Image via Austin Post

Image via Austin Post

Today, XXL released the cover of their annual “Freshman” issue, which highlights the best emerging rappers in hip-hop. One of the most glaring omissions is Post Malone, who had a giant year with “White Iverson” and subsequent singles, but still, he was left off the list.

There is a reason for this, a reason that Post Malone’s fans may or may not want to hear: XXL editor in chief Vanessa Satten was a guest on The Breakfast Club this morning, and she said of Post Malone, “We were told by his camp that he wasn’t playing attention to hip hop so much. He was going in more of a rock/pop/country direction.”

If this is true, the stylistic change isn’t exactly unprecedented for Post Malone, despite his hip-hop success: He recently performed a more organic-sounding rendition of “Go Flex” on Jimmy Kimmel Live, there’s this 2013 video of him beautifully covering Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right,” and last year, he told Hot 97 that indie folk group Fleet Foxes is his “favorite band of all time” and said he wanted to make country music: “I put myself on country whenever I started playing guitar, but my dad put me on rock and hip-hop and super crazy metal stuff.”

Watch Satten’s interview, and Post Malone’s Bob Dylan cover, below.