Though his hits have topped the hip-hop and pop charts, at times it seems like Post Malone is a low-key country artist at heart. He got a chance to flex that little-used muscle on Wednesday night (April 13) at the Observatory in Santa Ana, California when he hopped on stage with bluegrass ripper Billy Strings for a run through a Johnny Cash classic.
Casually waltzing on stage in an all-black t-shirt and jeans ensemble, of course, Posty gave his pal Billy a warm hug, then raised his cup of draft beer and smoke to the cheering crowd as Strings said, “I saw this guy lurking around backstage and I figured we gotta drag him up here to f—ing sing for you.” Malone returned the compliment, calling Strings “the best to ever f—ing do it” before Strings began plucking out the intro to Cash’s stone standard, “Cocaine Blues.”
And, because he was raised right, Malone politely asked Strings if it was okay to toss his smoke on the stage and stomp it out before extinguishing his cig. “Stomp on it Billy!” someone in the crowd shouted. With both men strumming acoustic guitars, Malone stepped up to the mic to handle vocals on the white line(s) murder ballad.
“Early one morning while making the rounds/ I took a shot of cocaine and I shot my woman down/ I went right home and I went to bed/ I stuck that lovin’ .44 beneath my head,” Malone sang with a devilish grin. After moseying through the first two verses, Post stepped back to let String do some of his patented picking, which segued into a killer mandolin solo, another Strings run, a banjo jam, more Strings magic and then Malone bringing it all home after the pair did a classic back-to-back pose on stage.
Malone gleefully tore through the final verses and reached the bad-news verdict, taking an extra beat on the line about shooting that “bad b–ch down.” The easy camaraderie is not surprising since, as Rolling Stone pointed out, the dynamic duo made their friendship Instagram official in Nov. 2020 with a snap in which Post threw up the devil horns and Strings hoisted a pump-action shotgun with the caption, “Redneck s–t with my boy @postmalone.”
Watch the video below.