Released: 2018

Features: Ty Dolla $ign

“Psycho” by Post Malone featuring Ty Dolla $ign is a banger that delves into the paradoxes of life under the flash of fame and fortune. The lyrical content conflates the flashy lifestyle that the hip-hop industry often embodies while also illuminating the skepticism and wariness that come from being in a position of wealth and notoriety. This track hits hard on the theme of trust and the fleeting nature of relationships when wealth and fame are leading the charge.

The hook of the song, repeated throughout, begins with “Damn, my AP goin’ psycho, lil’ mama bad like Michael.” The AP refers to an Audemars Piguet watch, a luxury piece known for its price and exclusivity. The term ‘psycho’ gives a nod to the eccentricity and abnormality of his life, brought on by fame. When he says “lil’ mama bad like Michael,” it’s a simile alluding to the attractiveness of a woman, using Michael Jackson’s “Bad” as a reference for good looks and a fiery spirit.

In this verse, the lyrics, “Can’t really trust nobody with all this jewelry on you. My roof look like a no-show, got diamonds by the boatload,” bring up the theme of paranoia. The line stresses caution amongst others due to his flashy exterior, riddled with expensive jewelry. His “roof look[ing] like a no-show” refers to his convertibles, while “diamonds by the boatload” is a vivid image of extravagant wealth.

Post Malone Psycho (feat. Ty Dolla $ign)

He throws in a pop culture reference with “Come with the Tony Romo for clowns and all the bozos,” highlighting his readiness to confront fake friends and haters. Tony Romo is an ex-NFL player known for his exceptional throws, which here is a metaphor for Malone’s skill in handling and dismissing insincere people.

A key verse is: “You stuck in the friend zone, I tell that four-five the fifth, ayy. Hunnid bands inside my shorts, DeChino the shit, ayy.” ‘Four-five the fifth’ is likely a clever wordplay on pleading the fifth (choosing to stay silent) and holding a .45 caliber gun. “Hunnid bands” is slang for $100,000. “DeChino the shit” assigns credibility to the DeChino brand shorts he’s wearing.

After Malone, Ty Dolla $ign steps onto the scene with his verse, making it clear that he revels in the same wealth and fame: “The AP goin’ psycho, my Rollie goin’ brazy.” Apart from his own AP, “Rollie” is short for a Rolex watch, another signifier of wealth. “Brazy” is Blood gang slang, replacing “crazy” as a show of fealty towards this gang culture.

The lyrics “It’s fifty on the pinky, chain so stanky,” means he’s wearing a 50k ring on his pinky, and his chain is so heavily decked with diamonds that it’s “stanky,” slang for conspicuous or impressive. When he says, “You should see the whip, promise I can take yo’ bitch,” here ‘whip’ is the ride or car, he’s confident that his material wealth can lure anyone’s girl.

When Ty Dolla $ign spits, “Boolin’ with a thot-thot, she gon’ give me top-top,” he’s using ‘boolin,’ a term from the Blood gang vernacular meaning hanging out, and ‘thot-thot’ is slang for a girl who’s into casual relationships. “Top-top” is a euphemism for oral sex.

Ty ends his verse by painting a picture of his LA lifestyle, from getting high to hitting Rodeo Drive and Pico Boulevard, a nod towards the city’s upscale and low-end regions, respectively, maintaining a connection with his humble beginnings. He sings, “This ain’t happen overnight, no, these diamonds real bright,” emphasizing his hard-earned success and the authentic, valuable diamonds he wears as a symbol of it.

In conclusion, “Psycho” depicts a vivid landscape of wealth, status, and fame while cautioning against the false friends that come with success. Post Malone and Ty Dolla $ign delivered an accurate portrayal of the high life, filled with cars, diamonds, and beautiful women, but with the undercurrent of distrust and violence woven astutely throughout the narrative, making this more than just a flashy hip-hop ditty.