable strides…at times he was our best guy. But he has to take that next step,” said Schmidt. “All he could do was catch and shoot. Now he’s got to take guys off the bounce. His dribble has got to tighten up.”

Welch said that the biggest thing he was looking to add to his game was tighten up his handle as well as improve his overall game. A player Welch likes watching is Los Angeles Clippers star Paul George because he is an all-around two-way player.

Schmidt had high praise for Welch as an overall player already.

“He’s smart. In my 30 years of coaching he’s probably in the top 5 of guys I underestimated,” said Schmidt. “He has a really good feel offensively and defensively. He’s got a lot of pride, and when he doesn’t play well it really affects him and he works at it.”

Schmidt says he’ll be playing multiple positions including the power forward spot when the team plays small ball this year. “We’re expecting him to take that next step and become a really good player,” said Schmidt.

Welch talked about keeping his confidence up through the ups and downs in a season.

“Keeping my confidence,and my confidence is back right now. It was a tough loss last year. But we’re trying to keep that momentum that we have in last year over to this season,” said Welch. “Bring the young guys with us and make sure they have confidence going out there with us.”

Welch mentioned that tough loss in the Atlantic 10 championship to St. Louis, but the goal for this team is to get back to that game.

“Our team goals are to try to get back to the Atlantic 10 championship,” said Welch. “Just try to take it game by game and work hard every day.”

Welch knows the freshmen on this team are going to be important and they need to stay ready.

“There’s spots open every day. It makes you work hard,” said Welch. “We were freshmen coming in playing 40 minutes a game. The opportunities there, we lost two players last year, so the minutes are there.”

Welch begins to help lead the Bonnies tonight at 7:30 against Ohio in the Reilly Center.

Oliver looks to make every second count

By: Isaiah Blakely 

Amanda Oliver is in her second season with the Bonnies and this season she was voted as a captain. She’s looking to end her career with no regrets.

The Orlando, Florida native averaged 2.7 points and 4.8 rebounds in 29 games including 15 starts last season, but in Bonnies head coach Jesse Fleming’s eyes Oliver was always meant to be a captain.

“I thought when we recruited her that was a big part of what we recruited Amanda for,” said Fleming. “Amanda was about the intangibles Amanda is going to win every loose ball, she’s going to be competitive, she’s going to play hard all the time and that’s why she’s a leader for us.”

Before Oliver arrived at St. Bonaventure, she was a two-time all-conference selection while playing at Florida Southwestern State College. She averaged a team leading 8.4 rebounds her sophomore year.

Oliver has a knack for rebounding and making the hustle plays the Bonnies need, but Oliver said she’s looking to take her game to another level.

“I perfected my jumper and just take my hustle game to the next level and defensive level,” said Oliver.

Coach Fleming wants her to be more effective offensively.

“I want her to be able to score against mismatches in the post,” said Fleming.

The senior says it feels like she has been here for years and has fully embraced what she calls the “Bonnie craze”.

“I feel like I’ve been here for years….Coming in I was taught from the seniors above me, and you just play every game like it’s your last,” said Oliver. “Show that passion that is being a Bonaventure student and a Bonnie.”

Off the court Oliver is a part of campus media. She has had a video series called ‘Around the RC with Amanda Oliver’, and she is a reporter for SBU-TV.

“It’s been a challenge…I never thought I’d done that…It’s been an awesome experience I’ll take with me throughout my life,” said Oliver.

Oliver kicks off her final season Tuesday night against St. Johns at 5 p.m. in the Reilly Center.

Carpenter adds versatility to the Bonnies

By: Isaiah Blakely 

Robert Carpenter is one of the many fresh faces on this Bonnies team, and he’s looking to add versatility to the frontcourt.

The Detroit, Michigan native played at Mt. Zion Prep in Maryland last season where he averaged 20.3 points and 10.2 rebounds including three 40-point games. He was a part of one of the better prep schools in the country helping Mt. Zion to a 28-4 record and a spot in the Elite 8 prep school championship.

The 6’8 forward described St. Bonaventure as a perfect fit for him.

“I felt like Bonaventure was a great fit because I didn’t want to go to a school with a big name and end up not playing very much,” said Carpenter. “I wanted to go to a perfect fit for me.”

Carpenter compares his game to an NBA All-Star.

“I’m a very versatile guy. I can shoot, I can bang inside the paint. I’m a good offensive rebounder, defensive rebounder, hustle guy,” said Carpenter. “A lot of people look at my game and I kind of resemble Kawhi Leonard’s game.”

Carpenter was brought in right away and participated in both summer sessions, and he described the summer as “intense”.

