Equally influenced by 50 Cent and Bob Dylan, Post Malone combined the influences of hip hop, pop, R&B, and folk to become one of the biggest artists in the second half of the 2010s. He was born Austin Richard Post on July 4, 1995 in Syracuse, New York, but grew up in Grapevine, Texas. He started out playing heavy metal, but eventually graduated to hip hop and other styles, and made his first mixtape at the age of 16. After dropping out of college, he moved to L.A., where he began working with friends under the name BLCKVRD. He eventually connected with the production team FKi, who began working with him and produced, among other tracks, his song "White Iverson." He shared a video for the song online and it went viral, attracting the attention of labels as well as major rappers. He signed with Republic Records, contributed to a song on Kanye West's 2016 album The Life of Pablo, and snared an opening slot on Justin Bieber's 2016-'17 Purpose World Tour. "White Iverson" ended up going quintuple Platinum, and Malone's next single, "Too Young," went Platinum without even charting. In 2016 he released his triple-Platinum debut album, Stoney, which went No. 1 on the rap and R&B charts. The album's biggest single, "Congratulations," hit No. 5 on the pop charts and went octuple Platinum. Malone's second album, Beerbongs and Bentleys, came out in 2018 and earned double Platinum status. The album spawned three huge singles, "Better Now," "Psycho," and "Rockstar," the last-named going septuple Platinum and hitting No. 1 across the board. Malone courted controversy in various ways, including his public disparagement of hip hop and his gun advocacy, and either despite or because of his huge success, he was a target of severe criticism on both personal and artistic levels, none of which impacted his popularity.