“They really wanted to develop me and just like build me into the player they recruited me to be,” Carpenter said.

The freshman said he worked on his post game this summer because in high school and prep school he mostly played between the perimeter and the post. Carpenter shot 38 percent from the three-point line last year but said he wants to continue to sharpen up his shot.

Carpenter’s ability to score was an aspect of his game Bonnies head coach Mark Schmidt highlighted.

“He’s talented, he can put the ball in the basket. He has a bright future,” said Schmidt.

Carpenter had a near double-double off the bench in his debut against Alfred with 10 points and nine rebounds.

Carpenter talked about how people have viewed his diverse skill set in the past.

“A lot of people have different perspectives of me. I try to have a good motor and just show everybody that I can prove everybody wrong,” said Carpenter.

Carpenter can start to prove his doubters wrong on Tuesday night in the Reilly Center against Ohio at 7:30.

Logan looks to make impact on young Bonnies

By: Justin Myers

Last year was Logan’s first year playing with the Bonnies after sitting out the previous year due to NCAA transfer rules. After coming back she feels like she has learned to play college basketball again.

 “Taking that year off was a lot for me and was definitely a learning experience looking at the game in a different way,” Logan said. “It felt good to be back on the court and make an impact.”  

As a redshirt junior the Randallstown, Maryland native appeared in all 30 games including 12 starts averaging 7.0 points and 2.8 rebounds per game. She scored in double figures nine times, averaging 22 minutes per contest.  

While sitting out the previous year Logan implemented the things she learned while sitting out.  

It definitely opened up my eyes to different things going on in the game. More of the mental part of the game rather than just running around and playing,” Logan said. “I think my thought process and approach to the game got a lot better. It helped me grow. 

 With six eligible newcomers on the team this year Logan looks to lean on her experience to help lead.  

Not only have I played here for a long time but I also have played at other schools so bringing in all that experience and making sure that everyone stays on task and committed, Logan said. “So helping everyone stay motivated is a key since its early now but we all know how long a season can be and it has its ups and downs. 

 With it being her last year Logan looks to finish strong and have a winning season.  

I want to have a winning season. We have struggled for the past two years but I think now we finally have some great pieces that mesh together really well” Logan said. “I think a winning season is something that I really want.”  

When it came to expectations for the team Logan believes they can cause match up problems  

I love how we are more scrappy, quicker and athletic compared to last year,” Logan said. “I think that we are so versatile in different aspects and positions that it helps us with no one really knowing what angle to come from. I think our versatility alone can take us far this year. 

When asking Logan who could be a breakout player for the team this year she thinks it can be freshman Olivia Brown.  

“She came in and was named captain, and is establishing herself as a leader,” Logan said. “She outworks us everyday and pushes us to be better 

Johnson looks to lead Bonnies

By: Isaiah Blakely  

Sophomore guard Asianae Johnson was one of the best freshmen in the Atlantic 10 last season averaging over 27 minutes a game. Johnson who is still considered an underclassman is already viewed as a veteran.

Johnson started all 30 games and ranked third among freshman in scoring, averaging 9.7 points a game. Johnson added about 3.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists.

Head coach Jesse Fleming knows Johnson, despite only being a sophomore, has plenty of experience to play with the best of the best in the A-10.

“She’s played more than most juniors and played more than some seniors in this league have played,” Fleming said. “I don’t want any excuses of ‘I’m still young’ I feel like I’ve seen what Asianae can do and her good is great.”

Johnson isn’t fazed by Fleming’s expectations of her. “Honestly I’m a vet,” Johnson said. “I can’t look at myself as a sophomore because if I do then it’s like I’m under. I want to be over and understanding the game more and helping my teammates out especially with the new kids.”

Johnson scored in double-figures 13 times last season, but most of her scoring came attacking the basket because she only shot ten three pointers last year. This offseason Johnson said she focused on her shooting.

“Every day I was in the gym shooting more than 300 shots a day more than 500 shots a day just getting that shot right makes it easier on my game since it’s like I don’t have to do so much,” Johnson said.

Fleming said he’s seen improvement in her shooting, but he also said it’s not just shooting that he wants her to improve on.

“What I want to see out of her that she is a game changer as far as defensively that don’t show up in the stat sheet,” Fleming said. Fleming added that they want Johnson to guard the other team’s best player.

Johnson averaged a steal per game last season, but she said she wants to be a “scrappy guard” that gets a few steals per game.

Johnson has no doubt in her improvement as a player, but also believes that this team has bought in to the idea of being successful.

“No doubt in my mind, in our mind, in our coaching staff’s mind, my mother’s mind, my little brother’s mind,” Johnson said. “If any doubt is in your mind than it kills the whole thing. So we just want to keep our heads together.”

Johnson had a good start to the season in an exhibition win against Cortland tying her career high of 16 points.

Johnson and the Bonnies have the opportunity to build off the exhibition in the season-opener in the Reilly Center against St. Johns on November 5 at 5:00 p.m.

 

 

Monday Motivations

By: Matt Stasiw

First year student?  Transfer?  Graduate student?  Whatever the case might be, adjusting into the college life can be a difficult task. If the first month was challenging, here are a few tips to gain more control comfort.

 

GET ORGANIZED

Handling a new schedule can be hard.  Even more so when trying to balance sports, clubs, and social time into the mix.

 

Utilizing a calendar, a planner, or even the note app on your phone can be dramatically helpful.

 

When dealing with assignments, try to check on things a week in advance.  Doing this task on a weekend is more beneficial.  Write down a specific day when there will be enough time to do work.  Be sure check them off as they are completed.

 

Writing down specific times when to eat, go to the library, or even to take a nap can be very improving as well.

 

Everyone’s schedule is very different, so being self-aware of the individualities will lead to success.

 

MAKE FRIENDS

No matter what year someone is in, everyone is trying to fit in somewhere.  Not only is it important to make these friends to feel comfortable, but it is important these friends match personal values.

 

Every time a step is taken outside the dorm, a new opportunity arises to meet someone new.  Be sure to take advantage of the possible connections that could be made.  Maybe that person could be a best friend for life or a future boss.

 

Don’t be the person to wait for friends to come to you.  It can be a hard time adjusting to college when you have no one to talk to.

 

CHECK IN WITH YOURSELF

Between homework, sleeping, and trying to fit in, it might be hard to find time to breath.  Be sure to use some time to think about emotional and physical health.

 

Be sure to find time to eat.  A lot of people don’t realize the importance a good meal can have on your energy and performance.  Waking up late for breakfast will of course happen but be sure to put some fuel in the body.

 

If needed, talk to someone about problems.  The school has numerous advisors and support systems available.  Reaching out when needed is an action that anyone can take advantage of.

 

Finally, take some alone time.  Do whatever is needed to get refocused, and to ask yourself how you are doing.  Other people can see a picture from the outside, but only the individual will know what is happening within.

 

CONCLUSION

 

Every person needs to get readjusted back to college.  Don’t think that you might be the only one having troubles.  No one is alone.  Take these tips into consideration to reduce the daily stress.

 

 

 

“Hollywood’s Bleeding” has new twists that will excite listeners

By: Matthew Stasiw

Post Malone’s new album, “Hollywood’s Bleeding”, brings an exciting-new mix to the table, and reveals more about his lifestyle than ever before.

The album has been long awaited by fans and critics alike.  With the teaser songs of “Wow.”, “Sunflower”, “Goodbyes”, and “Circles” sparking interest in what was to come next, Post Malone delivered. The new songs on the album bring back everything fans were craving to hear.

It’s obvious Post Malone incorporated a new vibe into this album.  When listening to the songs, a higher focus in instrumental reinforcement and a classic OG feel makes every song a rock session. For example, “Take What You Want” proves Post can master any genre of music.  By featuring Ozzy Obourne and Travis Scott together, fans get the collaboration we never knew we needed.  A classic rock feel and sick guitar solo will have anyone jamming in the car.

“Staring At The Sun”, “Circles”, “Allergic”, and “Sunflower” takes the slower pace in just the right way to deliver a more classic pop vibe.  Post Malone’s roots of inspiration flourished throughout the album.

Fans might also find themselves respecting Post’s new attitude.  Through songs such as “Enemies”, “Saint-Tropez”, “I’m Gonna Be”, “Myself”, “Internet”, and “A Thousand Bad Times” Post seems to understand where he is in life.  Instead of dwelling in past depressions, like the songs of “I Fall Apart” and “Stay” in previous albums, Post throws the sadness behind him and is now looking forward.  Upon examining the lyrics, Post knows he can no longer deal with the drama in life.  He knows he is talented at what he does, and he doesn’t care what anyone else thinks about him.  It’s clear he had a fun time making this album, and he did it for himself.

When looking for songs to vibe to in the car with be sure to make “Enemies”, “Allergic”, “Circles”, “Take What You Want”, and “Staring At The Sun” the top five songs to add to any playlist.

What more can be said about this album?  Besides the fact that it’s a 12/10, nothing much.  Post Malone truly delivered with this new album, and he gave the fans what they were looking for.  Name one bad song by Post Malone.  Trick question, you can’t.